Fort Drum faces personnel cutbacks

NY District Army Corps of Engineers/Flickr
September 18, 2013

Fort Drum, the Army post outside Watertown in Jefferson County, may be facing personnel cutbacks as a result of the federal budget reductions known as sequestration. Leadership there submitted recommendations to the Department of the Army about how they would want to make the cuts, if needed.

The post has already carried out civilian employee furloughs as a result of the federal budget sequester. Now, it may lose up to 125 of its 10th Mountain Division headquarters staff.

Pentagon Army spokesman George Wright said a lot of the cuts will take place through attrition. “Military members who are affected by these reductions will either go on to subsequent assignments throughout the Army, or if they're senior, they'll then get out of the Army and retire,” he said.

Civilian Army staff, who could also be affected, would likely be reduced through attrition as well, Wright added.

The 125 positions that could be eliminated at Fort Drum represent a quarter of its current headquarters workforce. A 25 percent reduction in the headquarters budget  is also being considered.

Army leadership in Washington are just beginning to explore making the cuts, and no decisions have been made yet about whether or when they could take place. Fort Drum is one of several dozen high-level Army facilities required to submit a proposal for the staff reductions.

Although these cuts come from sequestration, Wright said the military reductions were likely anyway, as the U.S. draws down from wartime.