Local leaders around Fort Campbell are waiting for a decision by the end of this month regarding possible troop reductions at the base on the Kentucky/Tennessee border.
The Army is looking at cutting around 40,000 troops in total due to military budget constraints. One scenario called for as many 16,000 personnel cuts at Fort Campbell.
Katie Lopez is the director of military and governmental affairs at the Christian County Chamber of Commerce. She says she isn’t sure if recent efforts to fight the potential reduction through lobbying and community outreach will be successful.
“We do know that after our listening session in January, we did get a lot of great feedback from the Department of the Army,” Lopez said. “They were very impressed with our turnout and with our responses. So, I’m confident in saying that we made a really great impression on them.”
Lopez says she isn’t expecting the possible reductions to be on the high end of projections. She says an increase is even on the table when the decision comes down from the Department of Defense.
“You know, as the Army has some tough decisions to face in the next few years with their budget, we could see new military members move from their installations to Fort Campbell,” Lopez said. “It just depends on how the Army decides to move their assets around.”
Christian County judge-executive Steve Tribble is also hopeful of an increase. He points toward the area’s low cost of living compared to other bases’ as a reason for an increase.
"If it's really about saving money, we feel like they could save more money by putting more troops here instead of taking some away," Tribble said.
The base currently has a payroll of around 32,000.