Ritchie Calls on Army Leadership to Preserve Fort Drum
Letter Cites Positive Economic, Community and Security Impacts of Post
In light of potential troop reductions, State Senator Patty Ritchie expressed her support for Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division in a letter sent today to Army leadership.
The letter follows a proposal by the Army to assess the impact of reducing troop levels to numbers not seen since the beginning of World War II. Taken across the board, the reductions could mean significant cuts at Fort Drum, the North Country’s leading economic engine, which supports thousands of jobs and pumps roughly $1.4 billion into the local economy annually.
In the letter, Senator Ritchie cited the post’s significant economic impact on Central and Northern New York, as well as the state as a whole:
“Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division’s economic value to New York State, Northern and Central New York is well-documented and clearly described in annual Economic Impact Statements issued by the post: $1.2 billion in payroll, more than $100 million in locally sourced contracts for construction and other services, and a total positive economic impact on our region of $1.4 billion a year,” said the letter.
In addition, Senator Ritchie also expressed the positive relationship that exists between Fort Drum and the surrounding area; specifically pointing out how 10th Mountain soldiers and civilians act as one community:
“In times of local need, whether from weather-related or other local crisis or natural disaster, Fort Drum’s soldiers have been on the front line to assist,” wrote Senator Ritchie. “From the historic and devastating 2008 ice storm that struck the North Country to more recent events, there are a number of examples of 10th Mountain/Fort Drum personnel teaming up with local communities—their communities—to assist in time of need.”
The full text of Senator Ritchie’s letter can be read here. In addition to her letter, Senator Ritchie also recently launched a petition in support of Fort Drum, with all signatures collected being sent to the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization and then to the Army on August 25th.