Comments Collected Online in Advance of MG Townsend’s
“Community Listening Session”
State Senator Patty Ritchie is asking the public to share what Fort Drum means to the North Country via a special online form, available here.
The comments are being collected in advance of a “Community Listening Session” hosted by Major General Stephen Townsend on April 25th at 5:00 p.m. at Case Middle School in Watertown.
The listening session—which is open to the public—is one of 29 being held across the country, organized to capture community input for the Army’s top leaders to consider as part of the reduction and reorganization of its force structure. Officials say Fort Drum could lose as many as 8,000 soldiers, or gain as many as 3,000.
“Fort Drum is such a huge part of the community here in the North Country,” said Senator Patty Ritchie. “Last year, Fort Drum had a $1.4 billion impact on our economy, it supports thousands of local jobs and its troops—and their families—are our friends and neighbors.”
“This is a chance for the community to stand up for Fort Drum and share exactly what the post means to our region.”
All comments will be submitted to the Commanding General to be included in a report to the Army’s top brass. So far, nearly 100 statements of support have been submitted.
Fort Drum is the largest U.S. Army post in the Northeastern United States, and the 10th Mountain Division is among the Army’s most deployed combat units.
Senator Ritchie has been a strong advocate for the post, securing budget funding to address a critical, regional housing shortage that threatens continued growth of the facility, and to help protect the post in the event of new federal military budget cuts.