Tri-Cities leaders speak out about possible Fort Lee job cuts

Posted at 11:40 PM, Jan 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-09 08:54:20-05

FORT LEE, Va. -- Members of the Tri-Cities community stood before military leaders from the United States Army to argue against thousands of possible job cuts at Fort Lee.

Sen. Rosalyn Dance (D.) told military leaders one-eighth of this region's total income comes from Fort Lee. She, and others, said the community and the fort are so intertwined, any cuts would be devastating.

"The surrounding area has been supported by Fort Lee for years and years and years," Porcher Taylor, Jr., a longtime Petersburg resident said.

Congress enacted legislation to force budget cuts across the government, including the military.

Now, the Army is trying to figure out where to make those cuts, and is considering eliminating 3,600 jobs at Fort Lee. As part of their decision making process, military leaders are visiting with community members where their military installations are located. Those leaders will report back to headquarters the numerous arguments made about why any cuts made should be minimal or non existent at Fort Lee.

"We absolutely would not like to see that," Commanding General Master General Stephen Lyons said.

He said there is still a chance Congress won't force the cuts, but if they do, he hopes Fort Lee can stay strong.

"We're at a point in the process where we're taking a look at worst case scenario," Lyons said.

Senior military leaders will make a decision about where to make the cuts in late spring or early summer.  In the meantime, they'll be lobbying Congress not to mandate them.



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