State Senator Patty Ritchie appeared at a listening session on Fort Drum’s future and delivered nearly 120 statements of support for Fort Drum to Major General Stephen Townsend Thursday at a “Community Listening Session” held at Case Middle School in Watertown.
The listening session 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.
Senator Ritchie was one of more than 60 who were expected to speak at the event in support of Fort Drum.
“I believe that tonight’s listening session will send a clear message to the Army that Fort Drum, is a vital part of the North Country,” said Senator Ritchie. “Fort Drum plays a huge role in our economy and people who call the base “home” are our friends and neighbors. Our community has welcomed Fort Drum and is eager offer support to help the post grow and succeed.”
Comments submitted to the Commanding General will be included in a report to the Army’s top brass.
Comments are available for viewing online at www.ritchie.nysenate.gov
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.