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Boonville Daily News - Boonville, MO
  • Fort Leonard Wood to lose 1,000 military positions by FY 2015

  • Fort Leonard Wood is expected to lose an estimated 1,000 military positions and more than 100 civilian jobs by fiscal year 2015.
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  • Fort Leonard Wood is expected to lose an estimated 1,000 military positions and 180 Army civilian jobs by fiscal year 2015.
    The loss comes as the result of national defense budget cuts.
    Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, Fort Leonard Wood's commanding general, made the announcement Wednesday during a town hall meeting on post. He said he wanted to be the person to deliver the message to be upfront and clear to the community.
    “We will all be affected by this, that's why you are hearing this from me,” Smith said. “This is probably one of the toughest things I have ever had to do as a leader in the Army. It is my job to continue to care for our military and civilian folks.”
    Smith said these force reductions were originally intended for fiscal year 2017, but cost reductions forced the Army to make cuts sooner.
    “They were pulled to FY 2015 because frankly there was no money available to execute the mission that was required,” he said, adding that all reductions are still to be determined. “We don't know how many civilians, military members or family members will be impacted by this.
    "The 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade will still continue to serve their mission through FY 2015.”
    Smith gave a presentation that explained the impacts of sequestration in the last year required the Army to accelerate its plans to downsize.
    As a part of this plan, the Army plans to deactivate the following Fort Leonard Wood units:
    • 103rd Engineer Company
    • 193rd Brigade Support Battalion
    • 77th Engineer Company
    • 94th Brigade Signal Company
    • 156th Engineer Detachment
    • 49th Engineer Detachment
    • 94th Engineer Detachment
    • 94th Engineer Battalion
    • 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade HQ/ HHC
    The 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade HQ/ HHC will remain on Defense CBRN Response Force mission until May, 2015. Fort Leonard Wood will also gain 595th Engineer Company, according to the presentation.The estimated net loss of the restructuring within the 4th MEB is 1,000 military positions and six civilian authorizations.
    Force reductions will also impact civilians, who will be replaced by military positions.
    Smith said that 140-150 Fort Leonard Wood civilian positions could be returned to military positions.
    “A few years ago, we took military positions and put civilians in those positions, as we were growing the Army,” Smith said. “So now these civilian-to-military changes could impact positions in three brigades and combat training companies as early as current or next fiscal year.”
    The 1st Engineer, 3rd Chemical and 14th MP Brigades could see the bulk of impact due to the civilian-to-military changes.
    Page 2 of 2 - Smith said that he will not know the specific positions that will be affected until early March.
    Specifically, Training and Doctrine Command's FY15 Table of Distribution and Allowances is expected to be released in early March.
    Rachelle Tomlinson from Civilian Personnel Advisory Center said that her office will provide help with resume writing and USA Jobs training.
    Tomlinson also said Fort Leonard Wood is working with the Missouri Career Center, Army Career and Alumni Program office and Army Community Service to provide resume writing classes. There are also USAJOBS workshops scheduled March 19 at Lincoln Hall.
    Both Smith and Tomlinson recommend that civilian and military members at Fort Leonard Wood start updating their resumes and records now to prepare for future changes.
    “I don't want folks to think they are on an island by themselves,” Smith said. “If I was in one of the positions that could be cut, I would look at my resume, look at my options, and if you see an opportunity, jump at it.”
    During the question-and-answer segment, Smith was asked if Fort Leonard Wood was the only Army base facing these types of job cuts. Smith said that all training bases across the Army were impacted by this.
    Smith said that this plan only affects GS civilians and not contractors because of funding.
    About 7,000 uniformed personnel work at Fort Leonard Wood, along with 12,000 military personnel there for training and 9,000 civilian employees.
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