Military cuts close to home

KOAA interviews UCCS business faculty member Fred Crowley about possible affects of military budget cuts on the Colorado Springs economy.

Transcript from closed captioning:

KOAA 1/25/2012 10:01:21 PM: …army plans to reduce the number of combat brigades from 45 to as low as 32. that could mean the loss of about 80,000 soldier jobs. if a chunk of those cuts were to come to the mountain post, the effects could be devastating according to UCCS economic professor fred crowley. they’re a major driver in our economy. we do have to worry about losing military positions in the community. the cuts would not only affect the soldiers themselves, but the surrounding community as well. for every 100 military positions in the community, we find that another 80 retail or local resident service jobs are created for the civilian sector. they’re an important driver for the economy. the leak comes as fort carson has plans already underway to bring in an additional 2,700 troops in 2014 as part of a new combat aviation brigade. that plan also comes with a construction price tag of about $238.6 million dollars. professor crowley says it’s not time to panic yet. with big projects like this in the works, large cuts for fort carson don’t seem likely when it comes down to simple dollars and cents. you have to worry that we will lose something. but at the same time there’s such a hug buildup of new infrastructure at fort carson, i would tend to think this would be less likely to suffer large losses. other bases that haven’t had the big buildups that we’ve had for equipment and infrastructure are more likely. but we do have to expect that something is going to happen on the downside for troops. we also contacted colorado congressman dougn lamborn about the potenital cuts today. he sent us a statement that read in part… “it would be unwise and premature to speculate at this point how fort carson may or may not be affected. unfortunately, to date, the administration has been tight lipped about any specific force restructuring decisions that are inevitable given the size of cuts the president has mandated.” we’ve posted congressman lamborn’s entire statement on our website for you to read. that’s jr, n5 the latest numbers for the economic impact in el paso county are from 2008. at that time, it represented approximately one percent of the standing d- o-d budget. today’s announcement comes as the department of defense faces increasing pressure to cut it’s budget. as we first reported several weeks ago, defense secretary leon panetta announced a plan to slash more than 450-billion in spending… over the next 10 years. the pentagon says it will focus on re-tooling the military… while still making national security the tops priority