Fort Huachuca sees possible cuts in part of Army restructuring p - Tucson News Now

Fort Huachuca sees possible cuts in part of Army restructuring plan

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SIERRA VISTA, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ending or winding down, an unprecedented 13 year war footing is ending.

And with it, the Army is looking at its forces and assessing its needs.

It will most likely make cuts but how many is yet to be determined.

Army posts all across America will likely feel something.

"There will be change," says Tanja Linton, a public information officer at Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista."Some people are not prepared for that."

Sierra Vista has been part of the Army Post for more than a century and as the Post grew, so did the town, now nearly 50,000 residents.

The Army, in its strategic assessment, must also determine what kind of impact it's cuts will have on the community both economically and environmentally.

Worst case scenario in Sierra Vista is 1,700 military jobs and 1,000 civilian jobs.

"We'll be prepared," says the Sierra Vista mayor, Rick Mueller. "We've taken on no new debt for the past two years."

The town's budget will drop by a million dollars next year on preparation for a drop in sales tax revenue.

"We've looked at what services we can cut," he says. 

It may not be necessary but the town is preparing just in case.

Sierra Vista was late in feeling the recession because of the growth On post. When the recession did finally hit, it was deep and the recovery has been slow.

"As the conflicts come and go our economy has gone up and down," he says.

Mueller says the Army has kept the town in the loop for the entire process.

The decisions are easier to make in advance of any announcements when "you know what's coming."

It's not an unusual thing in the small Southeastern Arizona town.

"We don't make cuts in a vacuum," says Linton. "We know it impacts the community. We would never make a major decision like this without talking to our friends in the community."

The Army has opened a 60 day window for residents to comment on its proposals.

"We will take those into consideration," she says. "This is our community too."

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