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Possible cuts for Fort Carson

Possible cuts for Fort Carson

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Pentagon lays out its worst case scenario for Fort Carson, but a Colorado congressman says people in the Pikes Peak region don't have to worry about the Mountain Post losing too many soldiers or civilian workers.

The report is done to analyze potential defense cuts at Army bases around the U.S.

A report by the Pentagon shows 16,000 Army positions (15,295 soldiers and 705 civilian workers) could be cut at the Mountain Post by 2020, cutting it by two-thirds.

That would leave Fort Carson with less than 10,000 soldiers and civilian workers and would cost the Pikes Peak region nearly a billion dollars per year.

This is a concern for Chris Forseth, who co-owns the Black Bear Coffee and Tea Lodge. His business attracts Fort Carson soldiers.

"Military is a big part of our business," he said.

Forseth said 25 to 30 percent of his sales are from people at the Mountain Post.

If the Pentagon's report comes true, Andrew Merritt, who works for the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, said it will hurt the Pikes Peak Region as a whole.

"It would take a long time to recover from that significant loss of people," he said.
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs says the report is a scare tactic.

"(The study is) a worst case scenario that will never happen," he said.

Lamborn said the Pikes Peak region has much to offer the military, including Pinon Canyon and high altitude terrain in the mountains for soldiers to train.

Fort Carson said in a statement:
"Fort Carson leadership is aware of the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment that is looking at Fort Carson as well as the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site and the possibility that Fort Carson could face reductions of Soldiers and civilians. We must emphasize that no decisions have been made at this time. This SPEA process is one small piece of the whole decision-making process when it comes to force structure decisions and announcements."

To see the full report click here.

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