sequestration

Julia Botero / WRVO News

North Country lawmakers say they're relieved after hearing the news that Fort Drum will take just 28 troop cuts as a part of the Army’s downsizing.

Compare that with several thousand cuts at Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Hood in Texas.

WRVO / File Photo

Updated at 2:20 p.m.

The official press release from Fort Drum confirms the post will lose 28 military positions.  Today's announcement from the Army does not include any reductions to civilian employees. A source says that announcement will come in the fall.  The reduction of the size of the Army is expected to be completed by fiscal year 2017.

Updated at 11:30 a.m.

Julia Botero / WRVO file photo

The Pentagon is expected to announce major cuts across the entire Army Thursday morning. Local officials and those who live in Fort Drum’s surrounding communities are waiting anxiously for news on what specific cuts will be made to the base.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

All units at Fort Drum will likely deploy overseas within the next 13 months. That’s according to the military base’s new commanding general, Maj. Gen. Jeffery Bannister. He sat down with local reporters last week to address what’s in store for soldiers stationed at Fort Drum. 

Bannister said the changing nature of the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is changing  the way troops are deployed  at Fort Drum.  They will still go to those countries but they will also go to other strategic locations around the world.  

Julia Botero

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited Fort Drum Monday afternoon. The base was the second stop on the secretary’s first domestic trip outside Washington since taking office just over a month ago.

Carter assured a room of 10th Mountain Division soldiers that Fort Drum isn’t going anywhere.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Several thousand Fort Drum backers sent a loud message to the Pentagon Friday. They said the Army base near Watertown should be spared from deep cuts as the military downsizes after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Army brass toured Fort Drum and the region as they near the end of a review of 30 installations to determine where to cut.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro), John Katko (R-Camillus), Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) and Chris Gibson (R-Kinderhook), were in Clayton Thursday evening for a private reception to welcome Pentagon officials to the North Country. The four members of Congress are working together to defend Fort Drum from dramatic cuts.

Julia Botero / WRVO

The Defense Department is taking another hard look at the size of the Army, including at Fort Drum. Defense cuts fueled by sequestration requires that the Army cut 20,000 troops every year for the next three years. Fort Drum could lose as many 16,000 soldier and civilian jobs in that time. Fort Drum is gearing up for what’s called a listening session this Friday with hopes it will save them from the full cuts.

Dougtone / Creative Commons License

The Department of Defense has drafted a new budget that includes $19 million for Fort Drum in 2016.  The money would go towards building a training academy on the base. But, the Pentagon budget still needs to be approved by a Congress wary of overspending.

The academy would be for non-commissioned officers – the junior leaders of the Army.  There, soldiers who want to advance their careers can learn  the basics of leadership, communication and management.

Julia Botero / WRVO

Fort Drum commemorated the end of its combat role in Afghanistan Monday. Most of the 10th Mountain Division is now back for the holidays, but the U.S. Army will continue its mission in Afghanistan.

At Monday's welcome home ceremony, Annie Costellano-Rios chats with two women as they wait for band to start up. Her husband is a 10th Sustainment Brigade commander - the most recent to deploy to Afghanistan and one of the last to return.

"I'm glad they are home," Costellano-Rios said. "It was a long nine months, or 10 months actually, wasn't it?"

Lockheed Martin / via Flickr

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin has laid 114 workers at its site in suburban Syracuse and 25 in Owego, as part of the approximately 300 job cuts announced last month.

The 139 employees will be out of a job on August 15.

The reductions are in Lockheed's Mission Systems and Training division. The Salina and Owego plants work primarily in radar and sensor technology. The affected positions are mostly in engineering and program management.

Fort Drum civilian worker furloughs begin

Jul 9, 2013
Joanna Richards/WRVO

Civilian employee furloughs start at Fort Drum this week, as part of the federal budget cuts known as sequestration. Non-uniformed workers face one mandatory unpaid day off each week for 11 weeks. About 1,800 workers – and many services on post – are affected.

Uniformed members of the military are exempt from the furloughs, but that doesn't mean they won't be affected by them.

The regional airports in Ithaca and Binghamton would both lose their air traffic controllers if federal budget cuts known as sequestration take full effect. The first round of closures begins April 7.

Unlike many other local governments in New York state, Onondaga County has weathered the recent fiscal crisis, and come out on firm financial footing. In her State of the County address Tuesday night, County Executive Joanie Mahoney credits recent budget cutting tactics for the difference.

Durrie Lawrence / WRVO

Most central New Yorkers won't notice the impact of federal budget cuts caused by sequestration right away, according to Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei. But Maffei, who was in Syracuse today to tout the bipartisan passage of the Violence Against Women Act, says everyone will feel it eventually.

U.S. Army

The federal government's across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester are set to kick in Friday, barring an agreement between Congress and the president. That means a big impact for defense spending, including for Fort Drum, an important regional economic driver.  

With the federal budget sequestration deadline only days away, Syracuse-area Cong. Dan Maffei opened the phone lines for a telephone town hall meeting Tuesday night.  Callers were concerned about the how these funding cuts will impact central New York if sequestration goes into effect March 1.

Courtesy Greater Syracuse Tenants Network

The automatic federal budget cuts that are slated to go into effect in March would have a big impact on programs that help the poor and elderly in Syracuse.  Advocates for these programs are urging Congress to do something to prevent the across-the-board spending cuts knows as sequestration.

Schumer may play key role in Hagel nomination

Jan 14, 2013

New York's Senator Charles Schumer is emerging as a key player in the controversial nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the Obama administration's next defense secretary.

There is a deadline looming in Washington, D.C. that many politicians are worried could have an effect on the economy -- including some local politicians who are worried it might hurt upstate New York in particular.