Community efforts have shown signs of progress in persuading military officials to select Fort Drum as the home of a newly created U.S. Army Corps headquarters.
The local post was one of 31 sites under consideration. Advocate Drum began soliciting signatures on a petition to encourage government authorities to choose the north country as the home of the fourth Army Corps headquarters.
Since then, the Army has narrowed the list to three sites — and Fort Drum is one of them. U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, issued a statement Tuesday concerning this latest development:
“I’m thrilled to announce Fort Drum is now one of the three final options to be designation as a fourth Army Corps headquarters. Fort Drum has proved itself as the best possible option for this designation as they will be able to rapidly expand to support the additional soldiers and their families in order to successfully advance our national defense strategy and increase our military readiness. I will continue to work with Fort Drum and advocate for them in this process.”
The command post will conduct operational planning, oversee rotational and permanently stationed tactical units and provide mission command of initial combat operations in the event of conflict. It also would provide increases in flexibility to support other theater combatant commands as needed.
It would include about 630 soldiers based in the United States, add a three star General and maintain a rotational Operational Command Post of about 200 soldiers in Europe. With three in existence, it would be the fourth corps headquarters in the Army.
U.S. Sens. Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., both support the idea of selecting Fort Drum as the site for this fourth Army Corps headquarters. They believe it will boost the local economy.
Time and again, community leaders, governmental entities and private organizations have demonstrated their ability to respond to the changing needs of Fort Drum, its troops and their families. We have been accommodating the post since the 10th Mountain Division was reactivated in the mid-1980s and based in Northern New York.
We have all the resources needed to ensure these additional soldiers will be taken care of when they arrive here. We commend Advocate Drum, our elected officials and everyone in the community for the strong showing of support so far. To sign the petition, visit www.advocatedrum.com.