The Armor division and the Infantry Division usually fight together but have always trained separately. Now they will train together as the base realignment will put the two schools together on Fort Benning.
This will bring a flood of newcomers to the Fort Benning and the Columbus GA area as Soldiers and their families move to the region. The armor school is expected to bring about 33,000 new residents and 11,000 new jobs to the region divided evenly between soldiers and civilian employees.
They will bring with them about 8,000 spouses and nearly 14,000 children.
“For the state, this is huge. It increases our military presence almost beyond expectations,” said retired Army Brig. Gen. Phil Browning, executive director of the Military Affairs Coordinating Committee.
“This is one of the priority BRAC moves for all of the Army,” Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski, commander of Fort Benning and the infantry school here, told committee members.
Over the next 5 years investment in Fort Benning has been reported as high as 2.9 billion dollars with a “b”.
Two other expansions in the area are expected with the new KIA automaker investing $1.2 million dollars and bringing 3,000 new employees to nearby West Point. Columbus GA based AFLAC will add 2000 jobs with a $100 million dollar facility expansion.
These expansions do not take into account the affiliates businesses expected to relocate and expand in the region to supply these main businesses. The expansions will also cause a ripple effect to all the businesses in the area. Good news for Columbus GA and Phenix City AL.
Daniels who has been studying the impact at CSU said it is not unreasonable to project the impact for the region will be in the tens of billions of dollars.
For Muscogee Co. it is safe to say quite a strain will be put on the School system here. Our leaders will have to work diligently to stay ahead of the curve in preparing for the influx by preparing our infrastructure to handle the influx.
For the army the preparations are enormous but will be spread over about 3 years. Construction on Fort Benning cannot begin until the environmental studies have been completed. We are probably looking at mid-2007 before construction begins.
The update on this is that their were not nearly the number of permanent new residents that were expected but none the less the impact has helped the Columbus Ga/Phenix City/ Fort Benning area have a stronger market and more vibrant economy than most areas of the country!
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