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Fort Drum slated to lose brigade

By Associated Press

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (AP) - The U.S. Army plans to eliminate one of three combat brigades at northern New York's Fort Drum.

The cuts announced Tuesday are part of a massive restructuring to slash the number of active duty combat brigades from 45 to 33 and cut the overall size of the Army by 80,000 over several years.

The cuts will take place over the next four years. A brigade is about 3,500 soldiers.

However, the commander of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum told the Syracuse Post Standard the plane would not have a significant impact on the base.

"Even with the loss of a brigade, I don't expect the overall reduction to have a significant impact here at Fort Drum as we expect additional maneuver battalions to be assigned to our remaining brigades," Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, the base commander, said to the Post Standard in a statement.

The combat brigade typically has at least 3,500 soldiers assigned to Fort Drum, but Townsend told the Post Standard that transfers into four remaining brigades will result in a net loss of 1,500 to 2,000 soldiers phased in by fiscal 2017.

Fort Drum, which sprawls over 107,000 acres near the Canadian border, is home to the 10th Mountain Division. It was expanded in 2005, even as 180 other installations around the country were closed. It was the only major New York post to survive closures that claimed Plattsburgh Air Force Base in 1995 and Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome in 1993.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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