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Local leaders ask public to voice concerns over possible Ft. Campbell cuts

CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Local leaders urged the public to help protect Fort Campbell from looming personnel reductions.

"We are in for the next 14 days in the fight of our lives, and we need to make sure we focus on Fort Campbell," said state Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville.

City, county, and state officials held a news conference Monday morning to raise awareness about an online petition that addresses projected cuts to Fort Campbell. They said they hope this movement spurs other communities to protect their installations.

"We want to show people that Clarksville, Montgomery County believes in Fort Campbell, realizes the importance of men and women who serve there", said Kim McMillan, the mayor of Clarksville.

Fort Campbell could potentially lose half its workforce by 2020, according to the 2014 Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA). The report, released earlier this year, estimates Fort Campbell could lose 16,000 personnel if sequester cuts are restored in 2016. A worst-case scenario points to the loss of 15,209 active duty troops and 791 civilians.

The reduction would result in the loss of hundreds of other jobs related to the military. The study indicated the scenario could mean a drop in 40,000 people in surrounding communities. Officials emphasized these cuts could impact local school districts and businesses.

That's why officials pushed people to the internet. By visiting the Montgomery County or City of Clarksville website, individuals can send a pre-written letter to leaders in Washington, DC about their concerns about the restructuring.

"As a citizen of the Clarksville-Montgomery County community, I ask that the Department of the Army make no further cuts at Fort Campbell," the letter reads.

Leaders also suggested people send their own letters or call their representatives.

Written letters can be sent to:

U.S. Army Environmental Command

ATTN: SPEA Public Comments

2450 Connell Road (Building 2264)

Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-7664

Individuals can also leave letters at the offices of the Clarksville mayor or Montgomery County mayor.

Fort Campbell officials did not return phone calls Monday afternoon.

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