The U.S. Army has laid out its worst-case scenario for cutting back its forces globally and in Alaska by the year 2020.
Force reductions have been recommended before with the drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan, but a supplemental report to the Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment calls for the cuts to go deeper.
An assessment of both the environmental and socioeconomic implications of major reductions to the Army are detailed in a nearly 1,000-page report. Some 30 locations are considered, including Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks and Anchorage's Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The report says nearly all will be affected in some way.
The cuts may total as much as 70 percent of the Army's active component and 30 percent of its civilian workforce. The report says the reductions will be necessary to operate on a reduced budget, including the potential for sequestration-level cuts in 2016.
“If the Army were required to draw down to the levels that are communicated in this report, there's no doubt it would be significant,” said U.S. Army Alaska spokesperson Lt. Col. Alan Brown.
The Army is accepting public comments on the proposed cuts until Aug. 25, with local listening sessions are planned for some time after that date. The Army says feedback will be used in part of the decision-making process.