July 13, 2015
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JBLM to lose 1,250 troops, far fewer than originally feared, as military downsizes



The Army will cut 1,250 active-duty positions at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) as part of nationwide force reductions of 40,000 soldiers. While JBLM will be one of only six bases to lose more than 1,000 soldiers, the reduction is still much less than had been expected. Officials had been preparing for reductions of as many as 11,000 active duty personnel.

"Given the potential scale of reductions ... today's news is as good as we could hope for," said Gov. Jay Inslee, saying resources will be made available to help service members impacted by the downsizing.

JBLM will also lose 61 jobs and a two-star general when the Western Regional Medical Command, currently based here, moves to Hawaii.

The announced cuts do not include civilian Department of Defense employees. Those reductions will be announced this fall.

After the cuts, JBLM will actually increase in its significance relative to the Army as a whole, according to The News Tribune. In 2017, the base will be home to 25,100 soldiers, or 5.6 percent of the active duty Army. That's a higher share than in 2001, when the base's 16,000 soldiers represented 3.4 percent of the Army.

The military and defense sector is an important part of the state's economy, contributing $13.1 billion dollars — or 3.2 percent of state GDP — in 2013. Look for more on how military bases strengthen the Washington economy in the upcoming summer edition of Washington Business magazine.



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