Third District Louisiana Congressman Charles Boustany along with his fellow Louisiana House members have signed a letter to John McHugh, Secretary of the Army, asking that the Army heavily consider all the major economic impacts that Fort Polk has on the state of Louisiana.

The letter reminds the Secretary that Fort Polk has a major impact on local communities, and Fort Polk has a record of low overhead.  He and his colleagues are hoping that the Secretary seriously weighs these factors as they are looking at making their decision about downsizing goals that they are looking to meet by the year 2020.

Boustany points out that Fort Polk is Louisiana's biggest non-state government employer.

He says the Army has pledged to look at all factors, including socioeconomic issues, when deciding on where downsizing will happen.  They are considering making cuts to the Brigade Combat Team at Fort Polk.

Boustany says that in the letter they have asked the Army to consider taking energy and overhead costs into consideration before making their decision.

The letter in part states,

“…the State has consistently invested significant funds to do its fair share in making Fort Polk a world-class facility. In the same spirit, Fort Polk is the only Army installation with a successful and ongoing land acquisition program. It is implausible for Fort Polk to lose soldiers at the same time that our citizens are cooperating with the Army to sell their land so that the base may expand.”

Boustany says,

“As our state’s largest non-state government employer, the success of Fort Polk is tied to the economic success of Southwest, Central, and North Louisiana. As the Army begins to make decisions about troop level reductions over the next decade, we must keep in mind the tremendous positive impact Fort Polk contributes to the surrounding areas without forgetting the low cost of energy and overhead to operate in our state. Already, a grassroots effort by the citizens of Louisiana is underway to convey the importance of this facility to Army leadership. My colleagues and I will do everything in our power to protect this installation from devastating troop reductions.”