Blunt and McCaskill criticize troop level reduction at Fort Leonard Wood

Missouri Sens. Roy Blunt (R) and Claire McCaskill (D) released a joint statement on Tuesday criticizing the Army’s decision to reduce the number of troops at Fort Leonard Wood.

Blunt and McCaskill both serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee and Blunt is on the defense appropriations and authorizing committees.

“Fort Leonard Wood is integral to the national security of the United States and the lifeblood of surrounding communities-which is why we have worked together in our roles on the Senate Armed Services Committee to ensure its continued operations,” Blunt and McCaskill said in their joint statement.

The Army plans to modestly reduce the number of troops at Fort Leonard Wood with the goal of completing the reduction by 2020.

“The announced reductions, while significant, could have been far worse, putting our military readiness in jeopardy,” the Senators said. “We’ll continue our strong bipartisan advocacy of Fort Leonard Wood in the future to ensure that its importance to our national security is acknowledged and protected.”

Blunt and McCaskill sent a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh in April expressing concerns surrounding potential plans to reconfigure the Army’s Brigade Combat Teams. The Senators stressed that the current co-stationing of U.S. Forces Command units with Fort Leonard Wood’s Training and Doctrine Command schools benefits the Army and increases the units’ combat effectiveness.