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COLUMBIA CHAMBER COMMUNITY LISTENING SESSION IMPACTS SPEA DECISION

Fort Jackson Escapes Major Personnel Cuts After Public Support During Community Listening Session

COLUMBIA, S.C. – On February 26, 2015 the Columbia Chamber hosted a community listening session providing an opportunity for the citizens of the Midlands to stand up on behalf of our soldiers at Fort Jackson. Together we showed the United States Army Assessment team how valuable Fort Jackson is to the United States Army, the Department of Defense and our local community.

The Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA) decision states Fort Jackson will experience 180 uniform cuts. Announcements regarding contracting cuts will be made in September.

“The Columbia Chamber has worked tirelessly to ensure the protection of the people and mission of Fort Jackson as well as the surrounding military bases as SPEA continues to be a nation-wide issue. Our community has the distinct honor of being the first stop for thousands of U.S. Army trainees each year and we take this responsibility seriously,” says Carl Blackstone, president and CEO of the Columbia Chamber. “We recognize that the U.S. Army has tough decisions to make and that cuts are inevitable, however we are grateful that through the hard work and support of the people of the greater Columbia region and the members of the Columbia Chamber, Fort Jackson will endure minimal impact over the next several months. We are honored to have Fort Jackson call Columbia home and look forward to growing our partnership in the years ahead.”

Other bases also examined by the Assessment Team will experience cuts up to 4,000 soldiers. While the Army is in the midst of hard economic times, the drastic difference between the cuts at Fort Jackson and cuts at other bases demonstrates the importance of the fort as the economic backbone to our region and a major resource for the U.S. Army.

About the Columbia Chamber

The Columbia Chamber is a private, non-profit, partner-driven organization comprised of 1,500 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals in Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry and Richland counties. The Columbia Chamber serves as the voice of its partners and the business community at large on matters of economic, educational, social, cultural and political concern, as well as supports and promotes the success of its partners through networking, professional development, advocacy and leadership. The organization has represented the interests of the local business community since 1902.

To become a partner or to learn more about the Columbia Chamber, as well as its events, programs and initiatives, visit www.ColumbiaChamber.com.

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