.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

BRAC moving forward with Fort Knox plans

-A A +A
By The Staff

In my last column we talked about how our community and Fort Knox partners had just returned from the Road Show trips to the incoming units and organizations. We continue to receive positive feedback from those units who want their civilian workforce to make the transfer to Fort Knox. While there has been much discussion about those federal civilian workers and the transitioning white collar workforce, we’ve been remiss in telling you about the Soldiers who will be moving here and the impact they will have.When it comes down to it, it is the soldiers who those civilians support. It is the soldiers and their “go to war” mission who are just as critical to Fort Knox’s future.So in this column I want to take the time to talk about the “war fighters” as the Army calls them who will be calling Fort Knox home and the “sounds of freedom” that we will continue to hear periodically. In fact, those sounds may very well become even more frequent.We all know the Armor Center and School is leaving for Fort Benning, GA and taking their soldiers and tanks. Because of that some folks in the community may have the idea that those familiar percussions echoing from the installation will cease. That is not true. In fact, while not as predictable, the frequency and intensity of the gunfire and explosions we’ve become so used to, could increase. It will just be different types of weapons and vehicles making the noise.I recently learned that for every Armor soldier in training that we’re losing, we’re gaining a soldier. Those Armor School trainees spend time in the training areas and ranges but also spend considerable time in the classroom. Whereas the soldiers coming to Fort Knox with new units will spend far more time in the training areas as they refine their combat skills and prepare for deployment. Whether it’s the Engineers using mine clearing line charges or the Infantry Brigade Combat team rehearsing maneuvers, the 100,000 acres of training areas will see increased usage. And that Infantry Brigade won’t train alone. There will be times when the other brigades from Fort Riley and Fort Stewart will join them here at Knox for training. Of course, our Brigade will also travel to Fort Riley and Fort Stewart to do the same. Furthermore, Fort Knox’s 62 live fire ranges, 17 complex firing ranges and 100,000 plus acres of training land aren’t just used by the Army. When you’re home to some of the finest ranges in the entire military, you attract all branches of the service and provide a venue for joint training exercises (Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marine). And while all branches of the service have been coming here to use Knox’s world class training areas and ranges for some time, the arrival of an Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) is sure to result in an increase of this kind of activity. And then there are the installation’s five urban training sites, featured on the History Channel a time or two, which are already booked 365 days a year. Did you know that Fort Knox has live fire air space up to 30,000 feet? All together, this may mean even more guns, more artillery and more aircraft training here.So in fact, those “sounds of freedom” could be more frequent for those communities directly adjacent to the fort. Whether it’s One Knox’s comprehensive regional growth management plan, county and city planning boards or an individual developer, this is something we all need to keep in mind as economic development and growth opportunities are considered. We are eternally grateful for our Soldiers and the sacrifices they make. So let’s be good neighbors and help keep those Sounds of Freedom ringing!Established by community leaders in 2006, One Knox serves as the central coordinating agency to help the region respond in the most positive way to growth opportunities associated with BRAC and Fort Knox. It represents the nine-county region of Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, Washington and Bullitt Counties. For more information about One Knox visit www.oneknox.com.