Permanent Deployment : Growth is Good


by Whitney LB Miller

ANCHORAGE -  In Alaska our military covers a vast amount of land and as the 2ND engineer brigade phases out in Anchorage - Fairbanks will see a small boost in their force numbers.

The army across the nation continues to  organize and restructure and many bases will experience growth. 

Ft. Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska is one of those bases and officials their say growth is a good thing. Less than four hundred miles north Ft. Wainwright will gain more than 300 soldiers by the year 2015. Bringing its total number of soldiers to just above 61 hundred.
"I think we are thrilled that we weren't one of the bases chosen to decrease so were getting the increase and that's a very positive thing its very exciting,"

Like Anchorage equipment is of major concern - with an increase of soldiers comes more moving parts. Since the announcement Kate Sitoff has been working to make sure the transition is smooth.
"Facility wise its adding a total of 9 companies and then all the additional equipment and organization, parking and motor pools. The change in the organization and the addition of these soldiers we have to find space for them, but we still have to maintain operations and readiness."

The addition of the soldiers to the installation also means a boost in the local economy and opportunities for civilians to make gains of their own.

"In the next year were looking to grow the police department by another 7 police officers and these are uniform civilian the fire dept."

Major brown says the military police unit that provided Ft. Wainwright with 12 officers will be casing their colors support the base cant go without.

"As a result were now hiring civilian police to pick up the mission of law enforcement here so its going to be more civilian police than it is military police."

All in all Brown says the addition of civilian patrols will be more beneficial for the base, now instead of having M-P's rotating every three years he will have a permanent staff.

"I have civilians who are a little bit more familiar with the terrain the area the community and how they conduct them selves it think it's a little bit more conducive for especially the community."

Weather its finding a place for the new equipment - a home for the new families or a good position for the new soldiers the staff at Ft. Wainwright says growth is good and everyone benefits.

Currently Ft. Wainwright contributes approximately 20 to 23 percent of the boroughs economy - with the addition of the three hundred plus soldiers that number should rise.

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