Thousands More Soldiers Headed to Fort Stewart

FORT STEWART, GA--The Army will move thousands more soldiers to Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield in the next few years. The announcement came from the Pentagon Wednesday. They'll move six brigades worldwide, one of them to the Third Infantry and Fort Stewart.  That means approximately 3,900 soldiers.

"A combat brigade team and its support units will be moved here in 2010," announced Col. Todd Buchs, Fort Stewart's Garrison Commander.

Buchs stated the army looked at the training facilities at bases nationwide and how much additional personnel each could handle. Fort Stewart is already considered the most effective power-projection platform in the country to handle deployments. Buchs noted the Army had already designated billions of dollars in construction costs for additional barracks, offices, and motor pools.

An increase in soldiers also further insulates Fort Stewart from the Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, process.

On the other side of Fort Stewart's gates, the announcement was welcomed news to Hinesville's leaders like Mayor Tom Ratcliffe, who said the city was already in the midst of expansion of infrastructure to support other growth.

"We are on the verge of putting online a new waste water treatment plant to handle our present and future expansion," the mayor explained.

While the two year timetable may sound distant to some, it certainly isn't to those who must gather building blueprints, permits, and contractors to get everything built.

Reported by Dal Cannady,