Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pinon Canyon: ‘No plans, no money’

Ranchers who have fought the Army's controversial plan to expand the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site are getting help from unexpected directions — the federal budget deficit and a change in Army training doctrine. "There are no plans and no money to expand Pinon Canyon," Brig. Gen. James Doty, the acting senior commander at Fort Carson, told The Pueblo Chieftain editorial board Wednesday. "And that appears to be the situation for the foreseeable future. Certainly for the next few years." Doty acknowledged that he can't make any formal guarantees about the Army's training needs for the future, but said the practical reality is there isn't money in the Army's budget. Doty told the editorial board Wednesday that senior Army commanders have determined that no "live fire" exercises involving Army units of a battalion or larger will be done anywhere in the U.S. except at Fort Irwin, Calif., and Fort Polk, La. "That eliminates some of the pressure we've been under to expand Pinon Canyon," Doty said. Although the Army still intends to do brigade-sized maneuvers at Pinon Canyon, the live-fire components will be company-sized or smaller, the general said...more

I guess the 30 million acres owned by the Defense Dept. turned out to be enough after all. Funny how their "needs" change when there is no more money. Unfortunately, when the money comes back, so will the "need".

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