Fort Benning covers approximately 182,000 acres of river valley and rolling terrain in western Georgia and eastern Alabama, adjacent to the city of Columbus, about 100 miles south of Atlanta and 90 miles east of Montgomery, Alabama.
The Army is undergoing a significant transformation including the Base Realignment and Closure, Army Modular Force activities, The Global War on Terrorism, and Global Defense Posture Realignment. Fort Benning's mission continues to grow as a result of these activities, bringing new military employees, dependents, contractors and civilian jobs.
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), Army Modular Force, the Global War on Terrorism and Global Defense Posture Realignment are rapidly transforming the military missions of installations around the country, increasing the end strength of the U.S. Army and building more nimble units of action in the form of brigade combat teams. As a result of these activities, Fort Benning will gain approximately 5,000 active military personnel and nearly 2,000 new civilian employees by 2012. Including additional defense contractors and families, growth in the region as a result of Fort Benning's transformation will have a direct impact of nearly 30,000 people. In 2008, Fort Benning trained over 115,000 Soldiers. When the Armor Center and School relocates from Fort Knox to Fort Benning beginning in October 2009, the post will train an additional 30,000 Soldiers every year.
As military installations expand, they bring new people and economic activity to an area. The communities then build houses, schools and infrastructure, and create new jobs to support soldiers, installation workers, and their families. More people begin to live and work in proximity to the noise and safety risks generated by military installations. The presence of civilian uses can in turn place pressure on installations to modify their operations, possibly compromising the overall military mission.
Preparation for this growth on the installation and in the surrounding areas has been an ongoing process beginning in December of 2005 with the formal report of the BRAC Commission. Two initiatives have been completed thus far to assist neighboring communities during this transition: the first was the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS), a cooperative land use planning effort between Fort Benning and the surrounding communities promoting community and economic growth that supports military training and operational missions; and the second was the Regional Growth Management Plan (RGMP), which was created to enable local communities and service providers to coordinate the foundational steps necessary to absorb significant population and economic growth over the next five years.
The documents mentioned above, along with a concerted regional partnership as well as current planning initiatives, will help to assist the City of Columbus as it prepares for the impact of the BRAC process.
Government Annex Building
420 10th Street
Columbus, Georgia 31902
Phone: (706) 653-4421
Fax: (706) 653-4534
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