Moran: Potential Ft. Riley Cuts Major Economic Concern

(WIBW) - The future of Fort Riley is at stake in a Monday listening session the Army is hosting in Junction City.

Fort Riley in one of 30 installations facing possible reductions as the Army looks to reduce personnel by up to 70,000. Fort Riley could lose as many as 16,000 soldiers and civilian personnel. If the worst-case scenario happens, one report estimates more than 40,000 people could leave the area.

In an interview Thursday, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, called this the most important economic issue facing the state right now.

Moran says Fort Riley has a major advantage in that is it surrounded by a lot of open spaces. He says most other military installations do not offer such room for growth and necessary activities.

However, he said the Army needs to hear how much the post means to the community.

"It is certainly something the Army has to do on a checklist of things as they look at bases and facilities across the country for potential changes and, so, in some ways, it's a formality," Moran said. "But I sure think it's important for us to demonstrate and not give the Army any opportunity to say that the folks in Kansas don't care about Fort Riley and the folks that serve there."

The listening session is open to the public and begins at 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Geary County Convention Center in Junction City.