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The Issue: BRAC transition projects on post remain on pace for September completion.
Our Opinion: Much remains to be done outside the gates.
During a recent public appearance at Radcliff’s Colvin Community Center, Col. Eric Schwartz, Fort Knox garrison commander, reported to the audience assembled that Base Realignment and Closure initiative progress at Fort Knox is on pace to meet its completion deadline. As mandated by Congressional Act, all transition activity pertaining to the last round of BRAC must be completed by September.
Since BRAC decisions were made public back in 2005, an enormous amount of work has taken place inside the gates at Fort Knox. In fact, hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested to transform the post from its former mission as the Army’s Armor Center and School to its new role of serving as central command for all the military branch’s human resources, accessions, cadet and recruiting missions. During his address, Schwartz called the $814 million in construction projects on post a “super economic stimulus.” We couldn’t agree more.
Like any branch of our armed forces, when the Army is given a mission, a deadline to complete it and the resources necessary to accomplish that mission, it does so. BRAC has been no exception.
The list of completed and soon-to-be finalized projects is a long and impressive one. From improvement and expansion of roadways entering and running through the post to construction of on-post housing; from building an entertainment amphitheater and recreational sports complex to work taking place on a new warrior transition complex; from construction of barracks for the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, to the 883,000-square-foot Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude Complex Human Resources Center of Excellence; BRAC has brought to Fort Knox transitions that will pay dividends for the Army for many years to come.
These dividends extend into and will benefit Hardin County and the central Kentucky region into the future as well.
But as the dust settles on completed projects on post this coming September, BRAC-related work will not fully be compete. There remains much to be done outside the gates to position the community and area to catch up with the swelling growth that continues to enter the area with BRAC.
Gov. Steve Beshear and the state House and Senate have pledged $151 million in continued financial support for the projects prioritized by members of the Governor’s BRAC Task Force. Our elected officials’ collective understanding of the importance of funding these projects to improve roadway, water and wastewater infrastructure is reassuring. With the same forward-leaning posture that has been taken in completing needed projects on post, these efforts off post must press ahead. While the Army prepares to cross the finish line, much remains undone outside the gates.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.