In early March, I provided information to you about the pending changes and reduced services on Fort Bragg as a result of the fiscal uncertainty of sequestration effects.  While the Department of Defense is experiencing a $46 billion budget shortfall, here at Fort Bragg we expect a $400 million annual impact to our local economy; a $210 million increase since our March forecast.

Our reduced operating budget for the remainder of this year forces many very tough decisions; notably I must cancel our annual Fort Bragg 4th of July celebration. With overtime pay costs of $120,000, the 4th of July celebration is unsupportable under these fiscal realities. With a pending civilian workforce furlough and a 34 percent operational budget cut, we’re prioritizing our services to ensure our readiness and care of servicemembers, civilians and Families.

We have compiled a list of surrounding community events that will take place on and around July 4th, so you know what local activities are available in lieu of our Fort Bragg celebration. Look for those community events to be posted, and updated as changes occur, on our Fort Bragg Facebook page and the Paraglide.

On a positive note, Installation Management Command, who manages all Army installations, received a Chief of Staff of the Army-directed Department of the Army-level funding increase that will meet most of our essential garrison services. We are reviewing all priority programs and services at Fort Bragg to ensure we optimize these funds, once received, to reduce the sequestration impact on the installation.

In addition, members of the community are in dialogue with the Airborne and Special Operations Museum’s private foundation to determine options to accept outside donations to help restore normal operating hours to the museum.

We expect to have greater fidelity on these important issues in the near future, and will update the community accordingly.

We continue to adjust our programs and services based upon priorities and budget constraints. Some recent changes include:

Cancellation of weekend controlled burn operations by forestry management.
  Closure of unprofitable Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities; Habanero’s Grill, Runway Bowling Lanes, the woodworking shop, and beginning April 27, Cleland Ice Rink.
  Reduced, limited visibility lighting at all athletic fields, except during PT hours (6 to 8 a.m.) at the following locations; Ritz-Epps fields 1-4, Pope fields 1 and 2; Bowley field; Pope Track, and Hedrick and Towle stadiums.
  Cancellation of mowing and landscaping contracts, except to preserve safe airfield conditions.
  Cancellation of cable TV contracts in FMWR fitness centers.
  Cessation of shuttle service from Linden Oaks to Main Post.

While we expect to face additional tough fiscal decisions in the weeks ahead, we will continue to train our force to sustain our individual and unit readiness to meet assigned and contingency missions, while ensuring sustained care of servicemembers, Families, and civilians. We will continue to balance fiscal constraints with our non-negotiable commitment to mission readiness. We appreciate the continued community support, patience, and willingness to extend a helping hand to all those serving our nation. Together, we’ll lead our way to mission success and the sustained readiness of our servicemembers, families and civilians.

Impacts and closures affecting Fort Bragg

SERVICE CHANGE EFFECTIVE DATE 4th of July celebration Cancelled July 4 Military Life Consultants MLCs available to assist Department of Army civilians who may be furloughed March 5 Financial Training Classes open for Department of Army Civilians expected to be furloughed March 11 Athletic Field Lighting No lights except select fields for morning PT, 6 to 8 a.m. March 15 Prescribed Burning Program No burning operations beyond work day and on weekends March 15 ASOM Reduced days open to Friday, Saturday and Sunday only April 1 Office Custodial services Eliminated except for latrines dominated by public use April 1 Ground maintenance Discontinue all mowing/landscaping except at airfields April 1 Habanero Mexican Grill Closed due to loss in revenue April 1 Runway Lanes Closed due to loss in revenue April 1 Cable TV at fitness centers Discontinue cable TV service in order to reduce cable bill April 1 Religious Support Operations Musicians no longer paid by contract; instead performed by volunteers April 1 Wood Shop Closed due to lack of customers April 5 DoDEA Crossing Guards Soldiers no longer performing this service April 8 Cleland Ice Skating Rink Closed from April 27 to Sept. 15 April 27 Swimming Pool fees Fees charged for recreational use; no fee for lap swimming May 24 Elevators Reduced service in buildings four stories and below with no handicapped June 1 ID Card facilities Upon expiration of contract, 82nd Sustainment will assume mission July 2 ASOM Reduced maintenance and repairs Sept. 30 Custodial Services at Wilson Park Contract will not be renewed Oct. 1 Laundry cleaning services Discontinued Jan. 1 Local household moves Reduced to command directed only Jan. 1 Work order response for sustainment Ceased sustainment activities except for life, health safety Feb. 1 Vehicle maintenance To FMC plus safety standard instead of TM 10/20 March 1 Supplies Purchase mission critical only March 1 ACS classes No classes requiring staff to collect overtime or comp times March 1 Kitty Hawk and 2nd BCT DFAC Closed March 4 Demand Maintenance Orders Reduced service for Priority 2 and 3 and eliminate preventive maintenance March 11 Leased washer/dryers Reducing numbers of washer/dryers available to save 30 percent of costs On-going Soldier Performance Enhancing Programs Instructors reassigned but equipment available for unit use April 2 NTVs Reduced under-utilized vehicles On-going Perimeter fence Contract to repair will not be renewed Sept. 28 POTENTIAL MEDICAL IMPACTS OF FURLOUGH Emergency Department Longer wait times, patients rescheduled to primary clinics TBD Community-Based Medical Homes (Hope Mills and Fayetteville) Closed on Fridays TBD Joel, Clark, Robinson, Knox St. PC Clinics Consolidated to WAMC Family Medicine Clinic on Fridays TBD All Outlying Clinic Embedded Services Closed Fridays; includes Optometry, Pharmacy, Lab TBD All Pharmacy Locations Reduced hours and extended wait times TBD EFMP Screening Delayed appointments TBD All Clinics Reduced capacity and extended delays in appointments TBD Inpatient Bed Capacity Reduced availability TBD Transports by Ambulance Service Reduced capacity TBD Elective Surgery Delays TBD