Alamogordo, NM (June 26, 2013) – Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce responded to the announcement that White Sands Missile Range will face troop reductions by 2019.

“The mission at White Sands has not changed, and regardless of troop presence, WSMR will continue to play a vital role in national defense,” said Pearce.  “White Sands Missile Range is more important today than ever.  Therefore, as a community we must continue to work together to ensure White Sands has the staff, support, and supplies needed to carry out its mission.  I am confident that White Sands will remain a central and thriving part of the local community and economy.”

“I will also continue to work closely with my friend Congressman O’Rourke to protect the future of Ft. Bliss, and its vital role in the community and economy of Southern New Mexico,” Pearce continued.  “Most importantly, I wish to thank all those who have served—and continue to serve—at White Sands, Ft. Bliss, Holloman, and our other military instillations throughout New Mexico and around the world.  All Americans owe you a debt of gratitude for your sacrifice and dedication, and it is an honor to have you as part of our community.”

Yesterday, the Army announced its plan to reduce the active duty force from 570,000 soldiers to 490,000 soldiers by 2019.  The force reduction plan results the inactivation of the 2nd Engineering Battalion at WSMR, which will result in a decrease of 535 soldiers at the base.  Despite the loss of troops, early assessments of the decision to significantly reduce active troops at WSMR will not impact its current roll and will potentially result in an expanding the mission.  Ft. Bliss is expected to see a decrease of 750 soldiers as part of the reduction.