UPDATE: Marines Say Cuts To Lejeune Not Official

An official at Marine Corps Headquarters in Virginia tells WITN that projected cuts to the number of troops stationed aboard Camp Lejeune has not been decided.

"There is a lot of rumor and conjecture right now about cutbacks. However, nothing has been officially decided," said Lieutenant Colonel Chris Hughes to WITN's Carly Swain Tuesday morning. "The Corps has been forthright about inevitable cut backs, but they will balance those cuts with allowing Marines to finish their tours of duty."

LtCol. Hughes was responding to a report that some battalions at Camp Lejeune would be cut. The Jacksonville Daily News reported the base in Jacksonville will lose 7,000 troops between 2012 and 2016.

"Once the bottle stops spinning, we'll likely be cut down to 180,000, [which is] more than before wartime," Hughes said.

Hughes had this advice for Camp Lejeune Marines: "There's plenty of speculation. Cuts will come, but listen to your command. Listen for General Amos for direction and information."

Previous Story:
Camp Lejeune will lose thousands of marines in a Marine Corps-wide restructuring.

The Jacksonville Daily News reports the base is projected to lose 7,000 troops between 2012 and 2016.

The paper says all three battalions from the 9th Marine Regiment, one artillery battalion, and the 2nd maintenance and 2nd supply battalions will be deactivated. The 9th Marine Regiment was re-activated in 2007 to increase military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Marine Corps is downsizing from 202,000 troops to 186,000 nationwide.

Cutting troops from Camp Lejeune is a reversal of fortunes for Jacksonville, who for the past few years, has been rapidly developing for an influx of marines.

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  • by Satchmo Location: Jacksonville NC on Jan 19, 2012 at 07:28 AM
    7000? No no that number needs to read 17,000. When DOD and the Corps sent 1000's of people into this area it has caused a massive choas. The traffic on and off the base cannot be controlled by law enforcement, and that is only a touch on the problems this area faces, wait until IIMEF returns, the patients will run the asylum to the fullest. Make that 20,000 and dependents too.
  • by Retired Marine Location: Lejeune on Jan 15, 2012 at 09:48 AM
    @Patriot, are you kidding? There are Marines on Lejeune that have deployed 4-5 times on a 4 year contract. You are truly misinformed. Or one of the slackers that didn't deploy and are mad about it.
  • by Patriot Location: Jacksonville on Nov 29, 2011 at 11:33 AM
    Cuts to Lejeune are long overdue. There are hundreds if not thousands of Marines currently doing nothing but hanging out at PX, Gyms and rec centers on Lejeune because there is nothing for them to do.
  • by Five more years baby Location: Jacksonville on Nov 22, 2011 at 10:22 AM
    Chop, chop, chop. Get those budget cuts moving.
  • by Ben Location: Kinston on Nov 22, 2011 at 09:14 AM
    Not once have you critics of my posting offered a viable solution to the nation's debt problems. Instead you want to defend serious cuts in military spending when this country is in more danger than it has been in since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.(Iran's nuclear program, rogue Arab and African states, and militant Islamist who call the U.S. "The Great Satan" and have vowed to destroy us and an open border that is a national disgrace and seriously damages our security). If you want to cut something, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Welare programs must be changed, especially Welfare. This country is creating generation after generation of citizens who have no further aspirations other than to live off the government dole. In addition to generous welfare benefits, qualifying families also recieve $123.00 per month per child in food stamps (limit of $699.00 per family per month). There's also WIC, free school lunches, subsidized housing and utilities and many other give-away programs. Also, innstead of paying lip service to the problem and doing absolutely nothing to improve border security, let's get serious about controling illegal immigrants who are costing this country and our states billions of dollars a year. Keep the marines and station them on our southern border with Mexico.
    • reply
      by saywha? on Nov 22, 2011 at 12:06 PM in reply to Ben
      Wow, Ben, how do you sleep at night knowing all those boogeymen are out to get you? You are Chicken Little personified. Nobody here critiquing your mindless claims thinks that the military is the only area of gov't that needs to be reduced.......we simply agree that it isn't a sacred cow and needs to be cut as well, esp. as it represents such a large portion of our spending at a time when we are seeing combat troop numbers being drawn down. Take a look at Huntsman's article today on CNN.com about revamping the US military.......Do a little research and take a look at how much $ is spent on welfare, WIC, school lunches, etc., and compare that to the $ spent on the military. They literally cost pennies to each dollar spent on defense, yet to you they are the great burden on our country. Get real.
  • by Tim Location: Jacksonville on Nov 22, 2011 at 08:28 AM
    I have a question. Where is the Military Growth Task force weighing in on this subject. The task force soaked up tons of tax money to examine how the increase in personnel in the Jacksonville/Onslow County area would impact the area, but what is there function now? Will it change its name to the Military Reduction Task Force and continue reeling in the tax dollars without providing much benefit, as has been the case thus far?
  • by B on Nov 22, 2011 at 07:20 AM
    To Ben-- Consider the following questions: (1) Why does the military need more than 50 bands? (2) Why are there more generals today than there was during the Vietnam War, even though the size of the military is MUCH smaller? (3) What happened to the proposal introduced by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (first appointed by George Bush) to eliminate the Joint Forces Command? (4) Why does the Army, Navy and Air Force each require their own JAGs when they all are covered by the same Uniform Code of Military Justice? Considerable savings could be realized by reducing, consolidating, or in the case of the Joint Forces Command, eliminating, without weakening our defense posture. Many of the very same people who groan the loudest about the size of government (which includes the Department of Defense) and excessive spending are now complaining about efforts to reduce cost. Seriously, and I mean seriously, if you oppose cuts in the Defense budget as well as in entitlements, including Social Security and Medicare, and also oppose raising taxes on the extremely wealthy or on corporations, how are we going to get out of this mess?
  • by saywha? Location: Washington on Nov 22, 2011 at 05:56 AM
    Well, Ben and Bloke, how exactly do you expect the gov't budget deficit to be reduced without some portion of military spending being reduced? Seriously, it is at least 20% of the Federal Budget. Unfortunately for areas whose economies are heavily dependent on military spending, cuts in the defense dept. budget is going to have a negative effect. Pretty simple equation to understand: when troop numbers and military spending go up, they benefit.....when the opposite takes place, they suffer, and with the US finally pulling out of Iraq and starting a drawdown in Afghanistan the current troop levels simply aren't needed. As for Ben's claims that we are going to be a second rate military, I find that comment both incredibly insulting to the men and women in uniform and factually ridiculous.......the US is responsible for 40% of the world's military spending (6 times larger than China's spending) so I don't think that spending reductions well below 10% are going to lessen our military's capabilities.
    • reply
      by Dawg on Nov 22, 2011 at 07:29 AM in reply to saywha?
      They need to start by cutting out ALL foreign aid. They keep talking about cutting from the people here at home, but not one mention of cutting foreign aid. Then they need to go after the pork barrel spending. Cut the staff to Congress and Senate. If they really want to do something to help the defense budget, make it so they don't have to spend the rest of their budget at the end of the fiscal year to get the same money next year. Make it so they get rewarded for returning some. You would be amazed at some of the junk they buy just to spend the money so they get money next year.
      • reply
        by taxman on Nov 22, 2011 at 08:41 AM in reply to Dawg
        By reducing the military presence in foreign countries the US is reducing foreign aid. The vast majority of deployments are not involved in active military roles and as such are not necessary. Their presence simply costs the American taxpayer huge amounts of money for housing,food,medical and other services. All this money goes directly to the host countries except what the American soldier and family may save. Allow thos countries to provide their own national defense with their own money.
    • reply
      by Bloke on Nov 22, 2011 at 09:08 AM in reply to saywha?
      I will tell you a great way and it still comes from the defense budget. They should close all of these outlying bases in 3rd world countries. Not only would it reduce the budget, but it would pump all of those soldiers incomes back into our economy instead of other countries. Would that work for you?
      • reply
        by saywha? on Nov 22, 2011 at 11:59 AM in reply to Bloke
        Hey, that's a start. Shut down most of the bases in W. Europe as well. Now, your point about those soldiers based overseas taking their incomes and spending them here in the states instead is well meaning but the reality is that there is going to be a force reduction, period.
  • by Ben Location: Kinston on Nov 22, 2011 at 05:14 AM
    Just more evidence of Obama's and his cabal's plan to weaken America. With a fifteen trillion dollar national debt and nine percent unemployment we're on our way to becoming a second rate economy and it looks as though a second rate military is also on the horizon. Remember, on election night Obama promised, "We are going to fundamentally change this country". Inspite of breaking dozens of others, this is one promise he intends to keep.
    • reply
      by and... on Nov 22, 2011 at 05:36 AM in reply to Ben
      I know lets go elect another president like george DuBYa and start another couple of wars then we could get everyone employed.
    • reply
      by Bob on Nov 22, 2011 at 05:58 AM in reply to Ben
      As you may recall when Obama became President the Marines and Army increased their force levels by 8% to be able to fight nore effectively in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the return of the troops from Iraq the President is reducing the Marines by 8%. So the Marine Corps will actually be the same size as during the Bush presidency. I do not see this as weakening America.
      • reply
        by uh on Nov 22, 2011 at 08:50 AM in reply to Bob
        Bob is correct, this is not what it looks like.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 22, 2011 at 08:56 AM in reply to Ben
      Republicans wanted budget cuts. They're just being giving what they wanted, budget cuts.
  • by Bloke Location: New Bern on Nov 22, 2011 at 04:24 AM
    Between this and the defense budget about to take a 4 trillion dollar hit, the businesses here in ENC are about to take a major blow. Where is the jobs president now?
    • reply
      by What?! on Nov 22, 2011 at 05:19 AM in reply to Bloke
      Huh? If anything the unemployed should be grateful that some jobs may be opening up from the BRAC restructuring. The school system should be equally glad as well- aren't Onslow county schools overcrowded?
      • reply
        by Bloke on Nov 22, 2011 at 05:49 AM in reply to What?!
        So you mean to tell me that you think 7000 military personel's checks leaving the area is a good thing? There will be alot more unemployment when the local businesses have to lay off to make up for the loss of income. Some may even re-locate.

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