Mayors: Fort Bragg Cuts Could Have Positive Results

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Officials in cities in the vicinity of Fort Bragg feel the elimination of a brigade at the Army post will be offset with gains in other areas.

The Fayetteville Observer reported that Mayor Tony Chavonne said the result could be a positive for the city. Spring Lake Mayor Chris Rey said the news emphasizes the need to bring other kinds of jobs to the area to help offset the defense cutbacks.

The Army announced Tuesday that it will eliminate at least 12 combat brigades, relocate thousands of soldiers and cancel $400 million in construction projects as the first wave of federal budget cuts takes aim at military communities around the country.

Fort Bragg is slated to lose the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team by 2017.

The Army medical center at Fort Bragg is cutting services and telling workers to take unpaid time off as a result of federal budget cuts ripple through the Defense Department.

Womack Army Medical Center and its clinics and pharmacies serve more than 200,000 Fort Bragg soldiers, airmen, their families and retired military veterans. The post says the hospital's main outpatient pharmacy will close Sundays beginning July 14, and two other pharmacies will close Saturdays or cut open hours beginning next month.

Outlying primary care clinics will be shut down on Fridays beginning the week of July 8 and lasting through the month of September.

Congress and President Barack Obama agreed to $1.2 trillion in automatic reductions to defense and domestic programs in a package called sequester.

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