Washington –Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) led the effort to have the entire New York Congressional delegation send a letter today to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter highlighting the importance of Fort Drum and the need to protect this installation from drastic cuts to our nation’s military under sequestration and the Budget Control Act. The lawmakers wrote:

As members of the New York Congressional Delegation we wanted to highlight the importance of Fort Drum and New York’s commitment to the installation. Additionally, we wanted to bring to your attention a listening session which will occur on Friday, March 20, 2015. This listening session is an opportunity for the state of New York and the North Country community to raise awareness for the potential loss of 16,000 soldier and civilian jobs to Fort Drum due to the drastic cuts to our nation’s military under sequestration and the Budget Control Act.

Fort Drum is a critical and imperative installation to our U.S. armed forces because of its training facilities and capabilities, power projection, quality of life, expansibility and geographic distribution. The installation is home to the 10th Mountain Division, the army’s most-deployed division since 1990. The 10th Mountain Division is a light infantry division and is comprised of confident, resilient and competent warriors.

Fort Drum’s training capabilities also provide each branch of our armed forces, as well as the National Guard, with the necessary skills to rapidly deploy anywhere around the world, trained and combat-ready. In fact, over 25,000 reserve and National Guard soldiers train annually at Fort Drum. The installation is capable of meeting the needs to support not only our nation’s army and joint forces, but also international forces in order to maintain relations or coordination with our allied nations.

Fort Drum is unique in its ability to provide training for law enforcement agencies which include federal, New York state, county and local entities. New York State and its federal representatives are dedicated to sustaining Fort Drum, its service members and their families, by investing in the community and infrastructure in order to maintain a well-positioned and proven integral asset to our nation’s armed forces. Please feel free to contact our offices in regard to the importance of Fort Drum or the listening session.

For a digital copy of the letter to Secretary Carter, click here.

Congresswoman Stefanik was joined on this letter by Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Reps. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-9), Chris Collins (NY-27), Joseph Crowley (NY-14), Eliot L. Engel (NY-16), Chris Gibson (NY-19), Richard Hanna (NY-22), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Steve Israel (NY-3), John Katko (NY-24), Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8), Peter King (NY-2), Nita Lowey (NY-17), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Gregory Meeks (NY-5), Grace Meng (NY-6), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Charles B. Rangel (NY-13), Tom Reed (NY-23), Kathleen Rice (NY-4), José E. Serrano (NY-15), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Nydia Velázquez (NY-7) and Lee Zeldin (NY-1).