Landrieu Presses Army Chief of Staff to Send Additional Troops to Fort Polk

Urged the General to Keep Post’s hospital fully functional  

WASHINGTON —U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Military Mary, today met with the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Raymond T. Odierno, and pressed the General on when Fort Polk is receiving the additional troops that the Army announced last year would be relocating to Louisiana as part of the Army 2020 plan. The Senator also requested that Fort Polk’s Hospital, the 115th Combat Support Hospital, keep its current capabilities.  She stressed the importance and need to have a fully functioning hospital at the most rigorous training site in the country. Currently, more than 9,500 troops are stationed at Fort Polk. 

Thanks to $27 million Sen. Landrieu secured, the Army is in the process of acquiring additional 46,000 acres for the post to expand and accommodate additional troops.  Ft. Polk is currently the only Army installation that is growing in size.

“During my meeting with Gen. Odierno today, I underscored Fort Polk’s importance as a military asset for the country and an economic engine for the region and state. The tremendous work by and partnership between the community, local leaders, federal government and Fort Polk Progress allowed me to emphasize to the General the significant improvements to the quality of life for our soldiers and their families at Fort Polk. From our focus on improving education outcomes to our unconditional daily support of the soldiers and families that call Fort Polk home, the General relayed to me the community’s support and commitment the community has not gone unnoticed,” Sen. Landrieu said. “But for Fort Polk to remain a viable asset for the country and region, the Army must continue investing in the post. That includes keeping the 115th Combat Support Hospital’s current capabilities and bringing more troops that the surrounding communities have invested in and prepared to welcome.” 

Sen. Landrieu thanked Gen. Odierno for sending an Army representative during the March 27 Fort Polk Progress Education Symposium. The surrounding community and federal government have made significant financial investments and built community support to improve its education system. The local communities issued bonds to finance the construction of South Polk Elementary and a high school. Vernon Parish school rankings have risen to nearly 15 percent in the last four years.

KEEPING FORT POLK STRONG

Last year, Sen. Landrieu and local leaders prevented a 5,300-troop reduction due to the Army downsizing its force by 80,000 troops nationally. The Army cited the broad and deep support by communities in Central Louisiana.

For years, Sen. Landrieu and the Ft. Polk community have worked together to improve the base. Since 2005, Sen. Landrieu has helped invest more than $1 billion into Fort Polk. In the last two years alone, Sen. Landrieu secured nearly $100 million in federal funds for military construction projects at the base, including $23 million for the brigade complex, $9.2 for the fire station and $6.1 million for the child care facility. She also secured $11 million for housing improvements. Working with the local community leaders, she raised $20 million - including $18.3 million in federal funds - to construct South Polk Elementary to serve the children of our military families.

Fort Polk has an annual average economic impact to Louisiana $1.7 billion.