POSTED: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 10:21pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 3:26am
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — The US Army is downsizing and the effects will ripple through Fort Bliss.
Today, officials announced a plan to restructure the Army, and ultimately cut its size by 80,000 soldiers.
The entire 3rd Brigade, also known as the 'Bulldog Brigade' at Fort Bliss will go.
"The net loss of Fort Bliss is 750," said Bliss spokesperson, Major Joe Buccino.
"It surprises me that they would shut down a brigade that performs so well," said Staff Sergeant David Haggerty.
Haggerty was the first soldier from the 3rd Brigade at Fort Bliss to be seriously injured during his deployment in Afghanistan.
"There was a week or so when people weren't really sure which way I was going to go," he said.
While out on patrol, his team was attacked, and he was shot. The bullet hit an inch from his spine and punctured his intestine.
He says for him, the cuts hit close to home.
"It's the men and women from 3rd Brigade that saved my life.. We all went and did something together, and there were some really great professionals who were on their game that day, who did it all right, and I can sit here and talk to you because of that," said Haggerty.
Fort Bliss says some 2000 of the 3500 soldiers from the 3rd Brigade will be moved to Brigades 1, 2, or 4, and the remainder will be shifted to other installations across the country.
Bliss says the drawdown plan has nothing to do with sequestration.
"If sequestration goes into the next fiscal year, then we're looking at other changes," said Buccino.
"For the daily soldier, it's not going to be a problem," said Haggerty.
Haggerty says while the cuts are nothing to celebrate, it could be a blessing in disguise.
"In your career, it's good to go different places, do different things. So, there's going to be some guys that get the opportunity to go and see and do different things in different places, broaden their own horizons, bring what they learned here with us to somewhere else," said Haggerty.
A press conference is scheduled for Wednesday on post. Fort Bliss will lay down a timeline for how and when cuts will happen, and also, how they will affect El Pasoans.