As Wars Wind Down, Depot Left Without Work



The Blue Grass Army Depot is preparing for further troop reductions, which has Kentucky lawmakers and business leaders in the region worried. WEKU Correspondent Matt Laslo reports from Washington.

A perfect storm is brewing around the Bluegrass Army Depot. The economy in the state is already depressed and yet one of the mission’s of the depot is less important as the U-S slowly exits conflicts overseas, as Kentucky Democrat Ben Chandler explains.

“Obviously the Bluegrass Army Depot and the jobs that are there are extremely important to the people in Central Kentucky, but I think we all have to recognize, at least on some level, that as wars wind down and there’s less need for ammunition some jobs will be lost,” said Chandler.

Officials in the region are now bracing for the depot to lose around three hundred employees in the fall. On Wednesday officials from the Pentagon met with Chandler and business leaders. Chandler says they reiterated to defense officials the ability of the depot to change missions and evolve as needed.

“Well the important thing to us of course is we would like to avoid as many of these layoffs as we possibly can, but in addition to that were looking toward the long term and the long term health of the Bluegrass Army Depot. That depot has been a tremendous source of moving ammunition for our military efforts in this country for many, many decades,” said Chandler.

Kentuckians in the meeting say they got a warm response from the Pentagon. Lenny Stoltz is the executive director of the Bluegrass Area Development District. While he wouldn’t get into the specifics of the discussion, Stoltz says he left feeling good about the long-term health of the depot.

“I am definitely optimistic. The Pentagon met with us, they were hearing our concerns, willing to go back and work towards our concerns and keep us informed. It’s a great relationship and I don’t see why we won’t be successful we just need to keep a dialogue going,” said Stoltz.

The other sword hanging over the depot is the pending budget cuts that are set to rip through the military’s budget in January. If lawmakers can’t reach a long term deal to cut the federal debt hundreds of billions of dollars will be indiscriminately cut from the military and that could fall hard on the Bluegrass Army Depot and other installations in the state.

Featured Article
“Are you Ready for Heavy Rain”

During periods of heavy rainfall, remember to stay out of floodwaters. If you’re driving, remember to use your lights and wipers. Slow down! If you come across a water-covered roadway, Turn Around-Don’t Drown. It only takes six inches of water to float some cars and fast-moving water can wash vehicles …

Featured Article
Local Emergency Management Director Training

Kentucky Emergency Management held training for newly appointed and experienced local emergency management professionals in Frankfort in April. In attendance was newly appointed Garrard County Emergency Management Director Tim Scott and CSEPP Director Jay Overman. The course was to give local professionals a basic understanding of and updates on Emergency …

Featured Article
Blue Alerts Notify the Public When Police Are Injured or Killed

The Blue Alerts are delivered through FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System to notify the public of imminent danger. It’s already played a role in the capture of one cop killer. When Newman, Calif., police officer, Ronil Singh, was murdered in December 2018, a Blue Alert was issued to …