Schumer, Gillibrand and Stefanik urge Army to house new unit at Fort Drum

Photo by Sgt. Blair Neelands
The 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment pictured here training at Fort Drum outside Watertown. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, the U.S. senators from New York, along with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, whose district includes the base, say it would be ideal for housing a new unit that will train foreign military forces.

U.S Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are urging the U.S. Army to base a new training unit at Fort Drum, citing the infrastructure, space and talent there to accommodate the new brigade.

Schumer and Gillibrand were joined by Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, in writing a letter to the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army to ask that they consider stationing a part of the new Security Force Assistance Brigade at Fort Drum, outside of Watertown, in Jefferson County.

The new unit specializes in training, advising and assisting conventional foreign military forces.

In their letter to Secretary of the Army Mark Esper and Chief of Staff of the Army General Mark Milley, Schumer, Gillibrand and Stefanik say Fort Drum, home to the 10th Mountain Division, is the ideal choice for housing the third and fourth brigades of the new training force.

“We write in regard to the forthcoming assignment of the U.S. Army’s new Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFAB). As the congressional delegation representing Fort Drum and the surrounding community, we have heard that the Army is nearing a decision on the placement of its newest SFABs and we would like to draw your attention to the benefits of locating one of them at Fort Drum,” the legislators wrote.

They also believe there is the right existing infrastructure available to absorb a new SFAB after the loss of a First Brigade Combat Team several years ago.

“Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division have supported a variety of Security Force Assistance and Advise and Assist missions during the past several years — sending Brigade Combat Teams around the world to accomplish complex missions,” the letter to the Army states.

Both Gillibrand and Stefanik sit on the Armed Services committees in the Senate and House, respectively.