by Pam Zubeck
Five elected officials have written a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh, pushing him to "continue to prioritize" the combat aviation brigade at Fort Carson, but opponents are pushing back.
"The Army's commitment to preparing our soldiers for combat is matched by the commitment the Pikes Peak community has made to invest in Fort Carson growth and support the well-being of soldiers and their families," says the March 26 letter to McHugh from Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, Reps. Doug Lamborn and Ed Perlmutter, and Gov. John Hickenlooper.
"State, regional, and local entities have spent or committed more than $178 million in infrastructure projects related to the installation's growth," the letter continues. "This includes vital transportation projects to mitigate traffic congestion and school infrastructure projects to help meet the needs of military families."
One such project, overhauling Highway 115 south of Carson's main gate, is costing the state about $25 million.
The full letter, drafted by Bennet's office, is here.
But those opposed to the brigade planned to deliver copies of their letters to Bennet's and Udall's offices in Colorado Springs today.
The letter calls the CAB "super expensive" and "militarily redundant" and notes that the lawmakers' letter "does not reflect the views of even a majority of the state's congressional delegation as you can see and most certainly does not speak for a majority of all Coloradans."
Here's the entire petition:
One of the opposition's ringleaders is local pacifist Bill Sulzman, who writes in an e-mail that he was "very disappointed" with the "pandering letter" by officials. He also wrote it's ironic that Bennet and Udall are pushing the CAB, considering they are "two super hawk Senators who claim to be concerned about the budget, world peace and the environment."