- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Military boosters in South Carolina are starting a letter writing campaign to show community support for Fort Jackson in hopes of avoiding cuts or closures at the base.

George Goldsmith, a retired two-star Army general who heads the Columbia Chamber of Commerce military support committee, told a group of business representatives and supporters Tuesday the Army wants to hear by Aug. 25 if there is local support for the base.

Fort Jackson commander Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker told the group it is important that citizens speak out while the Army makes plans about the size of the force. Becker says the base trains 45,000 soldiers every year and could train even more if the Army requires it.

Goldsmith says Fort Jackson can train soldiers efficiently and save the Army money.