- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The U.S. Army artillery post in southwest Oklahoma is expected to trim civilian jobs and some military positions but still have a net gain of more than 400 active-duty military personnel by the end of next year.

Officials say they’re developing restructuring plans but declined to address specifics about the personnel changes.

But Capitol Hill offices, citing Pentagon estimates, say Fort Sill will lose roughly 116 military positions and 290 civilian jobs but gain 834 active-duty military personnel for artillery missions.

The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/1StCSYa ) reports that the changes are expected to be carried out in the next two federal budget years.

Fort Sill officials say the post hospital might become a health clinic this year, handling only outpatient visits and requiring more appointments at private physicians.

“We’ll be laser-focused on our primary care and outpatient services,” said Col. Kenneth Lemons, commander of the hospital. “Patients will still have the normal primary care services, specialty outpatient services and prescriptions.”

Fort Sill has about 10,000 active-duty, National Guard and Reserve positions and 5,000 civilians.

Fort Sill leaders have proposed splitting oversight of the fort’s basic training brigade between the two remaining brigade headquarters. This change wouldn’t affect the number of incoming trainees

The Army and the post are still analyzing various options.

“If our analysis results in a decision to modify or eliminate positions at Fort Sill, we will try to mitigate the loss,” said Col. Glenn Waters, Fort Sill Garrison commander. “We will work to place employees into other positions across post, and we expect authorizations will be opened as current employees retire or leave their positions.”

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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