Chamber Stays Optimistic With Ft. Jackson School Moving

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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Army is moving its Recruiting and Retention School from Ft. Jackson to Ft. Knox, Kentucky in October of this year.

"Anytime you lose a school it does have an impact," said Holt Chetwood, Board Chairman of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

Discussions about moving the school started in 2011, according to a press release from Ft. Jackson.

The Army estimates the move will save $14 million every year and more than $138 million over the next decade.

"Certainly as the [Department of Defense] is contracting, military leaders are looking for ways to save money," Chetwood said. "That from time to time involves relocation of schools like the Retention School."

The Retention and Recuiting school trains civilian and military leaders on recruiting and retention techniques.

67 military and 25 civilian authorities will move with the school.

"While we're disappointed the retention school is relocating, we are optimistic with all the great things Ft. Jackson has to offer, the tremendous leadership here at Ft. Jackson, the tremendous community support the Midlands provides the soldiers at Ft. Jackson, we do have the opportunity to win a number of these schools going forward and consolidate a number of training programs right here at Ft. Jackson," Chetwood said.

The prediction could boost the already huge contribution Ft. Jackson has on our local economy. Fort Jackson has gained the Drill Sargent School, 81st Regional Command, and Chaplain School from other bases in years past.

The chamber estimates right now the military operation has a more than $2 billion contribution to our economy.

"We believe the majority of that is very much in tact and the economic impact of this school will be minimal," Chetwood said.

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