May 2, 2012 6:58 PM by Matt Stafford
Leaders from Fort Carson and Colorado Springs pledged continued support for each other, renewing a community covenant to help soldiers and their families. The Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, signed off on the deal as well.
Secretary McHugh was in Colorado Springs as his boss, President Obama, is returning from a surprise visit to Afghanistan on the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden.
"We can see the light of a new day on the horizon," the President said in a national address broadcasted back home from the war zone.
Obama also met with Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai; reiterating the plan to move out of a combat role by 2014, but pledging continued support in other areas for the years after, through 2024. That'll come with training soldiers for new roles, but also with an eye on budget cuts.
"Afghanistan will likely be in the military's future to a certain degree, but it will be a much different mission," Secretary McHugh told local media in Colorado Springs Wednesday. "We're going to lose about 80,000 soldiers total over the next five years."
Right now McHugh says they're going through a total Army analysis to see where reductions could come from.
"You know for bases like Fort Carson where you have such great training ranges, where you have this great community spirit, and obviously a place where the Army has made investment -- we're building a new combat aviation brigade; this is a place we like very much," says Sec. McHugh, but he points out that all of the Army will feel the effects of budget cuts. He says the changes are still a work in progress.
On his trip to Colorado Springs Secretary McHugh also took in action at the Warrior Games, which runs through Saturday.