Red River Army Depot’s future stability is at risk, and a local committee is urging the community to take an active role to help save the defense complex. The Texarkana Chamber of Commerce will host a press conference on Thursday, March 27 at 2 p.m. at 819 N. Stateline Ave., Texarkana, Texas, to discuss the current status of RRAD and the defense complex. As part of the discussion, members of the Military Affairs Action Committee will present efforts currently underway to save and increase the complex’s workload and outline ways community members can help support the Save RRAD effort.
“The Red River Defense Complex contributed $1.98 billion to the local economy and more than 14,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2012, but now those funds and those jobs are at risk,” said Jeff Sandford, Texarkana Chamber of Commerce President. “The Military Affairs Action Committee of the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce is working very hard to keep those jobs and that money flowing through our local economy. We need your help to keep it here.”
Over the last five years, Red River Army Depot and the affiliated defense complex has seen a steady decline in employment trends, and the drawdown in war zones means further decreases in workload. Actions on the national front including sequestration, continuing resolutions, defense downsizing, and threat of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) all loom large and are causing added concern. Drastic changes in the Depot’s workforce would affect not only the livelihood of the complex’s current employees, but also the local economy as a whole.
To date, the military affairs committee has raised more than $500,000 from businesses, industries and local governments. The committee is now asking for help from individuals to make a pledge or donation to help continue efforts to lobby in support of maintaining a healthy workforce at Red River Army Depot and the local defense complex.
“Our goal is 1,000 people giving $10 a month,” Sandford said. “We have set up a Save RRAD website at www.SaveRedRiverArmyDepot.com where individuals can go online and show their support. We can’t keep our local economy strong if everyone does not pitch in and help.”
Pledges of $10 per month will help fund:
- Professional consultants to work with state and federal governments
- Promoting the Military Value of Red River
- Creating state and national visibility of Red River’s missions and capabilities
- Community representation at key industry, government, and public functions
- Hosting official visitors that make decisions about Red River
- Fighting BRAC
Individuals who wish to make a monthly contribution should access the website on a desktop or laptop computer (rather than a mobile device or tablet) and use a credit or debit card to complete the transaction through Paypal. The donation page will feature a checkbox to indicate the monthly pledge. Individuals may show additional support by liking Save Red River Army Depot on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SaveRedRiverArmyDepot) and encouraging their family and friends to do the same.