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Fort Drum training academy included in proposed federal budget

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The Department of Defense has drafted a new budget that includes $19 million for Fort Drum in 2016.  The money would go towards building a training academy on the base. But, the Pentagon budget still needs to be approved by a Congress wary of overspending.

The academy would be for non-commissioned officers – the junior leaders of the Army.  There, soldiers who want to advance their careers can learn  the basics of leadership, communication and management.

Fort Drum already has an NCO Academy but the buildings are the same ones used during WWII. This money would allow the base to demolish the old buildings and build a brand new facility.

The new NCO academy would include a learning resource center, running track and barracks.

The Department of Defense stands by its decision to include funds for a new academy at Fort Drum in their budget. They say the old structures are expensive to maintain and not conducive to learning.

If built, the new facility would serve as a model for others at bases around the country.

Its unclear how this budget proposal will fare in Congress. Yesterday, President Barack Obama’s defense secretary nominee Ashton Carter defended the proposed budget from  looming spending cuts known as sequestration.