Source: The News-Enterprise
Establishment of the Fifth Corps headquarters at Fort Knox will increase the region’s population by approximately 2,000 people as soldiers arrive with their families, according to Jim Iacocca of Knox Regional Development Alliance.
He said Human Resources Command already has started issuing orders for the 635 soldiers being reassigned to establish the new corps headquarters.
Iacocca spoke Tuesday at the Radcliff Small Business Alliance luncheon about the U.S. Army’s announcement last month that Fort Knox had been selected as home for the Pentagon’s new corps headquarters.
The corps at Fort Knox is responsible for supporting U.S. forces and operations in Europe and to help meet National Defense Strategy and the Army’s modernization and readiness needs. It will be headed by a three-star general and includes staff and field-grade officers and enlisted personnel.
The headquarters, which is scheduled for activation in October, will maintain a rotational Operational Command Post in Europe. Known as the Fifth Corps or V Corps, it’s a reactivation of an Army unit’s name familiar in Europe dating back to World War I.
Iacocca said at any given time 200 of the 635 soldiers will be in Europe but all will be permanently stationed here.
KRDA estimates 70 percent of families are going to live off post in Hardin and surrounding counties, he said.
“That is roughly 455 people of the 635 that are coming to live off post in the community,” he said, noting the organization also estimates 300 school-age children will attend off-post schools.
Iacocca said they suspect soldiers and their families will begin arriving during the summer. He said Army leadership would like to be as close to 100 percent as possible by Oct. 1.
Iacocca said V Corps coming to Fort Knox is amazing, but reminded RSBA members Fort Knox already played a critical role in the Army with its recruitment and human resources commands and to the local economy before the February announcement.
“It already was a great place with dynamic commands that impact the strength of the Army every day,” he said.
In addition to Fort Knox becoming the new corps headquarters, Iacocca said he recently discovered the Army’s Best Warrior Competition will take place at Fort Knox in the fall.
“That’s a big deal,” he said, saying it will bring 34 of the best soldiers in the Army to post and garner more positive exposure.
Iacocca also touted Elizabethtown Community and Technical College’s coding academy. He said it’s going very well in training students for jobs available at HRC and other Fort Knox missions.
The Greater Knox Coding Academy began classes Feb. 3 with 30 students eager to tackle the 17-week program that trains them to be certified information technology professionals with skills in demand by defense contractors at Fort Knox. Many of the positions have starting salaries as high as $65,000.