Department of Defense studying economics of drawdown in Anchorage

An Anchorage group is examining economic options to cope with Army downsizing in the years ahead. The Base Economic Analysis Review–or BEAR group–held its second meeting on Wednesday.

City officials are working with a small division from the Department of Defense that routinely helps plan for what to do when changes in the military hit the communities where troops are based. The BEAR group met with the Office of Economic Adjustment over a grant that Myer Hutchinson, spokesman for the mayor, said he’s “fairly confident” Anchorage will receive.

That money will pay for, “A study–or studies, to figure out the potential economic impacts of a force reduction at Joint-Base Elmendorf-Richardson.”

The Administration is still working with partners to reverse the draw-down decision that is slated to remove 2,631 troops and thousands more dependents from the Anchorage area by 2017. However, Hutchinson said the city is still planning for way to mitigate negative effects if the cuts go through.

Currently there’s no timeline for when the OEA report will be available.