Posted: Sep 23, 2013 8:14 PM by Dennis Bragg - MTN News
MISSOULA - U.S. Army officials say the military branch will maintain a presence in Western Montana, even though it's officially given up its last buildings at historic Fort Missoula.
In a ceremony Monday morning, Army officials turned over ownership of its last two buildings at the fort to the U.S. Forest Service, all part of the government's initiative to close and consolidate bases and properties across the country.
The event marked the official end of Army presence at Fort Missoula, which dates all the way back to 1877.
Army officials say while soldiers may not be at the fort any longer, the agency will remain in Western Montana at different locations.
"The Army is not leaving Missoula, Montana. We're still here. We have the National Guard and Army Reserve. We're just in different locations. But we're still here. We're not leaving," said Brig. Gen. I. Neal Black, Commanding General, 364th Sustainment Command.
Monday's ceremony puts the entire fort under control of the Forest Service, or other local agencies.