FORT CARSON, Colo. (CBS4)– Top Pentagon leaders hosted a meeting to discuss a proposal that would reduce forces at Fort Carson Army Post by nearly two-thirds.

Gov. John Hickenlooper attended Tuesday night’s meeting at the Army post near Colorado Springs and called for the military to maintain the current level of forces.

Gov. John Hickenlooper addresses Pentagon leaders at Fort Carson on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

Gov. John Hickenlooper addresses Pentagon leaders at Fort Carson on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

“I appreciate the difficulty of your challenge but over the next couple of hours you’re going to hear a lot of testimony about how important it is for all of us that we keep Fort Carson strong,” said Hickenlooper.

Under the Pentagon’s proposal, Fort Carson would drop from 24,000 soldiers to 8,000. The proposal is part of the budget changes passed in 2011.

The proposed reduction is expected to negatively impact the economy in that region. Hickenlooper said Fort Carson has a $1.7 billion impact on Colorado’s economy.

The Pentagon said that a final decision has yet to be made. They are looking at cuts at 30 Army installations across the country.

Local leaders pointed out that Fort Carson has one of the highest re-enlistment rates in the entire U.S. Army.