FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

(AP) - Fort Bragg could lose 16,000 military and civilian jobs in the next six years under a new projection of the impact of the shrinking defense budget.

The Fayetteville Observer reports that the figure is a worst-case scenario and is contained in a draft report by U.S. Army Environmental Command. 

That report looks at the impact of defense cuts at 30 Army bases. It concluded that Fort Bragg is one of nine large Army installations that could lose 16,000 soldiers and civilians under the most extreme cuts.

North Carolina State University economist Michael Walden says if such cuts occurred, it would cause significant damage to the region's economy.

Fort Bragg is still expected to remain the biggest Army base in the nation.