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Army unveils active Brigade Combat Team stationing plan

By Cheryl Boujnida

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, July 27, 2005) – As part of its largest restructuring since World War II, the Army announced its plan today for stationing its active component modular Brigade Combat Teams.

The plan includes new organizations being formed and other units being returned from overseas locations. The return of the overseas units adds up to 50,000 Soldiers and 150,000 family members being brought back to bases in the United States.

In the end state, the number of active modular BCTs will increase from 33 to 43, enhancing the active Army’s combat power by 30 percent.

The plan was announced at a Pentagon press briefing conducted by Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army Raymond F. DuBois and Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard Cody.

“Moving the Army to modularity represents the largest change of our Army since 1939,” Cody said.

He also explained the benefits the Army and Soldiers will see from the stationing plan.

"What this does for us is it sets up the footprint of the United States Army," Cody said. “It optimizes the training areas. Posts, camps and stations are structured properly for the new weapons systems we have. It set us up for some great training opportunities. I think, over time, the big winners are going to be our Army families … because we can put a Soldier and his family at a post, camp or station there, and leave them there for four to five years.”

Cody said the Army’s modular force initiative and stationing plan will better posture the Army to meet its strategic commitments, to include ongoing global combat operations, while allowing it to continue transforming to meet the future demands of combatant commanders.

He explained the life cycle management of BCTs is stabilized through three-year rotation cycles. “The Army will not be moving its people around as much – this will reduce turbulence in brigades and battalions,” Cody said. “This will stabilize forces and provide for more cohesion within brigade combat teams.”

DuBois said the current plan ties perfectly into the Army’s modular initiative, the return of troops from overseas and base realignment and closure recommendations.

“The selection of the BCT stations was a deliberate and analytical process,” DuBois said. “In this complex set of chess moves, it shows that Soldiers and family members remain the centerpiece of the Army and life will be more predictable for them.”

DuBois said that the plan is a force stabilizer for Soldiers and family members and directly impacts their quality of life.

As a key element of the BCT stationing plan, the Army will implement the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy analysis recommendations by returning up to 50,000 soldiers from overseas locations by the end of the decade.

DuBois said the Army will not lose its presence overseas but the reduction of more than half of the forces will be a significant savings to U.S. taxpayers.

Two key recommendations of the analysis include the return of the 1st Infantry Division to Fort Riley, Kan., and the relocation of the 1st Armored Division to Fort Bliss, Texas. The 1st Infantry Division will return in 2006 and the timing for the return of the 1st Armored Division is under review.

The Army selected locations for the modular BCTs based on existing and potential capacities, available training space, and current locations of similar and supporting units.

While the modular brigade combat teams follow historic division and brigade unit naming conventions, these units are of a completely different design than their predecessors. The essence of this transformational design is a new force that can be deployed singularly or in groups – ready for employment in a variety of designs as self-contained modules over a dispersed area. Essential to the success of this force will be the use of Army’s installations as platforms from which to rapidly mobilize and deploy military power.

The Army modular force initiative involves the total redesign of the operational Army into a larger, more powerful, more flexible and more rapidly deployable force. It moves away from a division-centric structure to one built around the Army’s new modular combat team.

Additionally, modularity -- in combination with rebalancing the type of units -- will significantly reduce the stress on the force because of a more predictable rotational cycle, coupled with much longer dwell times at home station.

This commitment to minimizing the turbulence for Soldiers and families remains a top priority for the Army senior leadership. To reinforce this commitment, during the stationing of BCTs and relocation of units, Soldiers will move with their families and family moves will not be scheduled until the Soldier redeploys.

Active Brigade Combat Teams Posture:

• Fort Benning, Ga. -- 1 Brigade Combat Team

• Fort Bliss, Texas -- 4 Brigade Combat Teams

• Fort Bragg, N.C. -- 4 Brigade Combat Teams

• Fort Campbell, Ky. – 4 Brigade Combat Teams

• Fort Carson, Colo. – 4 Brigade Combat Teams

• Fort Drum, N.Y. – 3 Brigade Combat Teams

• Fort Hood, Texas – 5 Brigade Combat Teams

• Fort Knox, Ky. – 1 Brigade Combat Team

• Fort Lewis, Wash. – 3 Stryker Brigade Combat Teams

• Fort Polk, La. – 1 Brigade Combat Team

• Fort Richardson, Ak. – 1 Brigade Combat Team

• Fort Riley, Kan. – 3 Brigade Combat Teams

• Fort Stewart, Ga. – 3 Brigade Combat Teams

• Fort Wainwright, Ak. – 1 Stryker Brigade Combat Team

• Schofield Barracks, Hawaii – 1 Brigade Combat Team

1 Stryker Brigade Combat Team

• Fort Irwin (National Training Center), Calif. – 1 Brigade Combat Team (minus)

• Korea – 1 Brigade Combat Team

• Germany – 1 Stryker Brigade Combat Team

• Italy – 1 Brigade Combat Team

The number of Soldiers in a BCT varies between 3,500 and 3,900 depending upon whether it is a Light, Heavy or Stryker BCT.

More information on the BCT stationing plan and a printer friendly map is at www.army.mil/modularforces/.

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