Transformation of the US Army

The Department of Defense  and the US Army have announced the largest realignment and stationing changes for active forces since WW II.  The anticipated unit moves and re—flagging of the new Units of Action (UA) coincide with the installation changes recommended by Base Realignment and Closing Commission (BRAC) in May of this year.

The Army is moving from a division—based force structure to brigade—based.  UAs are essentially modified Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) that will retain all the key components of the modern combined arms team *.  Also, the Army realized that heavy armor and mechanized infantry formations continue to prove their flexibility and combat power by their sterling performance in lighting warfare campaigns as in Operation Iraqi Freedom, or in close quarters combat  against Baathist diehards and terrorists in the urban areas of Iraq.  Heavy BCTs will comprise 20 of the 43 active UAs.  Today's division headquarters will transition into Units of Execution (UEx) with a combined command and control capability of the current division and corps headquarters.

The biggest change for the Army entails withdrawing 50,000 soldiers from Germany, Korea and other overseas locations by the end of the decade.  The 1st Infantry Division (1ID) will return from Germany to its traditional home of Fort Riley, Kansas in Fiscal Year 2006, while the 1st Armored Division (1AD) will move to Fort Bliss, Texas.  The exact date for the return of the 1AD is under review.  All told, the remaining US forces overseas will amount to only one division equivalent: Korea with one Brigade Combat Team, Germany with one Stryker Brigade Combat Team (the 2nd Cavalry Regiment), and Italy will retain one Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

The Army webpage has an interactive map showing all of the locations and unit designations of the active UAs and the UExs.  However, The American Thinker has obtained Army talking points that detail all of the changes for US Army installations.  These are summarized below:

Fort Richardson, Alaska — The Army will activate an airborne capable Infantry Brigade Combat Team (BCT) at Fort Richardson, Alaska by the end of the year, and it will be aligned with the 25th Infantry Division to preserve heraldry and lineages of the division — it's designation  will be 4th BCT, 25th Infantry Division.

Fort Wainwright, Alaska — The 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) will be reflagged to align it with the lineage and heraldry of the 25th Infantry Division in synchronization with operational requirements.  As part of the transformation of the 25th Infantry Division Aviation Brigade to a Multi—Functional Aviation Brigade (MFAB) an Aviation Task Force will be activated at Fort Wainwright with elements of the 4—123rd Aviation Battalion and assets relocating from Korea and Hawaii.

Fort Carson, Colorado — Once the Army completes its restationing plan, Fort Carson will be the home of the 4th Infantry Division headquarters and four Brigade Combat Teams.  Part of the Army's plan is to restation the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) to Fort Hood, Texas in order to facilitate a more optimal operational and training posture at Fort Carson, Colo.

Fort Benning. Georgia — Fort Benning will continue to support a Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT) of the 3rd Infantry Division based out of Ft Stewart.  The BRAC recommendation to relocate the Armor School and Center to Fort Benning to create a Maneuver Center of Excellence will increase both the permanent and transient soldier populations.  Fort Benning will become the center for Infantry and Armor training and will remain one of our premier training, readiness and deployment platforms and will experience substantial net growth.

Fort Stewart, Georgia — Fort Stewart, Georgia is the home of the 3rd Infantry Division and three Heavy Brigade Combat Teams (HBCTS).  A fourth HBCT aligned with the 3rd Infantry Division is stationed at Fort Benning.

Schofield Barracks/Wheeler AAF), Hawaii — Schofield Barracks/Wheeler AAF will be the home of the 25th Infantry Division headquarters and two modular brigade combat teams (BCT).  One will be an Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) and one will be a Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT).  There are other capabilities stationed on Schofield Barracks, Fort Shafter, and Wheeler AAF that include part of a Multi—functional Aviation Brigade, a Sustain Brigade, theater level command and control organizations, and the Headquarters of the United States Army Pacific.

Fort Riley, Kansas — The Army plans to station the 1st Infantry Division headquarters at Fort Riley, Kansas when the headquarters and selected subordinate units will return from Germany in FY06.  With return of the 1st Infantry Division headquarters to Fort Riley the Army will re—flag the 1st Armor Division brigade currently at Fort Riley to align the brigade combat teams with the 1st Infantry Division lineage.  Once the transfer is complete, Fort Riley will have the 1st Infantry Division Headquarters and three BCTs along with a number of support units.

Fort Campbell, Kentucky — Fort Campbell is the home of the 101st Air Assault Division (Airborne) and four Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT).  There are other capabilities stationed on Fort Campbell that will remain in support of not only the 101st, but the Army as a whole.  They include two Multi—functional Aviation Brigades, a Sustain Brigade, and the Special Operations Command's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) to name just a few.

Fort Knox, Kentucky — The Army plans to activate and station a 1st Infantry Division designated Infantry Brigade Combat Team (BCT) at Fort Knox, Ky.  The BRAC analysis recommended moving the Armor School and Center to Fort Benning, GA to create a Maneuver Training Center of Excellence.  While Fort Knox loses a transient soldier (training base) population, the stationing of an Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) at Fort Knox coupled with other BRAC recommendations will result in an increase in permanent party soldiers and families.

Fort Polk, Louisiana — The 4th Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 10th Mountain Division will be stationed at Fort Polk.  It is an Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) and will be designated as the 4/10th BCT.  It will support light infantry training at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) when not on operational deployment.

Fort Drum, New York — Fort Drum, New York is the home of the 10th Mountain Division and three of the four Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT) that wear the distinctive 10th Mountain Division patch.  The 4th IBCT is located at Fort Polk, LA.

Fort Bragg, North Carolina — Fort Bragg will remain the home of the 82d Airborne Division and will host four Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT).  There are other capabilities stationed on Fort Bragg that will remain in support of other Army units.  They include Multi—functional Aviation Brigades, a Sustain Brigade, and the Headquarters of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).

Fort Bliss, Texas — The Army will activate a Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT) at Fort Bliss this fall.  The unit will be designated the 4th BCT, 1st Armor Division.  The Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy (IGPBS) and the BRAC analysis recommended returning the 1st Armor Division to the United States and to station it at Fort Bliss.  By the end of the decade, the 1st Armor Division headquarters and four HBCTs will be stationed on Fort Bliss.  The BRAC also recommended the relocation of the Air Defense Artillery (ADA) School and Center from Fort Bliss to Fort Sill, Oklahoma to create a center of excellence called the Net Fires Center.

Fort Hood, Texas — In order to align the Division and modular Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) to best support the operational needs of the combatant commanders, the decision was made to re—station the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) from Fort Carson, Colorado to Fort Hood, Texas.  The move of the 3rd ACR will be synchronized with operational deployments and the relocation/reflagging of 4th Infantry Division Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) to Fort Carson.  By the end of the decade, Texas will be the home to nine of the 43 Army Modular Brigade Combat Teams (BCT), with five  at Fort Hood and four at Fort Bliss.

Fort Lewis, Washington — Fort Lewis will remain the Army's center of excellence for Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT).  Fort Lewis will have three of the six active component SBCTs assigned to the installation.  The others will be stationed in Alaska, Hawaii, and Germany (2nd Cavalry Regiment).  Stryker trained soldiers assignments will rotate between these four locations.  Each location is a traditional accompanied long—tour location which will enable a predictable and stable rotation plan.

* Estimated BCT Personnel Strengths: Heavy: 3,900; Infantry: 3,500; SBCT (Stryker) 3,900; Airborne: 3,523

Douglas Hanson is our National Security correspondent.

The Department of Defense  and the US Army have announced the largest realignment and stationing changes for active forces since WW II.  The anticipated unit moves and re—flagging of the new Units of Action (UA) coincide with the installation changes recommended by Base Realignment and Closing Commission (BRAC) in May of this year.

The Army is moving from a division—based force structure to brigade—based.  UAs are essentially modified Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) that will retain all the key components of the modern combined arms team *.  Also, the Army realized that heavy armor and mechanized infantry formations continue to prove their flexibility and combat power by their sterling performance in lighting warfare campaigns as in Operation Iraqi Freedom, or in close quarters combat  against Baathist diehards and terrorists in the urban areas of Iraq.  Heavy BCTs will comprise 20 of the 43 active UAs.  Today's division headquarters will transition into Units of Execution (UEx) with a combined command and control capability of the current division and corps headquarters.

The biggest change for the Army entails withdrawing 50,000 soldiers from Germany, Korea and other overseas locations by the end of the decade.  The 1st Infantry Division (1ID) will return from Germany to its traditional home of Fort Riley, Kansas in Fiscal Year 2006, while the 1st Armored Division (1AD) will move to Fort Bliss, Texas.  The exact date for the return of the 1AD is under review.  All told, the remaining US forces overseas will amount to only one division equivalent: Korea with one Brigade Combat Team, Germany with one Stryker Brigade Combat Team (the 2nd Cavalry Regiment), and Italy will retain one Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

The Army webpage has an interactive map showing all of the locations and unit designations of the active UAs and the UExs.  However, The American Thinker has obtained Army talking points that detail all of the changes for US Army installations.  These are summarized below:

Fort Richardson, Alaska — The Army will activate an airborne capable Infantry Brigade Combat Team (BCT) at Fort Richardson, Alaska by the end of the year, and it will be aligned with the 25th Infantry Division to preserve heraldry and lineages of the division — it's designation  will be 4th BCT, 25th Infantry Division.

Fort Wainwright, Alaska — The 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) will be reflagged to align it with the lineage and heraldry of the 25th Infantry Division in synchronization with operational requirements.  As part of the transformation of the 25th Infantry Division Aviation Brigade to a Multi—Functional Aviation Brigade (MFAB) an Aviation Task Force will be activated at Fort Wainwright with elements of the 4—123rd Aviation Battalion and assets relocating from Korea and Hawaii.

Fort Carson, Colorado — Once the Army completes its restationing plan, Fort Carson will be the home of the 4th Infantry Division headquarters and four Brigade Combat Teams.  Part of the Army's plan is to restation the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) to Fort Hood, Texas in order to facilitate a more optimal operational and training posture at Fort Carson, Colo.

Fort Benning. Georgia — Fort Benning will continue to support a Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT) of the 3rd Infantry Division based out of Ft Stewart.  The BRAC recommendation to relocate the Armor School and Center to Fort Benning to create a Maneuver Center of Excellence will increase both the permanent and transient soldier populations.  Fort Benning will become the center for Infantry and Armor training and will remain one of our premier training, readiness and deployment platforms and will experience substantial net growth.

Fort Stewart, Georgia — Fort Stewart, Georgia is the home of the 3rd Infantry Division and three Heavy Brigade Combat Teams (HBCTS).  A fourth HBCT aligned with the 3rd Infantry Division is stationed at Fort Benning.

Schofield Barracks/Wheeler AAF), Hawaii — Schofield Barracks/Wheeler AAF will be the home of the 25th Infantry Division headquarters and two modular brigade combat teams (BCT).  One will be an Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) and one will be a Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT).  There are other capabilities stationed on Schofield Barracks, Fort Shafter, and Wheeler AAF that include part of a Multi—functional Aviation Brigade, a Sustain Brigade, theater level command and control organizations, and the Headquarters of the United States Army Pacific.

Fort Riley, Kansas — The Army plans to station the 1st Infantry Division headquarters at Fort Riley, Kansas when the headquarters and selected subordinate units will return from Germany in FY06.  With return of the 1st Infantry Division headquarters to Fort Riley the Army will re—flag the 1st Armor Division brigade currently at Fort Riley to align the brigade combat teams with the 1st Infantry Division lineage.  Once the transfer is complete, Fort Riley will have the 1st Infantry Division Headquarters and three BCTs along with a number of support units.

Fort Campbell, Kentucky — Fort Campbell is the home of the 101st Air Assault Division (Airborne) and four Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT).  There are other capabilities stationed on Fort Campbell that will remain in support of not only the 101st, but the Army as a whole.  They include two Multi—functional Aviation Brigades, a Sustain Brigade, and the Special Operations Command's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) to name just a few.

Fort Knox, Kentucky — The Army plans to activate and station a 1st Infantry Division designated Infantry Brigade Combat Team (BCT) at Fort Knox, Ky.  The BRAC analysis recommended moving the Armor School and Center to Fort Benning, GA to create a Maneuver Training Center of Excellence.  While Fort Knox loses a transient soldier (training base) population, the stationing of an Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) at Fort Knox coupled with other BRAC recommendations will result in an increase in permanent party soldiers and families.

Fort Polk, Louisiana — The 4th Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 10th Mountain Division will be stationed at Fort Polk.  It is an Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) and will be designated as the 4/10th BCT.  It will support light infantry training at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) when not on operational deployment.

Fort Drum, New York — Fort Drum, New York is the home of the 10th Mountain Division and three of the four Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT) that wear the distinctive 10th Mountain Division patch.  The 4th IBCT is located at Fort Polk, LA.

Fort Bragg, North Carolina — Fort Bragg will remain the home of the 82d Airborne Division and will host four Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT).  There are other capabilities stationed on Fort Bragg that will remain in support of other Army units.  They include Multi—functional Aviation Brigades, a Sustain Brigade, and the Headquarters of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).

Fort Bliss, Texas — The Army will activate a Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT) at Fort Bliss this fall.  The unit will be designated the 4th BCT, 1st Armor Division.  The Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy (IGPBS) and the BRAC analysis recommended returning the 1st Armor Division to the United States and to station it at Fort Bliss.  By the end of the decade, the 1st Armor Division headquarters and four HBCTs will be stationed on Fort Bliss.  The BRAC also recommended the relocation of the Air Defense Artillery (ADA) School and Center from Fort Bliss to Fort Sill, Oklahoma to create a center of excellence called the Net Fires Center.

Fort Hood, Texas — In order to align the Division and modular Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) to best support the operational needs of the combatant commanders, the decision was made to re—station the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) from Fort Carson, Colorado to Fort Hood, Texas.  The move of the 3rd ACR will be synchronized with operational deployments and the relocation/reflagging of 4th Infantry Division Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) to Fort Carson.  By the end of the decade, Texas will be the home to nine of the 43 Army Modular Brigade Combat Teams (BCT), with five  at Fort Hood and four at Fort Bliss.

Fort Lewis, Washington — Fort Lewis will remain the Army's center of excellence for Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT).  Fort Lewis will have three of the six active component SBCTs assigned to the installation.  The others will be stationed in Alaska, Hawaii, and Germany (2nd Cavalry Regiment).  Stryker trained soldiers assignments will rotate between these four locations.  Each location is a traditional accompanied long—tour location which will enable a predictable and stable rotation plan.

* Estimated BCT Personnel Strengths: Heavy: 3,900; Infantry: 3,500; SBCT (Stryker) 3,900; Airborne: 3,523

Douglas Hanson is our National Security correspondent.