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Army to cut 5 BCTs this year, 5 more in 2015

Jan. 13, 2014 - 08:58AM   |  
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The Army’s sweeping reorganization of its primary fighting formations gets underway in earnest this year.

Five brigade combat teams are scheduled to be inactivated in 2014. They are:

■4th BCT, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas

■3rd BCT, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Ky.

■4th Stryker BCT, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

■4th BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

■4th BCT, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.

Five more BCTs are slated for inactivation in 2015, as part of a massive overhaul that’s linked to the Army’s effort to shrink the active Army by 80,000 soldiers.

They are:

■3rd BCT, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas

■3rd BCT, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

■4th BCT, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

■2nd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

■2nd BCT, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

The Army previously announced it would inactivate the 4th Infantry Division’s 3rd BCT, but the brigades were switched to adjust for deployment cycles, officials said.

Col. Omar Jones, commander of the division’s 2nd BCT, announced the brigade’s inactivation Jan. 2 on Facebook.

Soldiers from 2nd BCT deployed to Kuwait in November, and under the scheduled inactivation, the soldiers are slated to be moved out of the brigade no later than June 2015, Jones wrote.

“Already, we are working closely with the 4th ID personnel section and Human Resources Command in order to establish certainty and stability in the coming months for future assignments,” he wrote. “This will enable us to give soldiers and families predictability with either the availability of new assignments on Fort Carson or other duty stations.”

In addition to the 10 BCTs being cut over the next two years, the Army has already inactivated two BCTs in Europe — the 170th and 172nd BCTs.

In the future, another BCT, this one overseas, will be identified for inactivation, officials have said, bringing the final number of BCTs to 32.

Also in the works is the reorganization of most of the Army’s remaining BCTs.

Infantry and armored BCTs stationed in the continental U.S. will each receive a third maneuver battalion; each of the Army’s Stryker brigades already has three maneuver battalions.

Infantry and armored BCTs stationed outside the continental U.S. — four in all — will remain at two maneuver battalions for now, mostly as a way to save on military construction costs, officials said.

The BCTs also will receive additional engineer and fires capabilities.

Once the reorganization is completed, each BCT will have about 4,500 soldiers, nearly 1,000 more than they do in their current configuration.

— Michelle Tan

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