CSA addresses brigade combat teams, other reductions

| June 28, 2013 | 0 Comments
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno outlines impending cuts and realignment within the Army's force structure during a briefing at the Pentagon, Tuesday. (Photo by Erin Kirk-Cuomo)

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno outlines impending cuts and realignment within the Army’s force structure during a briefing at the Pentagon, Tuesday. (Photo by Erin Kirk-Cuomo)

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii
Public Affairs

Speaking to reporters at a press conference broadcast live, Tuesday, at the Pentagon, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno announced the results of Department of the Army manpower reductions in “one of the largest organizational changes since World War II as we transition from a force at war.”

Ordierno broke down the numbers for the Army’s three components:

•the active component’s end-strength will go from about 570,000 to 490,000 by the end of fiscal year 2017, a reduction of 80,000 warriors, or 14 percent of the force;

•the Army National Guard will reduce from 358,000 to 350,000, a reduction of 8,000 Guardsmen; and

•the Army Reserve, which was planning to increase its end-strength by 1,000, will remain at its current strength of 205,000.

The reductions were set in motion prior to sequestration, said Odierno.

“Let me be clear; we are taking these actions as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011,” he said. “This end-strength and force structure reduction predates sequestration. If sequestration continues into fiscal year 2014, Army reductions to end-strength, force structure and basing announced today will be only the first step.”

The Army’s share of Department of Defense funding began this fiscal year and extends over 10 years.

“The Army’s share of this reduction is approximately $170 billion dollars,” said Ordierno.

Decisions on where the Army would make these reductions is based on a number of criteria, said Odierno, including “… the ability to train our forces, project power, provide for our Soldiers and families’ well-being, the ability to expand and regenerate forces, our geographic distribution, environmental and socio-economic impacts, cost and our institutional alignment with the 2012 defense strategic guidance, including the rebalance to the Pacific.”

Ordierno also addressed the reorganization of brigade combat teams (BCTs), which are slated to reduce in number from 45 to 33.

“As part of the reorganization of each BCT, we will add a third maneuver battalion and additional engineer and fires capability to each of our armor and infantry BCTs in order to make them more lethal, more flexible and more agile,” said Ordierno.

As BCTs are inactivated, the Army will reinvest Soldiers, equipment and support personnel into the remaining BCTs, Ordierno said. Reorganizing the BCTs means an overall reduction of the overall number of headquarters while sustaining as much combat capability as possible.

“In other words, we are increasing our tooth-to-tail ratio,” said Ordierno.

Schofield Barracks and the 25th Infantry Division were not cited by Ordierno as having one of the 12 BCTs to be inactivated for now.

“In the future, we will announce an additional BCT to be inactivated, which will bring the number of BCTs to 32,” said Ordierno.

The reorganization of BCTs also means a reduction in related construction projects.

“As we reorganize our BCTs, we expect to cancel almost $400 million dollars of those projects permanently,” said Ordierno.

Sequestration may have further impact, Ordierno concluded.

“Again, I want to emphasize that these reductions do not reflect reductions due to sequestration,” he explained. “Full sequestration could require another significant reduction in Active, Guard, and Reserve force structure as much as 100,000 combined.”

Reorganization of Brigade Combat Teams

The Army will inactivate a total of 12 BCTs. Two overseas-based BCTs, stationed at Baumholder and Grafenwoehr, Germany, will complete their inactivation in Fiscal Year 2013, leaving two BCTs in Europe to fulfill strategic commitments.

The remaining 10 will come at each of the following 10 U.S. installations between now and the end of Fiscal Year 2017: Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Drum, New York; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Stewart, Georgia, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.


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