Liberty / Long Business News
Category: Liberty / Long Business News
Army Restructuring to Impact Fort Stewart
June 25, 2013 – It was the announcement that Liberty County and the entire Savannah metro area has been dreading: yesterday the Department of the Army announced force structure and stationing decisions associated with the active component end-strength reduction of 80,000 soldiers, resulting in an Army end-strength of 490,000 by 2017.
Ft. Stewart will lose a full brigade of 1,300 soldiers which will have a ripple effect out to civilian jobs at the base and at area installations. The loss of the soldiers is magnified by the loss of their families which impacts area businesses and schools.
“These reductions are consistent with fiscal constraints resulting from the Budget Control Act of 2011 and defense planning guidance issued in 2012, but do not reflect additional reductions that will be required if sequestration-driven funding reductions remain unmitigated,” the DOA added.
Based on extensive analysis, the Army explained, and “the lessons of a dozen years of combat and the need to increase operational capability and flexibility,” the Army will make the following changes to its force structure:
• Reorganize infantry and armor brigade combat teams (BCTs) to restore the third maneuver battalion and increase engineer and fires capability
• Reduce active component BCTs from 45 modular to 33 reorganized BCTs.
• Continue growth in aviation, special operations, missile defense and cyber capabilities.
This active component force structure, in conjunction with Army National Guard and Army Reserve capabilities, supports the current defense strategy and meets combatant command requirements through regional alignment of forces and global responsiveness for contingencies. The decision to restructure armor and infantry BCTs helps mitigate the loss of BCTs by eliminating the headquarters but preserving 13 armor and infantry battalions that would be lost without the reorganization.
Stationing decisions necessitated by the reductions and reorganization were based on a comprehensive analysis of installation quantitative and qualitative considerations to include training, power projection, well-being, expansibility, regeneration, geographic distribution, environmental and socio-economic impacts, cost and alignment with the defense strategy. Opportunities for community input were included through both the programmatic environment assessment public comment period and community listening sessions conducted in parallel with the military value analysis and qualitative stationing analysis, prior to the final decision.
Based on this comprehensive analysis, a BCT will inactivate at each of the following locations by 2017: Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Campbell, Ky; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Stewart, Ga., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Two 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 reduction of 80,000 soldiers from the force represents a 14 percent reduction across the AC force. The specific impacts of these decisions on individual installations are being provided to affected Congressional delegations. The Army will conduct Congressional notification in accordance with Section 993, Title 10 U.S.C. prior to taking any irrevocable actions to implement these decisions.
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