by Pam Zubeck
Fort Carsonlikely will see a reduction in troops of roughly 800 soldiers under an end-strength reduction announced by the Army today.
The cuts could have been worse, however. Although Carson will lose a brigade, shuffling of soldiers into other units will largely offset the loss, media outlets reported.
Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, issued a statement bemoaning the cut but also noting that the new Combat Aviation Brigade is untouched by the cuts. It's bringing some 2,700 soldiers and more than 100 aircraft here.
"I am very disappointed that Fort Carson is one of ten bases around the country that will lose a brigade combat team by the year 2017. However the blow is considerably softened by the fact that all but 750 of those soldiers will remain at Fort Carson and be reassigned to other missions. Including other restructuring changes, the Army anticipates Fort Carson will actually increase in size by 1,800 active duty Army personnel.
“Ft. Carson is the finest Army post in the country and has access to unique mountain training ranges that enable our soldiers to be fully prepared to fight at altitude. Downsizing at Ft. Carson simply does not make sense.
“It is important to note these cuts are part of Army-wide restructuring, impacting bases in Europe and throughout the United States.
“The good news is that Ft. Carson has other missions that the Army continues to grow such as aviation and special forces. Next week the 4thCombat Aviation Brigade will officially be activated. The 4th CAB will bring dozens of helicopters and thousands of soldiers to Ft. Carson and this year alone is injecting over $260 million in construction into our local economy. The 10th Special Forces Group is also at Ft. Carson and continues to serve our country quietly but heroically.”
Read the Army's announcement here:
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
June 25, 2013
INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
SUBJECT: Army Force Structure and Stationing
Today the Department of the Army announced force structure decisions and stationing plans associated with the Active Component end-strength reduction of 80,000 Soldiers to 490,000 by 2017. 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.
Based on extensive analysis, 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 (AC) BCTs from 45 modular BCTs to 33 reorganized BCTs
- Continue growth in aviation, special operations, missile defense and cyber capabilities
This AC force structure, in conjunction with Army Reserve and Army National Guard capabilities, supports the current defense strategy and meets combatant command requirements through regional alignment of forces and global responsiveness for contingencies. The reorganization of the Armor and Infantry BCTs helps mitigate the loss of BCTs by eliminating the BCT headquarters but preserving 13 Armor and Infantry battalions that would be lost without the reorganization.
Army stationing plans necessitated by the 80,000 AC reduction and BCT 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 to include the rebalance to the Pacific. 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.
Based on this comprehensive analysis, a BCT will inactivate at each of the following ten United States installations no later than 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. 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 reduction of 80,000 Soldiers represents a 14 percent reduction across the AC, and is achieved through both the reorganization of BCT s and the reduction and adjustment of non-BCT, enabling forces. The specific impacts of the Army’s stationing plans on individual installations are being provided to affected Congressional delegations. The Department of the Army will conduct Congressional notification in accordance with 10 U.S.C. § 993 prior to taking any irrevocable actions.
For additional information on this announcement please contact Mr. TC Williams in the Office of Legislative Liaison at 703-697-9690, or MAJ Tom Lamb in the Budget Liaison Office at 703-695-4810 for Appropriations offices.
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF LEGISLATIVE LIAISON
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY