30 December 2013

Big Changes for the US Army

The Maneuver Enhancement Brigades are going away, as are 5 BCTs in actual divisional units.

The Army has identified new units for inactivation as part of a sweeping reorganization that will cut 10 brigade combat teams and affect as many as 740 units across the force.

The reorganization, one of the most comprehensive organizational changes the Army has undertaken since World War II, is linked with an ongoing effort to cut the Army’s end strength by 80,000 soldiers.

“You are either going to see changes within your unit … or if there isn’t a change in your unit, you’ll most certainly look to your left and right and see change,” said Col. Karl Konzelman of the force management directorate in the Army G-3/5/7 (operations). “There are about 740 units that will be impacted in the next few years.”

Added to the list of affected units are the active Army’s two Maneuver Enhancement Brigades — the 1st MEB at Fort Polk, La., and the 4th MEB at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

The inactivation of these units means the Army’s MEBs will reside solely in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve.

The Guard has 16, and the Reserve has three of these formations, Konzelman said.

The MEBs have “just sort of run their course” in the active Army, he said.

The list of brigades getting the axe
The five BCTs to inactivate next year are:
4th BCT, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas
3rd BCT, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Ky.
4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 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.

The remaining five BCTs to inactivate in fiscal 2015. 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.

There is some reassuring news in this, though. The net overall effect on shooters won't be a huge change
In addition to cutting 10 BCTs, the Army also will reorganize most of its remaining BCTs by adding a third maneuver battalion to its armored and infantry brigades. The Army’s Stryker brigades each have three maneuver battalions, and the BCTs stationed outside of the continental U.S. — four in all — will remain at two maneuver battalions, mostly as a way to save on military construction costs, officials said.
Which is comforting to know that we're cutting 26 manuever battalions (13 total BCTs x 2 BNs ea) but putting back almost 30 (+1 BN to each of the current BCTs that don't already have one). So we're reducing the number of HQs while increasing the foxhole count in the remaining brigades. Good start. I've long been a fan of adding an entire platoon to each armor / infantry company out there, noting that today's CO CDRs can handle that number of subordinates just fine. But this is at least a step in the right direction.
By: Brant

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