23 October 2013

Army Accelerating Activation Axe

The US Army is speeding up the closure and reorganization of the current brigades in the force.

The BCT reorganization is one of the Army’s largest organizational changes since World War II. It not only will cut 10 BCTs from the Army but also result in the inactivation of almost 200 smaller units. The Army will reorganize most of its remaining BCTs by adding a third maneuver battalion to its armored and infantry brigades, Army Times noted.

The Army’s Stryker brigades each have three maneuver battalions, and the BCTs stationed outside the continental U.S. will remain at two maneuver battalions for now, mostly as a way to save on military construction costs, officials said.

The Times wrote that the move enables the Army to retain 95 of its 98 combat battalions across the BCTs while eliminating headquarters and staff elements.

Each new BCT will have about 4,500 soldiers, nearly 1,000 more than they do in their current configuration.

Most soldiers from the 10 BCTs slated for inactivation likely will be absorbed into the remaining BCTs, according to the report. In all, the BCT cuts will result in the loss of about 17,700 positions, which are counted as part of the 80,000 end strength cut toward which the Army is working.

In addition to the 10 U.S.-based BCTs scheduled for inactivation, the Army has inactivated two BCTs in Europe — the 170th in Baumholder, Germany, and 172nd in Schweinfurt, Germany.

This will leave the Army with 12 armored BCTs, 14 infantry BCTs and seven Stryker brigades.

One more overseas BCT will be identified for inactivation, officials have said, bringing the final number of BCTs to 32.

And for the love of Patton, can we stop calling things "BCTs" - it's a damned "Brigade". There's -zero- discernable difference between a "brigade" and a "brigade combat team". It's just someone monkeying around with terminology so they can sound cool. Brigades control the actions of multiple subordinate battalions. Occasionally they do so on the battlefield. It's a flipping Brigade people. It's not like they've only been in combat for that last 10 years, and never before that.

By: Brant


Brian said...

In Commonwealth armies there used to be (not sure about now) a distinction between "brigade" and "brigade group".

A brigade was a more administrative organization that controlled and organized the activities of several battalions from the same arm in the same general locality (so infantry brigade, armoured brigade) and a birgade group was a larger, all-arms organization that was task-organized to go and fight, usually overseas, as a group.

Once upon a time, wasn't there a distinction in the US Army between "Regiment" and "Regimental Combat Team" that was similar?

Brant said...

The regiments were different, b/c they were admin organizations similar to the British model, and the RCT was the regiment with their associated artillery, engineers, support, etc.

The BCT term came about when the divisions were org'ed around brigades that contained just the maneuver battalions, with the arty/eng/FSBs in other admin brigades within the division. Units started calling themselves "BCTs" when they had their task-organized elements with them on an NTC rotation.
(Interesting side note: when they actually went into combat - Gulf I - no one called themselves "BCTs"; the term wasn't used 'til the early- to mid-90s, mainly as units trained at Ft Irwin)
Now, the current US Army organization has those previously taskOrg'ed units permanently-assigned to the brigade HQ with whom they would deploy when they go to war. But now that the brigade has admin control, as well as wartime control, there's no reason for the distinction, other than someone thinks it sounds cool.

Brian said...

Okay, so, kind of the same thing then. I agree there's no longer any need for such a distinction.