Army Announces Plan to Station Soldiers, Boost Bases
By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2007 The Army’s new plan for stationing its growing number of troops will affect 380,000 soldiers and family members and cost more than $66 billion in construction projects through 2013. (Video)
Announced today, the plan is the largest Army transformation since World War II, and moves the force toward a “modular,” or brigade-centric, posture. The Army’s vice chief of staff told reporters at the Pentagon today that the design represents a holistic improvement across the entire service branch.
“We’re changing the footprint of our Army to a make it more agile, more expeditionary, but also to place our formations and our family members in post camps and stations that have a higher quality of life, have a higher quality of training ranges,” Army Gen. Richard A. Cody said.
Plans will be implemented as the force expands its active duty Army, Army Guard and Army Reserve by 74,200 soldiers by 2010. In accordance with a 2005 base realignment and closure analysis, the plan:
-- Stations two infantry brigade combat teams each to Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Stewart, Ga.; and Fort Bliss, Texas.
-- Stations eight support brigades across the country, including an air defense artillery brigade at Fort Hood, Texas; a military police brigade at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; a maneuver enhancement brigade at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo; a fires brigade at Fort Bliss; an expeditionary sustainment command at Fort Lewis, Wash.; and a battlefield surveillance brigade at Fort Polk, La. A maneuver enhancement brigade will be restationed to Fort Drum, N.Y., and Fort Richardson, Alaska, pending completion of an environmental analysis.
-- Retains two heavy brigade combat teams in Germany for two years. The two extended brigades tentatively will relocate in fiscal 2012 and 2013 to Fort Bliss, and White Sands Missile Range, N.M., respectively.
The decision to extend two brigades in Europe supports the theater’s near-term security needs, Cody said. It also allows time for workers to build new houses and prepare infrastructure on bases before soldiers and their families arrive.
Meanwhile, more than 740 construction projects are outlined in the plan, totaling an estimated $66.4 billion between fiscal 2006 and fiscal 2011. Projects include 20 brigade complexes, 69,000 barracks spaces, 4,100 family housing units and 66 child development centers.
“It’s a win for our soldiers and their families, it’s a win for our Army, and it’s certainly a win for our nation,” Cody said. The general noted that by improving on-base infrastructure, the Army is “truly building communities.”
Cody expressed optimism at the Army’s plan to grow and improve its overall force.
“It gives us a better quality of life for this all-volunteer force that has defended us so well here for six years in combat,” he said. “We’re getting bigger, but more importantly, we’re getting better as an Army.”