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4th Infantry Division Goes 'Modular'
By U.S. Army Maj. Matt Garner / Deputy Public Affairs Officer, 4th Infantry Division

FORT HOOD, Texas, Dec. 16, 2004 – The 4th Infantry Division formally moved into a new era of organization and effectiveness today when it officially became the Army's newest "modular" division.

The transformation of the 4th Infantry Division from a "legacy" division to a "modular" configuration is in tune with the dramatic changes being felt throughout the Army as it carries through and adopts its strategic vision for the future.

"We will tailor our units under modularity to transition and transform the force from a divisional-based army to a brigade-based Army. We are literally pushing down assets to make brigades more autonomous," said Maj. Gen. J. D. Thurman, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division.

The Army designed the traditional legacy divisions as the basic building blocks for a Cold-War Army. The 4th Infantry Division. now contains four self-sustaining brigade combat teams, otherwise known as units of action, which are the basic building blocks for modular units. The legacy divisions were each unique in their designs and capabilities. That uniqueness is changing so that units will now mirror one another in their designs and capabilities. The new organization means that the 4th Infantry Division is at the forefront of the Army's changes.

"The entire Army is changing while engaged in a war fight, and it is not an easy thing to do." said Maj. Gen. J. D. Thurman, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division.

The similarity produces what Gen. Peter Schoomaker, Army chief of staff, calls "plug and play" provides and gives the combatant commanders throughout the world the ability to tailor forces for a more effective fighting force.

Modularity, which is part of the Army Campaign Plan, was also designed to produce more combat power for the Army in addition to providing more stability and predictability for soldiers and their families.

The transformation to modular organizations affects nearly every aspect of the way the 4th Infantry Division is organized and the way the division trains, lives and deploys.

The 4th Infantry Division is changing to better support the war fight and to provide more stability for our units and families, Thurman said .

Schoomaker has remarked that reorganizing while the Army is at war is like tuning the car while the engine is running, Thurman said.

That tune-up affects division operations each day. Eighty-eight percent of the division has moved offices or barracks and nearly 5,000 new soldiers will be assigned to the division before the transformation is complete.

Major additions to the division include the 4th Brigade Combat Team, with about 3,700 soldiers, and nearly doubling the Aviation Brigade, which includes a new attack helicopter battalion, a new assault helicopter battalion and a new company of CH-47 Chinook helicopters. It had been 30 years since Chinooks were assigned to the division.

In addition to the new helicopters, the division completes the fielding of M1A2 Abrams System Enhancement Package tanks. It also adds M2A2 Bradley Fire Support vehicles. The division additionally has upgraded its M109 A6 Paladin howitzers, M2 Infantry Fighting Vehicles, M3 Cavalry Fighting Vehicles and numerous command and control systems.

The new troops in the division are part of an overall revamping of the Army that will eventually add 10 new brigade combat teams, which is an increase from 33 to 43 brigades. The new brigades will provide the additional combat power and flexibility needed to sustain the global war on terrorism.

A companion piece to modularity is stabilization, which is a separate issue but a vital element in accomplishing the change.

Photo, caption below.

CHINOOK COMPANY – Four of seven Chinook-47 helicopters from Company C., 7th Battalion, 101st Airborne Aviation Brigade,  Fort Campbell, Ky.,  taxi toward a hangar Nov. 18, 2004, at Hood Army Airfield, Fort Hood, Texas. It's the first time in 30 years that Chinooks have been assigned to the division.   U.S. Army photo by Spc. Matthew Chlosta

Soldiers and their families now have an opportunity to stay at duty stations longer and move less frequently. This enables deeper ties to the local communities and helps reduce the confusion caused by the frequent changing of schools and careers for children and spouses.

Lower soldier turnover increases unit cohesion and effectiveness, which increases the division's combat power, said Thurman. "Why move a tank driver to Fort Stewart when all he will do is the same thing he was doing right here at Fort Hood."

Two of the division's four brigades have been designated as lifecycle-managed units. "This means that soldiers will be assigned to the same brigade for three years," said Lt. Col John Pollock, 4th Infantry Division chief of personnel. "The units will form together, train together, and deploy together as an effective fighting formation backed up by a strong support group at home."

Prior to the modular changes, the main combat power of the division consisted of brigades of armor and infantry battalions supported by engineers units, division artillery, the division support command and the aviation brigade.

The modular division now consists of a more robust division headquarters, which is capable of functioning as a joint task force headquarters. It has changed and added the ability to function as a division or joint headquarters. The headquarters has greater command and control abilities with increases in critical staff functions.

The division now consists of four brigade units of action, a fires brigade, an aviation brigade and a support brigade. The design of the different types of modular brigades is consistent across the Army: a heavy brigade in 4th Infantry Division will be the same as a heavy brigade at 3rd Infantry Division

Each of the units of action, otherwise known as brigade combat teams, consist of two combined arms battalions, a reconnaissance squadron, an artillery battalion, and attached special troops and support battalions.

The combined arms battalions each have two armor companies, two infantry companies, an engineer company and a headquarters and headquarters company.

The multifunctional aviation brigade increased from 16 AH-64D Apache helicopters in one attack battalion to 48 Apaches in two battalions and added a general support battalion that includes Ch-47D Chinook helicopters and more UH-60 Black Hawks. The aviation support battalion moved from the division support command and now falls under the aviation brigade.

As a result of the transformation, two battalions and a company case their colors and no longer serve as active units in the division - the 124th Signal Battalion, the 104th Military Intelligence Battalion and the 4th Military Police Company. Other units throughout the division absorbed Soldiers from those battalions.

The division also bids farewell to the 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery as it leaves Fort Hood and transforms into the 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Missile Artillery at Fort Bliss.

The 1st, 2nd and 4th brigade combat teams are stationed on Fort Hood while the 3rd brigade combat team transforms to modular design at Fort Carson. Some battalion- and company-level units have assumed new unit designations as determined by the Center for Military History.

Last Updated:
11/30/2005, Eastern Standard Time
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