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.