Reorganization had a big impact on the brigade's Prepare to Deploy Order, he said, which could result in a possible mission to Korea while the brigade is still resetting equipment used in Iraq. Preparing for contingency missions, it took a lot of coordination with U.S.-based forces in South Korea to ensure the necessary equipment would be available if the brigade was called upon.
“It required additional planning,” Oliver said. “Units in the division and on post came up with a plan to where we'd have what we need.”
While the brigade gained new technology and capabilities, it lost 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor, which transferred to the new 4th Brigade Combat Team. However, 2nd Brigade Combat Team gained 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 4th Infantry Division's cavalry squadron.
Historically known as the "Buffalo Soldiers," the squadron will provide increased security and reconnaissance, Oliver said. "Instead of having just a troop, we'll have a whole squadron. That's the biggest advantage."
The new assignment has brought on a long adjustment period for the soldiers of 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, said Maj. John Basso, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry. "Our job is a bit different," he said.
Before the restructuring process, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, soldiers were equipped with OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters and M1A2 Abrams tanks as the primary weapons platforms used to complete their missions of conducting reconnaissance, which provided the division "freedom to maneuver," Basso said.
1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, is now composed of mostly cavalry scouts. It has 23 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, is slated to have 30 Humvees and will work with 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation, for air reconnaissance support, he said.
The squadron began transforming in early summer. By fall, it had moved the OH-58Ds to other divisions with most of the helicopters going to Fort Bragg, N.C.; the M1A2s went back to the plant in Lima, Ohio and the armor crewmen were transferred to combined arms battalions within 4th Infantry Division.
"We've become a lighter, stealthier organization," Basso said.
Instead of being the "eyes and ears" of the division, the mission now is to work as scout teams for 2nd Brigade Combat Team, he said. The squadron will consist of six platoons, each with five Humvees and three Bradleys.
The unit started training on the Bradleys and with 1 st Battalion, 4th Aviation. After more internal reorganization, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, is slated to begin building unit cohesion by training on platoon lanes with other units in the brigade, Basso said.
Since its creation in 1917, 2nd Brigade Combat Team has fought and won battle streamers in World War I and the Vietnam War. With its new equipment and added security from 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, the brigade stands ready for its future missions.