The United States Army announced today a restructuring of its warrior transition units (WTUs) as the service prepares for a scheduled withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and a continued decline in the number of combat wounded.
According to Brig. Gen. David Bishop, commander, Warrior Transition Command and Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and Transition, “These changes will improve the care and transition of soldiers through increased standardization, increased cadre to soldier ratios, improved access to resources on installations, and reduced delays in care. They are not related to budget cuts, sequestration or furloughs.”
As part of the restructuring, the Army will inactivate five WTUs and establish more than a dozen community care units (CCUs) across 11 installations by September 30, 2014. The transition to CCUs will result in the inactivation of nine community-based warrior transition units (CBWTUs), which currently provide outpatient care and services for Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers who do not require day-to-day care, allowing soldiers to continue their recovery closer to home.
Warrior transition units are located at major military treatment facilities and provide support to wounded, ill and injured soldiers who require at least six months of rehabilitative care and complex medical management. Under community care, CBWTU soldiers - those healing at home - will be assigned to CCUs at WTUs located on Army installations. Soldiers will not have to move or change their care plans.
Thirteen CCUs will stand up at the following Army installations: Fort Carson, Colo.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Forts Hood and Bliss, Texas; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Forts Benning, Stewart, and Gordon, Ga.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; and Fort Belvoir, Va. Forts Belvoir and Knox will each have two CCUs. All nine CBWTUs are identified for inactivation: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Utah and Virginia. The Puerto Rico CBWTU will become a community care detachment under the mission command of the Fort Gordon Warrior Transition Battalion.
WTUs slated for inactivation include: Fort Irwin, Calif.; Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Fort Jackson, S.C.; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; and the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. Each location has fewer than 38 Soldiers assigned to the WTU (as of Dec. 20, 2013).
Every attempt will be made to allow reserve component (RC) cadre to serve out their tours. Active duty personnel assigned to units set for inactivation or force structure reductions will be reassigned in accordance with current Army Human Resources Command policies. Civilian employees impacted by the force structure changes will be reassigned based on their skill sets, the needs of the Army and available employment opportunities.