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Army Infantry Division Loses its 'Light'

Name change reflects the overall Army transformation efforts that impact the 25th Infantry Division.

By Troy Griffin / 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii , Jan. 17, 2006  – The New Year brings yet another change to the Tropic Lightning Division – the elimination of the designation "Light" from the 25th Infantry Division's name.

This change is but the latest of many impacting the 25th Infantry Division as part of the Army's overall transformation efforts that, when complete, will result in an Army modular force that involves the total redesign of the operational Army into a larger, more powerful, flexible and rapidly deployable force.

"We are in the midst of rebuilding our existing brigades that returned from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan into modular brigades -- smaller, more independent and powerful units able to plug into theater-level logistics anywhere around the world," said Maj. Gen Benjamin R. Mixon, commander, 25th Infantry Division. "In addition, we are continuing our efforts to transform the 2nd Brigade to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team."

"When completed, our historic division will scarcely resemble the force that returned from Iraq and Afghanistan in 2005," Mixon added.

Creating an Army modular force is the Army's major force transformation initiative. The Army is restructuring from a division-based to a brigade-based force, consisting of self-sufficient, brigade-based modules that will greatly improve strategic responsiveness.

Brigade combat teams, the center of the redesign, are stand-alone, self-sufficient and standardized tactical units that consist of between 3,500 and 4,000 soldiers, organized the way they fight.

The headquarters of the 25th Infantry Division and the 3rd Brigade will complete transformation to the restructured, modular design prior to deployment later this year.

Modular supporting brigades will provide aviation, fires, logistics and other support to the brigade combat teams, and they will create greater operational autonomy and enhance joint, interagency and multinational operations.

The new division headquarters will be able to execute command and control of any combination of Army capabilities and will also be capable of serving as the core of joint or multinational task force headquarters.

But the changes to 25th Infantry Division units in Hawaii are only part of the story. The Tropic Lightning Division increases in size by two new brigades; however, these brigades will not be based in Hawaii and will not fall under the daily command and control of the division headquarters.

The 4th Brigade Combat Team at Fort Richardson, Alaska, which activated last summer, is an airborne brigade with capability for forced-entry operations.

These additions will give the 25th Infantry Division a total of four brigade combat teams, including 1st Brigade at Fort Lewis, Wash., the Army's second Stryker brigade combat team; however, the 1st Brigade is slated to move to Germany to form the core of a new Stryker brigade, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, at an unspecified date in the future.

The 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, but currently deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom, will be redesignated the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division in the future.

"Here in Hawaii, we're training our soldiers on new equipment and getting them used to being part of modular, self-contained, deployable teams. Soldiers need to be focused and involved in these ongoing changes," Mixon explained.

"Our soldiers have the right mindset; they are prepared for anything that will come their way. "Our training here in Hawaii is tough, realistic ... and it will prepare them for what they will face in Iraq," he emphasized.

"The Tropic Lightning Division is proud to have been selected for this challenging mission," Mixon added.

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Apr. 25, 2015
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