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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Loss of European Brigades Will Not Benefit U.S. Basing

  • January 29, 2012
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The two heavy brigade combat teams slated to be withdrawn from Europe will not be re-stationed in the United States, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said Friday.

“They will come out of the force,” he said at a Pentagon news briefing held to discuss the impact of DOD’s new strategic guidance on the Army.

The first brigade would be withdrawn in 2013 and the second in 2014, Odierno said.

The Army’s top officer also said that DOD’s latest plan to eliminate a total of eight brigade combat teams could be expanded, depending on the findings of a study now under way. The assessment is applying lessons learned in combat to determine if the design of brigade combat teams needs to be adjusted.

“This analysis is ongoing and we do not expect any decisions for several months, but it could lead to a reduction of additional brigades if we decide to increase the capability of our current brigade combat team structure,” he said.

Last week, 360 reported that the Army was considering eliminating between eight and 13 brigades out of a total of 45.

As part of the department’s effort to cut almost a half a trillion dollars in spending through 2021, the fiscal 2013 budget previewed last week calls for the number of active-duty soldiers to decline from 562,000 to 490,000 by 2017. On Friday Odierno said he was comfortable with the planned reduction because it was prompted by changing needs, reported American Forces Press Service.

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