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Panetta Identifies Army Brigades to Be Eliminated in Europe

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  • February 21, 2012
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The Army will inactivate two infantry brigades based in Germany that have not been modernized as part of the Defense Department’s plan to trim the number of personnel in Europe from 80,000 to 70,000 over the next five years, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced last week.

The 170th infantry brigade will be inactivated this year, with the 172nd infantry brigade scheduled to be inactivated in fiscal 2014, reported American Forces Press Service.

The two units that will remain in Europe are the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment at Vilseck, Germany, and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team at Vicenza, Italy. Elements of the 173rd that are based in various locations in Germany will be moved to Vicenza. A senior defense official said those modernized units are two of the Army’s “cutting-edge” troop formations, according to the story.

Adjustments of other forces in Europe include:

  • inactivation of V Corps Headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany;
  • move of U.S. Army Europe Headquarters from Heidelberg, Germany, to Wiesbaden;
  • inactivation of the Air Force’s 81st Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany; and
  • inactivation of the 603rd Air Control Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Visit the DOD website to read a background briefing on the changing U.S. force posture in Europe.

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