In a change of plans, the Army has decided to convert the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo., from an infantry BCT to a Stryker unit. The Army originally was planning to convert the unit to a fully armored BCT and considering the possibility of shifting it to one of four other installations. The Army ultimately found a solution that satisfies Colorado Springs and El Paso, Texas, with officials also announcing that the 1st Armored Division’s 1st BCT at Fort Bliss will convert from a Stryker unit to an armored BCT, reported the Gazette.
“We dodged a bullet there,” said Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn (R). The change will add about 200 soldiers to the 2nd BCT as the unit adds hundreds of 18-ton armored vehicles. It also means Fort Carson’s population will reach 26,000 soldiers after adding an 800-soldier security force assistance brigade announced in May. “This shows that Fort Carson remains a high priority at the Pentagon,” Lamborn said. “It solidifies and entrenches Fort Carson’s position.”
The Army’s decision announced Thursday to convert two BCTs to a Stryker and an armored unit comes as the military shifts from a global focus on counterinsurgency warfare to competition against near-peer adversaries such as Russia and China, which have large formations of mechanized ground combat units, reports Army Times. Fort Bliss and Fort Carson were selected to house the two BCTs due to their extensive training areas and their capacity to deploy rapidly, said Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations.