Statement from Fort Stewart on Army restructuring - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Statement from Fort Stewart on Army restructuring

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Statement from Kevin M. Larson, chief, public communications, Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Public Affairs Office:

The Army will draw down from 570,000 to 490,000 Soldiers by 2017. This draw down is driven by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and Army Strategy.  In order to maintain readiness and provide an operational and flexible force, the Army will restructure itself across most of our Nation's military installations in order to meet this smaller but adaptable force posture.  This restructuring equates to a loss of 12 active component Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), from 45 to 33 BCTs by Fiscal Year 2017. During a press conference, held today, the Chief of Staff of the Army announced that 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, a long with nine other installations will be losing a Brigade Combat Team.

This BCT reduction will be off-set by the projected increases in force structure in the remaining BCT's and other force enablers planned for Fort Stewart. This results in an overall net decrease of approximately 1400 Soldiers.  As a comparison, In 2001 Fort Stewart's military population was 15,100. Today, we have 21,100 military residing within the Fort Stewart and coastal region.  By 2019, we will have 19,700-which is 4,000 more than before we entered the era of persistent conflict.

Though we will be losing approximately 1,400 Soldiers, it's the Army's and 3rd ID's mission is to ensure we maintain the highest readiness in support our Nation's security requirements.  As such, the division's Fort Stewart BCT's not affected by this announcement, will gain a maneuver battalion and fire and support elements under the Army restructurings. Doing so provides additional maneuver capability, which fills a capability gap we have identified through analysis and feedback from our tactical commanders.

Additionally, Fort Stewart will gain a Fires Brigade headquarters, a Gray Eagle company, a Civil Affairs Battalion, a heavy transport company and a Chemical Maintenance company.

Nothing changes in the immediate future. We'll continue with our reset efforts, and we look forward to our troops returning from their deployment to Afghanistan. Our division will work with Forces Command, who will provide guidance and resources for the restructuring and reorganization.

We are blessed to have strong neighbors here in the coastal Georgia community, and we thank you for providing comments during the public comment period for the Programmatic Environmental Assessment and at the community listening sessions. We are committed to working with the Coastal Georgia community in the months ahead as we implement this change.

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