Fort Hood To Lose Thousands Of Soldiers To Force Reduction

FORT HOOD (June 25, 2013)—Fort Hood will lose about 3,000 soldiers under a massive Army restructuring plan announced Tuesday that would eliminate the 1st Cavalry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team and BCTs at nine other posts in the U.S. by 2017.

Two other BCTs based at Baumholder and Grafenwoehr, Germany will be eliminated in fiscal 2013 leaving two brigade combat teams in Europe to fulfill strategic commitments.

"The Army is apportioning brigade combat team and end strength reductions across the force based on a deliberate quantitative and qualitative analysis, and input solicited at community listening sessions," Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, III Corps and Fort Hood senior commander, said in a statement released late Tuesday afternoon.

"Accordingly, Fort Hood may experience a net loss of approximately 2,900 active component military positions by the end of Fiscal Year 2017 -- a seven percent reduction in the number of Soldiers at Fort Hood. This includes the inactivation of the 4th BCT, 1st Cavalry Division, and several other non-BCT formations,” he said.

The 1st Armored Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Bliss is also among those to be eliminated, as part of the effort to reduce the Army’s force strength by 80,000 troops, from 570,000 to 490,000.

Officials there estimated the net loss of troops at about 1,000.

The plan announced Tuesday by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno also calls for a reorganization of infantry and armor brigade combat teams that eliminates headquarters units, but preserves 13 armor and infantry battalions.

“I think as all of you know, the Army's in the process of undergoing one of the largest organizational changes probably since World War II,” he told reporters Tuesday.

“As we transition from a force at war, our decisions are in line with the Fiscal Year 13 budget submission, which implements a $487 billion dollar reduction in DOD funding based on the budget control act of 2011,” he said.

Before the announcement Tuesday, Odierno called U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, to alert him to the cuts.

“With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drawing to an end, we know the Army is having to reassess the existing force structure,” said Carter, whose district includes the post.

“Although Fort Hood would be losing one of their five Brigade Combat Teams, General Odierno and I discussed that the post will likely experience less of a reduction in the number of soldiers than other installations," Carter said.

“I will continue to engage on this and will provide congressional support necessary to ensure the community is minimally impacted,” he said.

Ierardi Tuesday expressed appreciation for “the Central Texas community’s unwavering support” to soldiers and families during the 12-year war on terrorism and said the post’s role won’t change.

"Fort Hood will remain an essential power projection platform and home to multiple major operating force units and force generating capabilities,” he said.

“Fort Hood will continue to provide superior training facilities, infrastructure and support services to our units, Soldiers and families.”

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