Tuesday, December 31, 2013

UPDATE: Fort Carson will lose a unit in 2015

Posted By on Tue, Dec 31, 2013 at 11:35 AM

click to enlarge The Mountain Post will lose a brigade combat team in 2015.
  • The Mountain Post will lose a brigade combat team in 2015.
UPDATE:
From the Mayor’s Office:

Yes, it was definitely on the radar of City and County when the Army was going through the decision making process. The Community, met w/the leadership at Ft Carson, to include Major General Paul LaCamera, and provided significant input to him, which he forwarded to the Department of the Army. This was a decision that was directed at the entire Army, not just Ft Carson.

The reduction in force (aka RIF) is not news. It has been a subject of great discussion for many months given the drawdown in Iraq and the goal to vacate Afghanistan. As one of the Army's largest divisions, FCCO has been vulnerable to a RIF ever since the subject surfaced. FCCO was fortunate to have been granted a CAB prior to the RIF so it went forward anyway.

What to do? The community has given the Army lots of input and they have weighed it I'm sure –however, they have to do what they have to do. We need to continue to focus on protecting FCCO from further cuts by staying connected to the Department of the Army, keeping our congressional delegation focused on Colorado installations and the DoD, and assuring local commanders that our community (writ large State of CO) is supportive of their needs. To that end we need to be sure the Colorado National Defense Support Council (or some iteration of it) gets the funding and focus it needs from the Governor and the State so we deliver the message.

-——————————-ORIGINAL POST TUESDAY, DEC. 31, 11:35 a.m.————————-

Army Times recently reported the Army's plan to eliminate 10 brigade combat teams, five in 2014 and five in 2015, and  Fort Carson made the second list.

Slated for "inactivation" is the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, which is a change from the Army's earlier announcement in June that the 3rd BCT would fall victim to the "sweeping reorganization" described by Army Times.

"The reorganization, one of the most comprehensive organizational changes the Army has undertaken since World War II, is linked with an ongoing effort to cut the Army’s end strength by 80,000 soldiers," the publication reported.
 
The other units on the chopping block:
2014:
■4th BCT, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas
■3rd BCT, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Ky.
■4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
■4th BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
■4th BCT, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.

2015:
■3rd BCT, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas
■3rd BCT, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.
■4th BCT, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
■2nd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
■2nd BCT, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo. (The Army previously announced it would inactivate the division’s 3rd BCT, but the brigades were switched to adjust for deployment cycles, officials said.)

Asked about the impact of the scale back, Carson issued this statement:

The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, is one of 10 active component brigade combat teams identified in an Army plan to be inactivated by FY15. At this time, we cannot speculate about the number of Soldiers who will be affected by 2BCT's inactivation. In June, Department of Army announced that 3rd Armored BCT, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson would inactivate, but now will inactivate 2nd Armored BCT, 4th Infantry Division. This change was necessary to adjust for deployment cycles. The decision to inactivate a brigade will not affect Fort Carson or the 4th Infantry Division's readiness to protect our nation and defend our freedom. Fort Carson remains a well-trained, adaptable fighting force with multiple well-trained, operational units.
Since so much of the local economy revolves around the military, we asked El Paso County Board of County Commissioners Chair Dennis Hisey for his thoughts:

"While it is true they are deactivating the one BCT they are shifting a battalion to the remaining BCT’s," he writes in an e-mail. "The net loss will be about 700. However, Fort Carson is slated to have a small net gain over the next few years due to other units coming to Fort Carson like the Combat Aviation Brigade."

Although unsuccessful at staving off the cutback, Hisey says local business leaders coordinated with the city and county to deliver "responses" to the Pentagon and congressional offices.

Springs City Council President Keith King says this might not be the only cutback that lies ahead.

"I think we will start seeing some of this as the nation pulls out the Afghanistan," he tells us via e-mail. "I would hope that the drawdown will not be significant and be less soldiers than what you are indicating will leave. I would hope that the RBA [Regional Business Alliance] has been aggressively trying to prevent this from happening. I would also hope the Mayor has been involved with the military. Council's job priority is very important in our strategic plan. I will ask our latest employee, George Culpepper to investigate the move and see if there is anything we can do. 

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