July 27, 2005

CORRECTED: Army sets domestic base plan

Please read in last paragraph ... Fort Richardson, Alaska
... instead of Fort Richardson, Arkansas ... and ... Fort
Wainwright, Alaska ... instead of ... Fort Wainwright, Arkansas
... .

A corrected story follows

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Army bases in Texas, Washington
State, Kansas, Colorado and New York will get increases in
combat troops and family members under a new plan for mobile
battle forces announced on Wednesday.

Fort Bliss, Texas, which currently has no combat soldiers,
would be the biggest gainer with nearly 20,000 troops and about
70,000 family dependents over the next three years under a
"Modular Forces Initiative," Gen. Richard Cody, the Army vice
chief of staff, told reporters.

Fort Lewis, Washington, will swell by some 11,300 troops;
Fort Riley, Kansas, by 9,400; Fort Carson, Colorado, by 8,200,
and Fort Drum in upstate New York by 6,100 by the end of 2011
under the mobility plan and other Army changes, service
officials added.

The new plan for basing combat troops will be put into
place as 50,000 Army soldiers are returned home from overseas
over the next two years and the Army's front-line combat force
is rebuilt into 43 new Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs).

The Army announced on Wednesday where the 43 combat teams
will be stationed. The plan was announced as the United States
moves ahead with a separate cost-saving program to close or
realign some domestic military bases.

Under the Army's plans each of the 43 front-line fighting
teams, comprised of 3,400 to 3,900 troops, will be built using
smaller "plug-and-play" units which can easily be shifted and
combined with other units for quick deployment to combat

The shift would not make major changes in the total
military presence at many other big domestic Army bases such as
Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Campbell,
Kentucky, and Forts Benning and Stewart in Georgia.

But it will take advantage of such training areas as the
1.2 million available acres at Fort Bliss and put combat troops
close to railheads, airports or seaports for easy deployment
overseas, according to Cody and Ray Dubois, a special assistant
to the secretary of the Army.

"It is the largest change in our Army since 1939," Cody
told a Pentagon news briefing of the fighting units plan, which
coincides with the U.S. military's ongoing effort to rebuild
itself from a cumbersome Cold War configuration, laden with
armor and entrenched to fight the former Soviet Union.

Dubois said the move was also aimed in large part at
reducing stress on Army troops and family members by making
overseas rotations more predictable and allowing for fewer
changes in home basing for soldiers.

Following is a list of where the 43 new Brigade Combat
Teams will be stationed:

Fort Benning, Georgia, 1 team; Fort Bliss, Texas, 4 teams;
Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 4 teams; Fort Campbell, Kentucky, 4
teams; Fort Carson, Colorado, 4 teams; Fort Drum, New York, 3
teams; Fort Hood, Texas, 5 teams; Fort Knox, Kentucky, 1 team;
Fort Lewis, Washington, 3 Stryker (combat vehicle) teams; Fort
Polk, Louisiana, 1 team; Fort Richardson, Alaska, 1 team; Fort
Riley, Kansas, 3 teams; Fort Stewart, Georgia, 3 teams; Fort
Wainwright, Alaska, 1 Stryker team; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii,
1 team and 1 Stryker team; South Korea, 1 team; Germany, 1
Stryker team; Italy, 1 team.