By Mr. Mike Bowers (Leonard Wood)April 23, 2015
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (April 23, 2015) -- Fort Leonard Wood's Warrior Transition Unit, or WTU, is one of 10 scheduled to inactivate next year, according to a U.S. Army announcement April 17.
Army officials said the streamlining comes as the number of wounded, ill and injured Soldiers requiring care in the WTUs continues to decline.
Since February 2014, the number of Soldiers receiving care and support in WTUs has decreased from more than 7,000 to less than 3,700.
Based on a comprehensive assessment of WTU force structure and the declining population of Soldiers in WTUs, the Army will be able to reduce the number of WTUs from the 25 units to 15 by August 2016.
"These Soldiers and their Families have overcome great adversity, and they represent the strength of our nation. I'm committed to ensuring they continue to have the best possible health care and support to transition successfully back to the force or into the civilian community as a veteran," said Col. Chris Toner, commander, Warrior Transition Command and assistant surgeon general for Warrior Care and Transition.
In addition to Fort Leonard Wood, the Army WTUs scheduled for inactivation are at Fort Gordon, Georgia; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; Fort Meade, Maryland; and Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California.
WTUs will remain on installations where there is a large concentration of Soldiers.
WTUs will also continue to be co-located with major Army medical activities and centers providing support to wounded, ill and injured Soldiers who require at least six months of rehabilitative care and complex medical management.
As units are inactivated, Soldiers and their Families will continue to receive care and transition assistance, and the Warrior Care and Transition Program will remain a scalable and reversible program fully capable of providing world-class care to the wounded, ill and injured Soldier population.
Soldiers who do not require day-to-day care to recover, and who receive their care from the TRICARE network closer to their homes, will not be affected by these consolidation efforts.
The opportunity to recover closer to home, through assignment to Community Care Units, will continue to be an option Soldiers can explore.
Active-duty personnel assigned to units set for inactivation or force structure reductions will be reassigned in accordance with current Army assignment policies.
Civilian employees impacted by the consolidation will be reassigned based on their skill sets, the needs of the Army and available employment opportunities.
Every attempt will be made to allow Reserve Component cadre to serve out their tours.
(Editor's note: Information provided by Army News Service writer Tatjana Christian.)