The Department of Defense announced today the restructuring of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) and subordinate units in Illesheim, Ansbach, Wiesbaden and Stuttgart, Germany, as part of the Army's Aviation Restructuring Initiative (ARI) in Europe. ARI is part of a major initiative to streamline and modernize U.S. forces around the world to ensure we can address current and future challenges in the most effective and sustainable way possible.
Taken together, the U.S. defense posture in Europe and Operation Atlantic Resolve (OAR) are tangible and visible demonstrations of the U.S. commitment to European security through persistent air, land, and sea presence. Additional DoD force rotations in Europe complement existing U.S. posture, and further enhance our ability to project operational capabilities within and beyond Europe.
A key aspect of the restructuring of the 12th CAB is the U.S. Army's commitment to provide a persistent, full-time rotational presence of theater-committed aviation assets to support OAR in Central and Eastern Europe and exercises in Germany. Rotational forces are critical to DoD's ability to project power and operate the force globally -- deployed and employed today throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Pacific.
The 12th CAB restructuring will mean that while some U.S. personnel and assets will no longer be permanently assigned to Ansbach, aviation capabilities will be maintained by augmenting remaining aviation assets and personnel through a continuous rotation. Aviation assets in Ansbach will be augmented even further in the event we need to surge capabilities beyond normal levels. The net result of this restructuring is that Army aviation assets in Europe will be more ready, present, and operationally flexible. This is particularly important in the current strategic environment.
The U.S. Army is providing a rotational presence of an assault helicopter battalion (-), two MEDEVAC teams, and an Air Traffic Service Company to complement the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade. The units rotating to Europe are trained to the highest level of readiness and will support Operation Atlantic Resolve and major training exercises in Central and Eastern Europe and Germany.
The rotational force will be located in the Ansbach area with possible short deployments to Eastern Europe in support of training and exercises supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve. These units will rotate for nine months with no gap between rotations. This rotation is part of the Army's Army Force Generation rotation plan and is not expected to adversely affect mission accomplishment.
These actions will result in the reduction of approximately 1,900 U.S. military positions and an estimated 2,850 associated family members in Germany. Approximately 1,000 military will remain in the Ansbach and Illesheim area as of the fall of 2016, including rotational forces. Approximately 20 Department of the Army civilian employees will be added to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade. However, three local national employee positions will be reduced in the near term. Long-term impacts on local national employment will not be clear until the restructuring is complete and the rotational program has been in effect for some time.
For additional information regarding this announcement, please contact U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs, 00-49-(0)611-143-537-0027/0022.
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