Army announces force structure decisions and stationing plans
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Fort Leonard Wood is projected to lose 774 positions, between now and fiscal year 2017, as part of cuts announced today by the Department of the Army.

The Army was directed to make reductions, and did so in a strategically considered approach to preserve war-fighting capability and avoid a hollow force as the Army faces continuing fiscal pressures.

The reductions stem from force-structure decisions and stationing plans for the reduction of the Regular Army from 490,000 to 450,000 Soldiers.

The reduction of force structure will occur in fiscal years 2016 and 2017; the reduction of 40,000 end strength will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2018, and will be accompanied by the reduction of 17,000 Department of the Army Civilian employees.

A majority of Fort Leonard Wood cuts came from an analysis conducted on the required density and location of military police units, according to information released by the Department of the Army. Preservation of capabilities inside combat units led to reduction of enablers on non- brigade combat team installations.

Along with the military cuts, the Army announced a reduction of 17,000 Department of the Army civilians.

The impact on Fort Leonard Wood and other installations won't be known until September, pending the results of an on-going analysis on the effects of those civilian reductions.

However, according to a U.S. Army statement, they anticipate the majority of the Department of the Army civilian reductions will be absorbed through attrition and positions that are currently unfilled.

Driven by fiscal constraints resulting from the Budget Control Act of 2011 and defense strategic and budgetary guidance, these cuts will impact nearly every Army installation, both in the continental United States and overseas.

As part of these reductions, the number of Regular Army brigade combat teams, the basic deployable units of maneuver in the Army, will continue to be reduced from a wartime high of 45 in 2012 to 30 by the end of fiscal year 2017.

The Army will convert the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, into maneuver battalion task forces by the end of fiscal year 2017.

Additionally, the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division will remain at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, but will convert to a two-maneuver battalion infantry brigade combat team.

In addition to reorganizing the operational force, the Army is reducing the size of two-star-and-above headquarters and cutting the civilian workforce. If current law budget caps, commonly referred to as sequestration, are not addressed, end-strength will be further reduced to 420,000 Soldiers by fiscal year 2019.

This will result in a cumulative loss of 150,000 Soldiers from the Regular Army -- a 26 percent cut over a seven-year period. The resulting force would be incapable of simultaneously meeting current deployment requirements and responding to the overseas contingency requirements of the combatant commands.

Related Links:

Fort Leonard Wood on Twitter

Fort Leonard Wood on Flickr

Fort Leonard Wood Guidon Newspaper

Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonad Wood