WASHINGTON -- The Department of the Army announced today that the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division, stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia, will convert from an Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) to an Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT). Conversion of the 4,200 Soldier IBCT to an ABCT, equipped with Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles, better postures the Army to execute contingency plans in response to future potential adversaries.

"The complexity of global security challenges is increasing, and as Secretary of Defense Carter has said, addressing these challenges requires some new thinking on our part, new posture in some regions and also new and enhanced capabilities. The conversion of an IBCT to an ABCT better postures the Army to meet the defense strategic guidance by developing force structure capabilities to regain and retain overmatch in key warfighting functions," said Maj. Gen. Andrew Poppas, Army director of force management.

Conversion of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, which begins in the summer 2017, will provide the nation a 15th ABCT; 10 ABCTs in the Regular Army and five in the Army National Guard, ensuring a more balanced distribution between its light and heavy fighting forces. Once the conversion is complete, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division will mirror its sister ABCT at Fort Stewart, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, which recently returned from deployment to Eastern Europe as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.