The 85th Civil Affairs Brigade

Friday September 16, 2011

What is it?

The 85th Civil Affairs Brigade is the Army's newest active-component civil affairs (CA) brigade (BDE), and is scheduled to activate Sept. 16, 2011, at Fort Hood, Texas, under the command of Col. Leo J. Ruth II. Its mission includes planning, managing, and conducting CA operations in support of an Army Service Component Command (ASCC) or a Corps, providing mission command over attached CA units, and providing staff support to a joint theater staff, as required.

What has the Army done?

Through the Total Army Analysis process, the Army assessed its inventory of tactical civil affairs forces in 2009 and determined it needed one more CA brigade, which it placed in the active component. The brigade headquarters and its five subordinate battalions are scheduled for activation across fiscal years 2012, 2013 and 2014. The brigade headquarters and one battalion " the 81st CA Battalion - activate at Fort Hood, Texas, this year.

Why is this important to the Army?

Until now, the Army had only one active-component CA brigade " the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) " at Fort Bragg, N.C., that provides civil affairs support to Army Special Operations Forces. There are also nine civil affairs brigades in the U.S. Army Reserve that provide support to Army General Purpose Forces (GPF), including ASCCs and Corps. Given the dramatic increase for these civil affairs units in the ten years since the current overseas contingency operations began, the activation of the 85th CA BDE increases the Army's capacity to meet this global demand. The brigade's five subordinate battalions, designed to support at the division level, will contain a total of 30 CA companies, to support the brigade combat team and the maneuver enhancement brigade. Although available for worldwide operations, each of the battalions is aligned with a Geographic Combatant Command (GCC) area of responsibility, giving the Army the capability to provide GCC commanders a full-time force of CA Soldiers who are a highly trained in specific languages, cultures, and civil affairs tactics, techniques, and procedures applicable to offense, defense, stability operations, and support to civil authorities overseas.

What is planned for the future?

Of the brigade's remaining four battalions, two activate next year at Forts Stewart and Bragg and the final two activate the following year at Forts Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington and Fort Bliss, Texas. The units will immediately be managed by Army's Force Generation Process, which will bring them through progressive levels of readiness as they prepare for eventual deployment or contingency missions. The brigade commander will work closely with the senior commanders of those installations and U.S. Army Forces Command throughout this process. The first unit must be ready for employment in FY13.

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Senior Leaders are Saying

"Hispanic Americans ... throughout American history ... have always come together in service to our nation and our Army. It is therefore fitting, that for this year's National Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the theme of "Many Backgrounds, Many Stories...One American Spirit."

View the complete 2011 Senior Leader Message for National Hispanic Heritage Month

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"When a wounded warrior tells me that he appreciates what the volunteers do for them, and I see the smiles on their faces, it is very rewarding and fulfilling."

- Sgt. Milfred Williams, a surgical technician, has been named the 2011 USO Volunteer of the Year, for his resolute dedication as a volunteer at the Kaiserslautern USO Warrior Center at Landstuhl. He will be recognized for his selfless-service at the USO Annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony in Washington, D.C., Oct. 6.

Surgical technician recognized for selfless service

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