From CSP and Defense News:
U.S. Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army, says the number of Stryker Brigades could drop from 45 to 32 depending on an internal Army study. (Army)
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the U.S. Army, says the service could drop from today’s 45 brigades down to 32, depending on the results of an internal Army study.
With the unveiling of the new DoD strategic guidance in January, the Pentagon announced the Army would eliminate at least eight brigade combat teams and drop from 570,000 soldiers in the active duty force to 490,000. Army officials have said the number of brigade combat teams could fall even further with the conclusion of a force design/force mix study being done by Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).
The major brigade change TRADOC is considering is adding a third maneuver battalion to the brigades.
Increasing the number of battalions within the brigades would add “significant flexibility,” Odierno said Feb. 24 at the Association of the U.S. Army winter symposium.
The Army is also considering adding more engineer capability within the brigade.
Both of these moves could allow the Army to eliminate more brigades, down to 32 or 33 brigades, the four-star said.
TRADOC will make its recommendations in the coming months to Army Secretary John McHugh, who will make the final decision, according to Odierno.
The first two brigades being cut are stationed in Germany. The first will be the 170th brigade combat team, which will inactivate in 2013. The second is the 172nd Brigade Combat Team, which is scheduled to inactivate in 2014. Both brigades are currently on deployment in Afghanistan.
Decisions on the next six brigades to be eliminated have not yet been made, Odierno said.