U.S. soldiers are seen returning from Iraq in 2010. The U.S. Army is cutting brigade combat teams as part of an effort to reduce its force structure from 562,000 to 490,000 troops by 2017. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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The US Army will cut 10 brigade combat teams over the next four years, bringing the number of active-duty BCTs to 33, Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said Tuesday.
The affected BCTs are:
3rd BCT, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas
4th BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
4th BCT, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
3rd BCT, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
3rd BCT, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.
4th BCT, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas
3rd BCT, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Ky.
4th BCT, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
2nd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
In addition to these 10 BCTs, which will be inactivated by the end of fiscal year 2017, the Army has already announced the inactivation of two BCTs in Germany — the 170th and 172nd BCTs.
In the future, another BCT, this one overseas, will be identified for inactivation, Odierno said, bringing the final number of BCTs to 32.
These cuts are line with the Army’s effort to shrink the active-duty force to 490,000 as it transitions from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Odierno emphasized that these decisions are the result of the Budget Control Act of 2011, not sequestration, which potentially could mean even deeper cuts.
The Army also will reorganize its remaining BCTs by adding a third maneuver battalion to its remaining armored and infantry brigades. The BCTs also will receive additional engineer and fires capabilities, Odierno said.
These changes will make the Army’s remaining BCTs “more lethal, flexible and agile,” he said.