U.S. Army Pacific announces force structure decisions
News Release from US Army Pacific April 9, 2015
FT. SHAFTER, Hawaii - Today, the Department of the Army announced force structure decisions affecting the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC).
The significant changes/proposal to USARPAC forces structure are:
- Conversion of the 4th infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), Alaska, into an airborne infantry battalion task force by the end of fiscal year 2017
- Conversion of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division (2/25 SBCT) at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, into a two-maneuver battalion infantry brigade combat team
- The Department is analyzing a proposal to convert the Army National Guard's 81st Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT), 40th Infantry Division, to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team transferring the Stryker equipment from 2/25 SBCT to them; the 81st ABCT is headquartered in Washington State, is proximate to, and has habitual training relationship with USARPAC
These directed reductions will result in a decrease of 2,600 and 1,200 Soldiers at JBER and Schofield Barracks, respectively. There are approximately 106,000 personnel currently assigned to USARPAC.
"Though there will be a small decrease in numbers overall, the Army has retained significant capability within the theater and remains on a strong footing with the rebalance," said Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, Commander of the U.S. Army Pacific. "It is clear that the Army continues to remain committed to this region as it made these tough decisions."
With the conversion, the 4/25 BCT (Airborne)'s unique arctic, high-altitude, joint forcible-entry capability will be retained but some ability to do simultaneous operations will be lost. Currently the unit is conducting operations in Kosovo, Australia and at home station.
The conversion of the 2/25 SBCT is expected to improve training opportunities with partners and allies and increase readiness; streamline logistic support; and reduce costs associated with the transportation of Stryker equipment. Light infantry units are more rapidly deployable and will provide the Combatant Commander additional rapid-response ground-force options. These force-structure changes will not affect USARPAC's ability to conduct operations such as Pacific Pathways or other missions as directed by U.S. Pacific Command.
If the Budget Control Act of 2011, commonly referred to as sequestration, is not addressed, the active Army end-strength will be further reduced and it will be incapable of meeting current deployment requirements and responding to overseas contingency requirements. Future impacts to USARPAC force structure and budget are unknown.