|Army Selects Follow-on 'Transformation' Brigades|
Army Selects Follow-on 'Transformation' Brigades
By Joe Burlas, Army News Service.
Washington D.C. -- (ANS) July 12, 2001 -- Fort Richardson and Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Fort Polk, La.; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard will be the homes of the next units selected to transition into Interim Brigade Combat Teams.
"Land power remains an indispensable element in furthering America's enduring interests and provides an essential component of global security requirements," said Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White. "These interim brigades will help us move towards a force that is more strategically responsive and dominant across the spectrum of military operations. Their improved deployability and lethality will enhance deterrence and meet an operational requirement that does not currently exist."
Army officials said they are coordinating with the contractor of the Interim Armored Vehicle to determine appropriate ways to accelerate IAV fielding for the two IBCTs at Fort Lewis. The Army plan is to complete fielding of the IAV for the other four brigades within three years after the Fort Lewis brigades are fielded. Once the new fielding dates are set, the Army will announce the planning dates for the other brigades.
Transformation to the IBCT design for the brigades is anticipated to take about one year for an active-component brigade, and about two years for an Army National Guard brigade, according to Army officials.
The latest brigade selections are conditional on results of an Army Programmatic Environmental Impact Study currently being conducted, officials said. That study is slated to wrap up in the fall.
The first brigades to transform -- 3rd Brigade of the 2nd ID and 1st Brigade of the 25th ID, both stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash. -- started the transition to IBCTs in 1999. They are scheduled to finish the process in fiscal year 2003 and 2004, respectively.
"The Interim Brigade Combat Teams are required to fill a recognized operational gap in our current capability to meet CINC requirements," said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki. "These warfighting formations, using off-the-shelf equipment with enhanced technologies, provide the CINC with a greater range of options."