March 17, 2001
Due to problems in getting the requisite vehicles, the 3rd and 4th medium brigades will not be converted until 2004 and 2005. One of these will almost certainly be the 172nd Brigade in Alaska, while the other will be one of the two brigades of the 25th Light Infantry Division based in Hawaii. It was noted that Alaska has the powerful Republican Senator Ted Stevens, while Hawaii has the powerful Democratic Senator Dan Inouye. The Army insisted that this was irrelevant, and that the brigades were selected because of the Army's new "Pacific focus". The fifth medium brigade will be a National Guard "heavy" unit which has yet to be selected. If there is a need for a sixth (or seventh or eighth) medium brigade, these would have to come from the 10th Mountain Division, 2nd Light Armored Cavalry Regiment, 101th Airborne, or the other brigade of the 25th Light Infantry Division. Of the Army's other units:
@ the 1st Cavalry Division, 3rd Mechanized Division, 4th Mechanized Division, and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment are the "counter attack force" and cannot be spared.
@ the 82nd Airborne Division has a unique capability and cannot be spared.
@ the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment is the NTC unit and cannot be used.
@ the 1st Armored Division and 1st Infantry Division are based in Europe and do not have big enough training areas to experiment with a new organization.
@ the two brigades of the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea are "on the front line" and cannot experiment with a new formation, nor could they be taken out of Korea for use elsewhere.--Stephen V Cole