Forces: July 31, 2005


The U.S. Army has completed plans for bringing home 50,000 soldiers living overseas and settling them in bases across the United States by 2008. As a part of the plan, families will move less often and troops will be closer to training centers and ports. One goal was to give families a "quality of life" promise, assuring them of more predictability in where they would live and where children would go to school. Under the plan, families would move no more than every four to five years, regardless of how often a soldier is deployed overseas. 

Families won't be the only winners in the shift. Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, and Texas will see their Army populations grow by at least one brigade around 5,000 soldiers and their families. Fort Bliss, Texas will grow the largest, by about 20,000 soldiers, including the First Armored Division in Germany. 

Units will be relocated for better access to the Army's two training centers, Fort Polk, Louisiana for light forces and Fort Irwin, California for armor. Locations were also chosen for access to airports and seaports for easier deployment overseas. Most of the 10 division headquarters will be at the same base as all of their brigades. Under the current system, division headquarters and brigades are at separates bases in the United States and in Germany. Finally, one change would have the army move the I Corps headquarters at Fort Lewis, Washington to Japan, although basing details are being worked out with Tokyo. Doug Mohney


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