Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What About Europe?

The Pentagon has announced its new deployment of 43 planned brigade combat teams. This is where they will be:

  1. Fort Benning, Ga. - 1 Brigade Combat Team
  2. Fort Bliss, Texas - 4 Brigade Combat Teams
  3. Fort Bragg, N.C, - 4 Brigade Combat Teams
  4. Fort Campbell, KY - 4 Brigade Combat Teams
  5. Fort Carson, Colo. - 4 Brigade Combat Teams
  6. Fort Drum, N.Y. - 3 Brigade Combat Teams
  7. Fort Hood, Texas - 5 Brigade Combat Teams
  8. Fort Knox, Ky. - 1 Brigade Combat Team
  9. Fort Lewis, Wash. - 3 Brigade Combat Teams (Stryker)
  10. Fort Polk, La. - 1 Brigade Combat Team
  11. Fort Richardson, Alaska - 1 Brigade Combat Team
  12. Fort Riley, Kan. - 3 Brigade Combat Teams
  13. Fort Stewart, Ga. - 3 Brigade Combat Teams
  14. Fort Wainwright, Alaska - 1 Brigade Combat Team
  15. Schofield Barracks, Hawaii - 2 Brigade Combat Teams (Stryker)
  16. Korea - 1 Brigade Combat Team
  17. Germany - 1 Brigade Combat Team (Stryker)
  18. Italy - 1 Brigade Combat Team

I'm not happy that only two brigades will be stationed in Europe. The arc of crisis from West Africa to Central Asia is well within range of Europe-based forces. I'd rather see four BCTs under one of our new divisions (which seem to act as corps do now). A Stryker brigade in Germany and a parachute brigade (I assume) in Italy are good. But this is a small force.

Perhaps with a Marine as commander of European Command, we will deploy Marines to Europe? With recent expansion, assume 9 regimental combat team equivalents:

  1. Okinawa - 2 RCTs
  2. California - 2 RCTs
  3. North Carolina - 3 RCTs
  4. Europe - 2 RCTs

I want the East Coast MEF full up for Cuba and Venezuela contingencies. Four RCTs will be good for the Pacific. And perhaps for Europe we can put 1 RCT in Britain and another in Spain or Italy.

Just a thought. I haven't heard about Marine Corps deployment changes and I hate to pull so many troops out of Europe. Maybe the Marines could fill the gap?

UPDATE: Here's more information and a map of the new basing. Please tell me that we will keep two or three heavy brigade sets of equipment in Europe just in case.

UPDATE 2: I would be derelict in my duty if I didn't link to my article about US Army Europe.