Monday, April 08, 2013

Cancelling the Insurance Policy

I can't believe we won't at least keep a prepositioned unit set for a heavy brigade in Western Europe.

The last American tanks in Europe came home:

The U.S. Army’s 69-year history of basing main battle tanks on German soil quietly ended last month when 22 Abrams tanks, a main feature of armored combat units throughout the Cold War, embarked for the U.S.

The departure of the last M-1 Abrams tanks coincides with the inactivation of two of the Army’s Germany-based heavy brigades. Last year, the 170th Infantry out of Baumholder disbanded. And the 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade at Grafenwöhr is in the process of doing the same.

On March 18, the remaining tanks were loaded up at the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s railhead in Kaiserslautern where they then made the journey to the shipping port in Bremerhaven, Germany. There they boarded a ship bound for South Carolina.

We will retain only a parachute brigade and a Stryker brigade in Europe. While pondering the US Army in Europe [link updated, see p. 15; and please note that I do not have a PhD. That error was once corrected online but has crept back. Your host has a master's degree in history], I certainly agree that strategically mobile power projection forces like Strykers and parachute units are more likely to be useful in Europe, I rather wanted to keep some heavy forces in Germany just for the warm fuzzy they provide--even if just prepositioned equipment.

Strykers just don't inspire the same awe as 70-ton Abrams main battle tanks.

Perhaps Putin will finally stop whining about how we are planning to invade and destroy them.