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Army report outlines deactivation of Fort Drum’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team

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FORT DRUM — The post’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team will deactivate this fall, according to a report from the Army Times.

The report matches projections from brigade officials, and the timing coincides with the end of the brigade’s nine-month deployment to eastern Afghanistan that started last fall.

The Army announced the brigade’s deactivation last June. With some subordinate units expected to transition to the 10th Mountain Division’s 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Teams, the post is projecting the deactivation will mean the loss of about 1,500 soldiers.

The brigade’s deactivation is a part of an Army plan to reduce its active-duty force from some 570,000 to about 490,000. The Army now has about 520,000 active soldiers.

The proposed 2015 Army budget would continue this decline in active-duty soldier levels, to about 450,000. Pentagon officials said that number could drop to 420,000 if sequestration cuts return to full strength in the 2016 fiscal year budget.

The Army is studying the economic impact of deactivating an additional 14,500 soldiers and civilian employees at Fort Drum, as well as major cuts at 29 other U.S. installations.

Any major personnel cuts would create concerns for the local economy. A recent economic impact statement showed the post had an economic value of nearly $1.42 billion in 2013, primarily through the salaries of its 19,024 soldiers and 4,544 civilian workers.

The Army Times report also covered nine other brigades selected for deactivation as a part of the soldier reductions.

The units that already have been deactivated are:

n 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.

n 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

n 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Brigades like the one at Fort Drum that have yet to shutter are:

n 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

n 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Knox, Ky.

n 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Ga.

n 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo.

n 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas.

n 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan.

The Army Times report can be found at http://wdt.me/6DZxDr.

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