Regional
1:15 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Relief For El Paso: Fort Bliss Will Only Lose 750 Soldiers

Gen. Ray Odierno, announced force reductions across the Army over the next
five years of 80,000 Active Component Soldiers.  Since 2001, Fort Bliss has
grown from 8,765 Soldiers to 27,479 permanently assigned Soldiers.  As part
of the Army's force reduction plan, Fort Bliss will lose 750 Soldiers.

By 2019, the Army will go from its current end strength of 570,000 Soldiers
to an end strength of 490,000 Soldiers.  Prior to 9/11, Fort Bliss
represented just 1.8 percent of the Army's force structure.  At the end of
restructuring, it will represent 5.4 percent of the total force.  Fort Bliss
has evolved into one of the principal installations in the Army for
preparing units for combat.  Despite force reductions, Fort Bliss will
continue to serve as a critical readiness platform for the future of the
Army.

To meet the Army's restructuring goals, one of the First Armored Division's
four Brigade Combat Teams will inactivate.  However, that loss will be
offset by growth in the remaining three Brigade Combat Teams.  In addition,
seven company-sized units will activate on Fort Bliss.  Fort Bliss, which
currently houses the Army's only two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense
(THAAD) batteries, will gain a third THAAD battery.

Furthermore, Air Force, Army Reserve Components, Army Special Forces and
Army aviation units stationed across the United States will continue to
deploy to Fort Bliss to use the installation's cutting-edge training
facilities, arrayed across 1.2 million acres of land and 343 cubic acres of
airspace, in which the Army can fire every weapon system in its arsenal.

Finally, Fort Bliss is especially proud to continue to host the United
States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA), the premiere noncommissioned
officer education institution in the world.

Major Joe Buccino, Fort Bliss Public Affairs Officer, explained the impact
on Fort Bliss, "One thing is clear from the Army Force Structure decisions:
Fort Bliss continues to be an active part of the Army's force structure.
The Army recognizes Fort Bliss as one the premier power projection platforms
with realistic training opportunities.  That will continue."