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Army in Europe Undergoes Major Transformation

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Updated January 29, 2006

This year, U.S. Army, Europe converts, inactivates and returns numerous units to the United States as part of Defense Department transformation efforts.

The transformation plan is projected to increase strategic responsiveness and flexibility in the face of the threats posed by the Global War on Terrorism.

The Army will return the 1st Armored Division Aviation Brigade in Hanau, Germany, to the United States; set the conditions to establish a combat aviation brigade from aviation units stationed in Europe; and conduct other unit actions associated with Army force modernization and bi-annual force structure reviews.

The unit actions affect about 7,200 military, 11,000 family members, 40 U.S. civilian employees and 38 local civilian employees.

1st Armored Division Aviation Brigade

The 1st AD Aviation Brigade departs Europe this year and returns to the United States. This return is at the direction of the Department of the Army as part of the Army’s conversion of aviation assets worldwide into 11 combat aviation brigades. Upon arrival in United States, the brigade’s units will become part of the 1st Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade forming at Fort Riley, Kan.

Four units of the 1st AD Aviation Brigade return to the United States in the summer of 2006:

    — Headquarters Company, 1st AD Aviation Brigade

    — 2nd Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment

    — 127th Aviation Support Battalion

    — Company A, 3rd Battalion, 58th Air Traffic Services Regiment

A fifth unit, the 1st Battalion of the 501st Aviation Regiment returned directly from combat to the United States in July 2004.

The return of the 1st AD Aviation Brigade to the United States affects about 1,200 Soldiers, 1,800 family members, and eight U.S. and 13 German civilian employees.

Combat Aviation Brigade

The combat aviation brigade, or CAB, is the standard design for U.S. Army aviation brigades under the modular force plan. Formerly called the multi-functional aviation brigade, the CAB is part of Army transformation.

For the CAB in Europe, the plan is to combine remaining V Corps aviation assets to form a single aviation brigade capable of performing all Army aviation missions. U.S. Army, Europe will accomplish this by maintaining a tailored force with attack and airlift capabilities to conduct early-entry, rapid-reaction, humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief missions.

In addition to the CAB, theater aircraft and helicopter elements remain to support USAREUR, 7th Army and U.S. European Command commanders in the future.

These unit transformation actions affect about 3,200 Soldiers, 4,800 family members, and 22 U.S. and 20 German civilian employees.

To set the conditions to establish the CAB in Fiscal 2007, which is from October 2006 to September 2007, additional units are affected this year:

    — Headquarters Company, 12th Aviation Brigade in Giebelstadt, Germany, inactivates. The 1st Infantry Division Aviation Brigade in Katterbach, Germany, becomes the 12th Aviation Brigade (Combat Aviation Brigade).

    — Headquarters Company, Company A and Company B of the 5th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, returns to the United States. Company B reorganizes under the CAB. The 5-158th battalion flag remains in Europe as the CAB’s general support aviation battalion at Katterbach.

    — Company A, 2nd Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment returns to the United States. The rest of the battalion becomes the 5th General Support Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment as part of the CAB structure.

    — The 601st Aviation Support Battalion is reassigned to the new 12th Aviation Brigade (CAB).

    — The 1st Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment in Ansbach, Germany, returns to the United States in April 2005.

    — The 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, remains in Illesheim, Germany, but is re-designated as the 3rd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment.

    — The 3rd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, moves from Giebelstadt to Katterbach and is assigned to the CAB.

    — Company F, 159th Aviation Battalion moves from Giebelstadt to U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach and becomes part of the CAB.

    — Elements of Company B, 7th Intermediate Maintenance Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, moves from Giebelstadt to U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach to become part of the CAB. The remainder of the 7th, based in Illesheim, inactivates in Fiscal 2007, giving resources to the CAB.

    — Headquarters Company, 3rd Air Traffic Services Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment, moves from Giebelstadt to Leighton Barracks in Würzburg, Germany.

    — Elements of the 147th Ordnance Company based in Kitzingen, Germany, moves to Illesheim this year. Elements in other locations remain in place. The 147th inactivates in Fiscal 2007, giving resources to the CAB.

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