Nicole June Reporting
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Leaders at Fort Campbell held a press conference Thursday, June 27 to address the eventual cut of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (4BCT) “Currahees” at the installation.
Brigadier General Mark Stammer said the decision comes directly from the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Army as a result of the Budget Control Act, but stressed it is not a result of sequestration. “If sequestration is fully implemented, the Headquarters of the Department of the Army will have to do additional analysis, and additional cuts will then be forthcoming,” he said.
Approximately 320 soldiers will be lost from the brigade, and the rest will be assimilated into the remaining three BCTs. The Army projects the restructuring will be complete by 2017, and Stammer said a more definitive timeline has not been determined, as the Currahhes are currently deployed to Afghanistan.
The Army plans to reduce its number of BCTs from 45 to 33 by this time, which is a 14 percent reduction. Fort Campbell, however, will see a 1.1 percent decrease. “I think just the math there alone is very indicative of what Fort Campbell provides the Army and what it represents for the Army,” Stammer said.
Colonel David ‘Buck’ Dellinger said at an installation of over 28,000, the economic impact of this loss will be minimal for both the post and the surrounding communities.
A concern for many is the preservation of the 506th Infantry Regiment, known for its involvement in WWII, which spawned the hugely-popular HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.” This particular battalion is famous for its historical significance. Stammer said Fort Campbell plans to retain the 506, which will move into the other brigades with its colors.
“If you’ve fought under a flag in combat, it’s very near and dear to your heart, there will be some who are not as pleased with this as others, but we’ll learn, we’ll grow, and we’ll continue to move on,” Stammer said. “We want to continue to have that lineage here on Fort Campbell.”