Army plan puts more soldiers in state
Hawaii will get about 1,000 more soldiers over the next five years, according to a realignment of the Army announced yesterday.
It is part of President Bush's plan to increase the Army's strength, including its Reserve and National Guard components, by 74,200 soldiers by 2010.
All of the additional Hawaii soldiers will be assigned to new or existing units at Schofield Barracks. The new units will comprise about 650 soldiers, while existing units will grow by about 400 soldiers, said Col. Wayne Shanks, spokesman for U.S. Army Pacific.
A new engineer brigade headquarters will add 120 active-duty soldiers, while a new military police company will add 170.
» A new criminal investigation division battalion headquarters will add 40 soldiers in fiscal year 2009.
» A new unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, unit at Wheeler Army Airfield will add 120 soldiers in fiscal year 2010.
» A new engineer company will about 100 soldiers in fiscal year 2011.
» New small teams and related elements will add about 100 soldiers.
In addition, the Army plans to retain a truck company and military police headquarters that were slated for deactivation in 2011 and 2013, respectively.
The Army also announced yesterday that a maneuver enhancement brigade, with 549 soldiers, that was previously slated for Schofield is now scheduled to be located at Fort Drum, N.Y.
Shanks said all moves are tentative pending environmental reviews of placing four new infantry brigade combat teams (BCT) and their support units at existing Army bases on the mainland. The Army plans to activate two BCTs at Fort Bliss, Texas, in the next three years and one each at Fort Stewart, Ga., and Fort Carson, Colo.
The Army also plans to activate two new BCTs in Germany, then move them to the U.S. after two years.
The stationing decisions will affect 304 Army installations, including 380,000 soldiers and their family members. The construction projects include 69,000 barracks spaces, 4,100 housing units and 66 child centers.
The overall effort will cost $66.4 billion in 743 construction projects through 2013.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.