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Dept. of Defense announces 3rd brigade inactivation at Ft. Knox

by WHAS11/News Release


Posted on June 25, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 25 at 11:05 PM

FRANKFORT, Ky.  (WHAS11/NEWS RELEASE) -- Fort Knox’s 3,500-Soldier 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division is among 12 brigade combat teams in the U.S. Army that have been identified for inactivation by 2017.

According to Steve Beshear, the inactivation of this combat team is expected to remove nearly 10,000 people from the area and that includes: the military employees and their families.

The decision comes after an Army Force Structure review by Army senior leadership with the priority of ensuring the Army retains it adaptability and flexibility to support national defense requirements, according to Fort Knox.

“Fort Knox remains critical to accomplishing our Army’s missions,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Smith, U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox commanding general.  “And as Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said today, Fort Knox is a vital installation as the U.S. Army’s human capital hub – home to U.S. Army Cadet Command, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, and U.S. Army Human Resources Command, among other outstanding tenant units and organizations.”

Gov. Beshear says he is surprised because the Department of Defense has invested more than $500 million in military construction.

The brigade was moved here in 2009. Since the unit’s arrival, they have deployed twice to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The following statement is from Steve Beshear:

“I am deeply disappointed by the news of the Department of Defense’s planned inactivation of the Third Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division currently located at Ft. Knox.  This decision will likely remove nearly 10,000 military employees and dependents from the area, which will have a profound economic impact not only on Ft. Knox, but the surrounding region as well. 

While I understand that the Departments of the Army and Defense must adjust to the current budget realities, this decision seems to focus on shorter term savings at the expense of longer term readiness.  Fort Knox is a proven, premier location to station, train and deploy an Infantry Brigade Combat Team.  We are surprised by the Army’s decision to inactivate this well-positioned brigade, particularly because DOD has invested more than $500 million in military construction to support the brigade and provide quality of life for soldiers and families since locating the brigade here in 2009.

Because of the sizable infrastructure already in place, as well as Ft. Knox’s central location and proven capacity for adaptation, I call on the DOD to consider Ft. Knox as it considers future savings and efficiency measures.

Building joint capabilities in the areas of recruiting and human resources is an obvious avenue to efficiency.  Fort Knox is a vital component in the Army’s portfolio of installations, and clearly, the functions there must be leveraged to the fullest extent possible. 

Kentucky will always act decisively in support of our military.  The Commonwealth continues to stand ready to assist and partner with DOD and the Army in solving the complex problems that face us all.”

The following statement is from Congressman Brett Guthrie:

Congressman Brett Guthrie today issued the following statement following the announcement that Fort Knox’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division will be inactivated:

“Inactivating the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Knox is extremely disappointing news for Kentucky’s Second District. This cut was a direct result of the President’s Defense Planning Guidance of 2012. Fort Knox is a unique facility and losing this unit of soldiers will significantly affect not only Hardin County, but the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky.

“The President’s Defense Planning Guidance of 2012 was a unilateral effort to reduce DOD spending and ultimately cut the 12 Brigade Combat Teams. This decision impacts not only the soldiers, some of whom are currently serving in Afghanistan, but also their families.

“The good news is that Human Resources Command is not expected to see any cuts. As the consequences of this decision unfold, I will work with officials at Fort Knox to ensure the facility maintains its prestige and its vital role in training and serving our nation’s soldiers.”