For Immediate Release
Maj Mark Newell
4th Infantry Division
Public Affairs Officer
Is bigger always better? The Army
leadership, due to recent experimentation, is saying "not always."
In a press conference held today at the Pentagon, senior Army officials unveiled the new division design for the Armys combat divisions. The redesign will take advantage of Information Age technologies, Reserve Component integration, logistics changes an accelerated experimental process. The first division to convert under this new system will be the Fort Hood-based units of the 4th Infantry Division. The 4ID is also knows as the Armys Experimental Force or EXFOR.
The new division design is a major step in the Armys Force XXI initiative. A majority of the data used to create the division structure and capabilities came from the Advanced Warfighting Experiments conducted by the 4ID over the past three years. The experiments featured a concept termed "spiral development" which incorporates immediate soldier feedback in the development, design, and modification of new equipment and technologies.
The new division will be smaller, on paper - going from an authorization of nearly 16,700 to slightly over 15,000. However, the personnel impact to the Fort Hood community and the 4ID will be minimal, as the division is not currently staffed to full authorization, the reduction will be phased over the next year, some units will moved to III Corps and others can be reassigned within the units. Also, the will be 24% fewer combat platforms in the division, most of those reductions occurring in the armor and infantry battalions. Although smaller in number of personnel and vehicles, increased combat lethality, survivability and speed will be achieved through information age technologies and logistic efficiencies
The physical organization of the new division design is very similar to a current heavy division, that is, it has three maneuver brigades, a division artillery, a division support command, an aviation brigade, and several separate battalions comprising the division base. However, with those units, some significant changes will occur:
* The maneuver brigades will have their own scouts - the Brigade Reconnaissance Team (BRT.)
* The maneuver battalions will be reduced to three companies with a total of 45 combat vehicles. Company organizations will remain the same.
* The mortar platoon will be standardized at four 120mm mortars each.
* The dismounts will be standardized at three squads of nine men in each mechanized infantry platoon.
* The Division Artillerys Multiple Launch Rocket System battalion will have three MLRS batterys of nine launchers each.
* The Engineer Brigade HHC will be replaced by a planning section at the division level. An Engineer battalion will be habitually associated with each of the three maneuver brigades.
* Combat Service Support is centralized. They return to maneuver formations in the form of Forward Support Companies (FSC) associated with maneuver battalions and Forward Support Battalions (FSB) associated with the maneuver brigades. Logistic resupply will be distribution based instead of supply based.
* There will be organic Reserve Component positions and organizations in the Division. They will wear the same patch, train to the same level and be accountable for the same mission requirements. They will be included in Command and Control/Staff augmentation, signal, aviation, and medical positions/units. The total number is expected to be around 500.
* Some units, such as the Chemical Company and water purification units, will be "passed back" or moved to Corps.
The 4ID Commander, Maj. Gen. William
Wallace, intends to begin the redesign process within the 1st Brigade Combat Team
immediately. Restructure of the remainder of the division will occur within the next year.
During the transition, personal and professional concerns will be taken into consideration
when evaluation the Army requirements.
The new divisions modular design allows for quicker deployment and is tailorable for the full range of contingency operations, from full spectrum conflict to operations other than war.
The 4ID is the Armys First Digital Division, and is expected to be fully fielded by the year 2000. Although the new division design is not the final design for the future, senior Army officers feel it is the right organization for this point in the experimental process and still affording the division the ability to deploy. As the design goes through further experimentation, versions of this structure and the lessons learned will be applied Army-wide, to heavy and light forces.