wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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wtf happened to my Army?

I've been picking away at an Invasion America scenario for The Operational Art of War, which has required me to get elbow-deep into the US Army order of battle in a way I haven't done in years.

Holy crap. I knew in an abstract sort of way that the Army I knew during the Reagan/Bush administrations was gone, but I didn't realize the Clinton years had done that much to the force structure. 5th Division? Gone. 6th Division? Gone. 9th Division? Gone. 24th Division? Stood down along with the 7th and relegated to serving as a division base for some formerly separate National Guard brigades. 2nd Armored? Gone. 149th Armored Brigade? Farmed out to the National Guard - not that the Guard itself is in much better shape. Texas used to have two divisions, the 36th Infantry and the 49th Armored; now it has just the 36th. The 26th Division from New England is gone. The 50th Armored from New Jersey is gone, broken up into brigades for the new 42nd Division. The 40th Division in California used to have three brigades in-state, but now two of its stripped-down brigades are from Oregon and Washington.

Further changes are in store, because the new Unit of Action TO&E changes the way divisions work back to something like the old WW2/Korean War infantry division, which had three regimental combat teams with integral armor, AT, engineer and artillery assets (technically part of the division HQ but pushed down to the regiments) from the Vietnam/Cold War model, where brigade headquarters mixed and matched the eleven armored & mechanized battalions as needed depending on the combat situation. The new UA system substitutes a recon battalion for the third manuever battalion in the RCT except in the Stryker brigades, which keep three maneuver battalions and carry the recon battalion as the 4th battalion. It also looks like the future UX divisions will rely less on artillery and more on airpower (great, more helicopters unless they can somehow bribe the Air Force into buying more A-10s) which is an idea that might work well in Iraq and Bosnia, maybe even Iran, but if we ever have to tangle with the Chinese or Russians could blow up in our faces real quick.

In other news, it's snowing - big, nasty flakes of wet sticky stuff. Bah humbug.
Tags: ihtfp, military stuff, wargames
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