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Bring on the Strykers;1st BCT, 4th ID switches mission

Jan. 22, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
The 4th Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team will become a Stryker brigade in about 10 months.
The 4th Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team will become a Stryker brigade in about 10 months. (Staff Sgt. Jose Ibarra/Army)
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The 4th Infantry Divisionís 1st Brigade Combat Team will become a Stryker brigade, the Army announced Wednesday.

The 1st BCT, based at Fort Carson, Colo., will begin its conversion from an armored brigade to a Stryker brigade in March. The conversion is expected to take 10 months, and the change is being made to meet a needed operational mix of BCTs within the Army, officials said.

Once the work is complete, the active Army will have eight Stryker BCTs.

The decision to convert 1st BCT stems from a review of a 2008 environmental impact statement that considered several installations for the permanent stationing of a Stryker brigade combat team.

Throughout the conversion, 1st BCT will trade its M1 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles for Stryker wheeled combat vehicles.

A Stryker BCT has almost 4,000 soldiers, compared with about 3,500 in an armored BCT.

The conversion will take place as the Army inactivates several BCTs across the force and reorganizes its remaining formations. The BCT reductions, announced last year, are the result of the active Army reducing its end strength to 490,000, a loss of about 80,000 compared to the wartime high of 570,000.

The 4th Infantry Divisionís 2nd BCT is one of 10 BCTs slated for inactivation in the next two years.

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