TOPEKA - The U.S. Army is slashing the number of combat brigades from 45 to 33, and shifting thousands of soldiers out of bases around the county as it moves forward with the long-planned move to cut the size of the service by 80,000.
The Army says it will eliminate one infantry brigade at Fort Riley in Kansas, as the military reduces its overall number of soldiers by September 2017.
Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said Tuesday the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division will be inactivated.
The move is part of the Army's plans to reduce its overall strength by 80,000 soldiers to 490,000. The cuts were already planned by the military before federal budget reductions were put in place in March.
Fort Riley is home to nearly 18,000 soldiers and three brigades of the 1st Infantry Division, as well as a combat aviation brigade.
Odierno says there will also be a reduction of civilian employees but an exact number has not been determined.
Officials say the massive restructuring plans would eliminate brigades at 10 Army bases in the U.S. by 2017, including Fort Riley, Fort Carson in Colorado, and other installations in Texas, Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, and Washington. The Army will also cut thousands of other jobs across the service, including soldiers in units that support the brigades.
The Army is being reduced from a high of about 570,000 during the Iraq war to 490,000.