The U.S. Army announced that the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Armored Division (1/1 AD) stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, will convert from a Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT) to an armored brigade combat team (ABCT); and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division (2/4 ID) stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, will convert from an infantry brigade combat team (IBCT) to an SBCT.
This conversion contributes to Army efforts to build a more lethal force and is an investment to increase overmatch against U.S. Army potential adversaries — one more critical step to achieving the Army Vision. The armored brigade combat team is the Army’s primary armored force. Converting a brigade combat team from infantry to armor ensures the Army remains the world’s most lethal ground combat force, able to deploy, fight, and win against any adversary, anytime and anywhere. This effort also postures the Army to better meet combatant commander requirements under the 2018 National Defense Strategy.
There will now be 16 armored brigade combat teams, each of which consist of seven battalions: three combined arms, one cavalry (reconnaissance), one artillery, one engineer and one brigade support battalion. A large portion of the personnel and equipment are common between brigade combat team types; however, this conversion will cause changes to both personnel and equipment requirements.The conversion of an infantry brigade combat team to an armored brigade combat team enhances the Army’s capability to meet the demands of the combatant commanders.
Conversion of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, will begin in the spring of 2019 and spring of 2020 respectively. This will provide the nation a 16th ABCT bringing the total number BCTs in the Regular Army (RA) and Army National Guard (ARNG) to 58. There will be a total of 31 BCTs in the RA, to include 11 ABCTs, 13 IBCTs and seven SBCTs. The ARNG will have a total of 27 BCTs, to include five ABCTs, 20 IBCTs and two SBCTs, ensuring a more balanced distribution between its light and heavy fighting forces.