Aviation Week & Space Technology
October 15, 2007
The U.S. Army’s top combat commander in Europe, who helped manage the 2003 lightning-like invasion of Iraq, says he hopes to turn around a decision to cut warfighting capabilities stationed in Germany and Italy. Gen. David McKiernan says the current plan is to reduce the force to two combat brigades from four (173rd Airborne, 2nd Cavalry, 2nd Brigade/1st Infantry Div. and 4th Brigade/1st Armored Div.). Without increasing the total in Europe, hes pushing an initiative to keep these forces in Europe because they are on regular rotations to Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact, three of the four are there now. Deploying from the U.S. would be slower and more expensive, and keeping them in Europe doesnt require any additional infrastructure, the general notes. He also calls for stationing high-value support forces, such as aviation and engineers, in Europe as well.