Brigade will depart Fort Knox sooner than planned

FORT KNOX, Ky. (AP) - Army officials have moved up the timetable for the departure of Fort Knox’s only fighting brigade.

The 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division will now fully deactivate by the end of the year, Maj. Gen. Jeff Smith told The News-Enterprise (http://bit.ly/1ixGt2H).

Last summer, the Army announced that 12 brigade combat teams, including Knox‘s, would be deactivated by 2017 as part of a force reduction of about 80,000. Fort Knox’s brigade has more than 3,000 members.

Smith said many soldiers in the unit have already received new assignments and soon will depart.

The general says the “greater part” of 2,000 soldiers and their families tied to the unit will leave in the next six to eight months. Soldiers nearing retirement or who are exiting the Army will remain at Knox until their service ends.

“Some will stay (here) on Fort Knox, obviously not assigned to the 3/1, but in other capacities,” Smith told the newspaper.

The deactivation of the brigade also halted plans to build a $265 million ambulatory health center near the post’s Ireland Army Community Hospital, he said.

The project was moving toward release of the construction contract last year when the brigade departure announcement was issued, he said. Smith said the Defense Health Agency canceled the contract because the scope of the building was too large for the population it would be serving.

The center would have offered an assortment of outpatient medical services for a post with the oldest hospital in the Army.

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Information from: The News-Enterprise, http://www.thenewsenterprise.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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