Wednesday, June 18, 2003

WE HAVE KNOWN FOR SOME TIME that the communities of Giessen and Friedberg will be closing. Word was that the 1st Brigade would relocate to Grafenwoehr, a major US Army training area south of here.

But this article seems to imply the 1st Brigade might relocate back to the USA - but doesn't come right out and say it.

Don't overlook the discussion of rotational units and retention (reenlistment) rates later in the story.

The Army has approved a three-year plan to shut down a cluster of bases in the Giessen area north of Frankfurt by 2008, the Pentagon announced in May. Home to the 1st Armored Division’s 1st Brigade and the 284th Base Support Battalion, about a dozen facilities in the Giessen area will be affected.

...According to a 2000 study by the Rand Corp., relying more on rotational forces in Europe “would entail substantial retention costs.”

...Comparing those units that did deploy from the States on six-month tours with those that came from Europe, the study found that retention rates plummeted among the U.S.-based units. Of those units, 39 percent fewer soldiers with families opted to stay in the Army.

Interpretation: Reenlistment rates go down as deployments increase and such a move by the Army means deployments will increase. And as I sit here with no idea when my darling wife will come home, well, that dog won't hunt.

The whole story is here.

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