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Army Reducing Number of Combat Brigades

U.S. Army photo by Spc. Robert Porter(WASHINGTON) -- The United States Army is slashing its number of combat brigades from 45 to 33 -- moving forward with the long-planned move to cut its ranks by 80,000.

The downsizing was in the works long before sequestration due to draw-downs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At the Pentagon on Tuesday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno announced which 12 units were being downsized and which Army bases would be impacted.

Ten brigade combat teams will be deactivated in the U.S.; the two others are based in Europe. The U.S. bases include: Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Washington; Fort Bliss and Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Stewart, Georgia; Fort Drum, New York; Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Campbell and Fort Knox, Kentucky; and Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Odierno said the goal in choosing which brigades to eliminate was to make “as small an impact as possible.” If sequestration continues over the long-term, Odierno warned that additional downsizing may have to occur.

Deactivating the units will save on future construction costs at those bases to the tune of $400 billion over the next five to seven years.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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