WASHINGTON, DC – Alaska Congressman Don Young responded to the news that the U.S. Army has officially announced that it is delaying its decision to remove 2,600 soldiers from the 4-25 Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. In July 2015, the U.S. Army announced the reduction at JBER as part of a larger force-structure reduction from 490,000 to 450,000 troops. Since that announcement, a unified Alaska Congressional Delegation has fought to retain the 4-25 as a full brigade combat team, citing the unit’s strategic importance to our country’s national security.
“Overturning this shortsighted decision continues to be a process; one focused on informing our colleagues, working with the administration, and identifying the various areas where Alaska’s strategic military value has been overlooked or underestimated,” said Congressman Don Young. “I recently told the Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy that this decision should not be based on anything but the mission and the strategic value JBER’s 4-25 provides our Combatant Commanders. It’s clear, after announcing its decision to retain JBER’s force structure, that the Army has heard our message. While today’s announcement comes as great news for Alaska and the nation, we must not rest on our laurels. Instead, we must continue to fight to ensure this reduction is overturned so JBER’s 4-25 can continue its status as the only airborne brigade in the Pacific. I remain vigilant and continue to work to build certainty for our communities and military families through legislation I cosponsored, the POSTURE Act, which would set Army force structure numbers to levels that adequately reflect the global threat environment. I commend the steadfast efforts of both Senator Murkowski and Senator Sullivan, who actively leveraged their positions in the Senate to raise these issues to the highest levels.”