• November 26, 2014

Changes to come for Army warrior transition units

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Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 4:30 am

The Army is restructuring the specialized units designed to assist ill and wounded soldiers through the process of assimilating back into the Army or transitioning out of service.

The Warrior Transition Command is shuttering five of its 38 units. The units at Fort Irwin, Calif.; Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Fort Jackson, S.C.; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; and the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. are to close, with each currently serving fewer than 38 soldiers.

In addition, the command is launching 13 new community care units across 11 installations to replace its nine community-based warrior transition units, which primarily provide care for Reserve and National Guard troops.

These units support more than 1,300 soldiers at this time.

“We expect that all warrior transition unit restructuring will be completed by the end of September,” said Cynthia L. Vaughan, Warrior Transition Command public affairs officer.

“Currently, the community-based warrior transition units and warrior transition units slated for inactivation are still in place. Community care units have not yet stood up.”

Community care units will differ from community-based warrior transition units in the way they operate in conjunction with warrior transition units.

“Community care realigns the management of soldiers healing in their home communities to a community care unit on an Army installation warrior transition battalion,” said Brig. Gen. David Bishop, commander of the Warrior Transition Command and Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and Transition. “These soldiers will receive the benefits of a dedicated unit of cadre, triad of leadership, military treatment facility staff, warrior transition battalion staff and installation resources to ensure that all soldiers have the same experience across the program.”

Despite the restructuring, soldiers will remain in their home communities, receiving care through the Tricare network.

“There is no military construction, base closure and realignment commission, or environmental impacts associated with community care,” Vaughan said.

Fort Hood is receiving a community care unit, along with Fort Carson, Colo.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Fort Bliss; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Forts Benning, Stewart and Gordon, Ga.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; and Fort Belvoir, Va. Forts Belvoir and Knox will have two.

Specifics on how the community care units will operate alongside the warrior transition units is not yet known at Fort Hood, said said Gloria Montgomery, Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade spokesperson, but about 130 soldiers and 30 staff members at the community-based warrior transition unit located in Little Rock, Ark. will be transferred to the Fort Hood community care unit by fall.

“The soldiers will not physically move, but they will be served through remote care,” Montgomery said.

The Little Rock location covers soldiers based in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Brigade is the largest of the Army’s 38 warrior transition units. About 1,800 soldiers were assigned to the unit upon its inception in 2007.

Currently, there are fewer than 500 soldiers in the unit.

It saw a $62 million campus open in June of 2012.

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