A basic training unit was deactivated at Fort Benning Monday. It's part of the U.S.Army's initiative to downsize and save millions of dollars now that the war in Iraq has ended and troops are coming home from Afghanistan.
A relinquishing of commmand and discontinuance ceremony was held at Pomeroy Field.
The army is working to reduce it's force, and meet national security standards more effectively. It was bittersweet, as soldiers were honored and the reorganization phase got underway.
LTC Travis Thompson relinquished command, then the 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 192nd Infantry Brigade cased its colors. "It's sad. You always want to see anything that you put so much energy into, you want to see it continue. What I do know is this battalion has a rich and long history to this nation and although its mission today is ending, I'm sure they'll be called upon again and when they do, they'll do a fantastic job as they always have," said LTC Travis Thompson.
The restructuring is expected to save the army an estimated $1.6 million in fiscal year 2014.
71 jobs will be impacted during the reorganizing including 44 military positions and 27 civilian positions, but no one will lose their jobs. Soldiers in the battalion will transition to current vacancies.
The reorganization is not a result of sequestration. Since the wartime high in 2010, the number of soldiers who train at Fort Benning each year has dropped 23 percent, that means fewer units are needed to support training.
"We can control the number of companies we're supposed to have with 2 battalions versus 3. So part is the MCOE restructuring...So the battalion will go away. They companies will stay. They will continue to train."
The Raider regiment was organized in Syracuse New York in 1917. In 1999, it found a new home and new mission training soldiers at Fort Benning...a mission complete.
"It's been an honor to be able to serve with this outstanding battalion and to have the opportunity to take our sons and daughters, our nations finest resource and turn them into soldiers."
In June, the remaining batallions of the 192nd Infantry Brigade will reorganize, and the brigade will discontinue.
The Maneuver Center of Excellence has also offered affected civilian employees Voluntary Early
Retirement and Voluntary Separation Incentive Programs.