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Posted: September 21, 2017 2:54 p.m.
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Spartans convert to armored brigade

Staff Sgt. Candace Mundt /

An airman with 9th Airlift Squadron, 436th Airlift Wing out of Dover Air Force Base, Del. directs an M1A1 Abrams tank off a C5 "Super Galaxy" aircraft during air load training March 28 at Hunter Army Airfield. Airman supported the Immediate Ready Company, comprised of Soldiers from 2-7 Inf., 1ABCT, 3rd ID. The IRC maintains readiness to support the Global Response Force within 18 hours of notification.

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When the Department of the Army announced that the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart would become the U.S. Army’s 15th Armored Brigade Combat Team, the Spartan team initiated the planning process and went straight to work.

Converting a light infantry brigade into an armored brigade is a major undertaking that requires thorough planning and disciplined execution.

“We address conversion like any other operational mission,” explained Capt. Joe Amico, brigade conversion planner. “First we began by outlining key milestones, coordinating resources and sequencing fielding and training schedules.” 

Even though the brigade is not scheduled to deploy within the next year, they will continue to train and prepare to attend the National Training Center in the Spring of 2019.

“We are using our deployment to the NTC in 2019 as the target and backward plan from there,” said Amico.

The Spartan Brigade will again become an armored brigade combat team after being an infantry brigade combat team for the last two years.

Organizational requirements to convert were driven by the changing global landscape.  Dynamic political and military behaviors throughout the world cause adjustments to the menu of options U.S. commanders need to prevent, shape and win against determined adversaries. 

“Armored forces are in high demand and this adjustment increases capacity available for the Army and combatant commanders to meet strategic requirements,” explained the brigade commander, Col. James K. Dooghan.

The brigade’s structure will shift from three light infantry battalions to being centered around three combined arms battalions with a fleet of Abrams main battle tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles.

“Bringing speed, precision fires and overwhelming combat power to bear on the enemy is at the heart of what it means to be an ABCT,” said Dooghan.

The commander admits that reconstructing a new brigade presents many challenges.  To address those challenges brigade leaders have focused on four areas: Soldiers, equipment, training, and facilities. 

“Soldiers and equipment are flowing from across the Army, leader training has been a priority since we received the [conversion] mission, and the installation will be breaking ground to enhance brigade facilities this fall,” said Amico.  “We are in the formidable stage, ensuring we have people and systems in place before we start wholesale training on our combat platforms.”

The brigade will officially convert from light to armored on Oct. 16, and scheduled to celebrate this historic occasion with a ceremony Oct. 20 at Fort Stewart’s Marne Gardens.

Dooghan explained, “Spartans will continue to be disciplined, adaptable and dependable, now they can do it as a lethal and fit armored brigade combat team.”


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