The U.S. Army will reduce its core combat units to 33 from 45 by 2017 as part of a drawdown from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in response to federal budget cuts.
The elimination of 12 brigade combat teams will pare the active-duty service to 490,000 troops from 570,000 today, or about 10,000 more than at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to documents from the service. The Army also will be reducing troops in many other units not yet specified to reach its personnel goal.
The reductions will be announced today by General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, at a Pentagon press conference. The reductions aren't part of a strategic management review directed by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to assess options if $500 billion in automatic "sequestration" cuts remain in effect through a decade. Pentagon proposals for that document have been submitted to Hagel.