Written by Theresa Rose on December 16, 2015

Fairfield, Cedar Rapids, Clinton and Dubuque will be affected

As a result of nationwide restructuring of the Army National Guard due to changes in U.S. national defense needs and strategies, Iowa National Guard officials announce the following force structure changes directly affecting four Iowa communities:

Cedar Rapids and Fairfield

As part of this force structure change, the Brigade Special Troops Battalion of the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (“2/34 BSTB”) will transition to the 224th Brigade Engineer Battalion (BEB) and remain headquartered in Cedar Rapids. The 224th BEB will be a subordinate battalion of the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division. This change will affect the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) and Company A (Forward Support Company), 224th Engineer Battalion, both currently located in Fairfield, Iowa.

The force structure for both the HHC and Co. A, 224th Engineer Battalion will transfer to the Nebraska Army National Guard. The approximately 80 Soldiers currently serving in the HHC, 224th Engineer Battalion will transition to the HHC, 224th BEB in Cedar Rapids.

The approximately 80 Soldiers comprising Co. A, 224th Engineer Battalion will be assigned to either the Headquarters, 1034th Composite Supply Company, a new unit of approximately 95 Soldiers to be based in Fairfield, or Company E, 334th Brigade Support Battalion based in Cedar Rapids, which currently consists of approximately 100 Soldiers.

Only the HHC of the 224th Engineer Battalion will physically move from Fairfield to the Cedar Rapids Armed Forces Readiness Center in late 2016. These changes will have no impact on either the 34th Army Band or the Fairfield Field Maintenance Shop. Both of those organizations will remain in Fairfield in their entirety.

The net impact on the Fairfield armory will be a temporary reduction of approximately 60 part-time Soldiers. Its possible additional Soldiers may be assigned to the Fairfield armory in the future, which may reduce or negate any loss of part-time personnel.

Every Soldier transitioning from the Fairfield armory, both full-time and part-time personnel, will have the option to either remain at Fairfield, transfer to Cedar Rapids, or transfer to another Iowa Army National Guard unit.

Clinton and Dubuque

In addition to the changes in Fairfield and Cedar Rapids, approximately 45 Soldiers from Detachment 1, Company A, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry, currently stationed at the Clinton armory, will transfer to the Dubuque Readiness Center. A newly-formed specialized logistics detachment, the 1034th Composite Supply Company (consisting of approximately 55 Soldiers), will be stationed at the Clinton armory. A second specialized logistics detachment of the 1034th CSC (approximately 55 Soldiers), will also be stationed at the Dubuque armory

Modifications will be necessary to the Clinton Readiness Center parking lot and driveway, so longer vehicles can maneuver in, out and around the facility. The mission of a Composite Supply Company is to provide specialized logistical support for brigade units and back-up support for Brigade Combat Teams and Support Brigades.

While no significant net changes in organizational force structure are anticipated at this time, Maj. Gen. Tim Orr, Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, notes that, “Due to changes in the defense needs of the nation, the Iowa National Guard makes periodic adjustments to the types and sizes of units as directed by the Department of Defense and the National Guard Bureau.

“We are doing everything in our power to minimize inconvenience to Soldiers, their families, and the affected communities, and to maintain the highest possible readiness for Soldiers and units during the restructuring,” he added.

According to current plans, the Army National Guard’s present end strength of 350,200 Soldiers is scheduled to drop to 342,000 Soldiers by September 2016 and to 335,000 Soldiers by September 2017.

“We will work to avoid a Reduction In Force (RIF),” said Army Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy, director of the Army National Guard. “Our goal is to achieve these planned reductions through normal attrition rates as Soldiers depart from the Army Guard.”