Now even the Secretary of Defense says he’d reverse the plan to cut several thousand troops from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, nearly ensuring the Anchorage base will retain 4-25 Infantry Brigade Combat team, the only airborne unit of its kind in Pacific, at least for another year.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told Sen. Dan Sullivan today Alaska hosts “forces that are so critical to so many scenarios.”
“With respect to the 4-25, I looked into that after our conversation,” Carter said at a hearing of the Senate Armed Service Committee. “I’ve spoken to General Milley. If he makes that recommendation to me, I want you to know I’m going to approve that. I think that that is an important part of our force posture in the Pacific, and I appreciate your calling my attention to it.”
Gen. Mark Milley , the Army chief of staff, told a Senate committee last month it would be “contrary to strategic national security interests” to dismantle the 4-2-5 now. Milley said the team should be extended at least a year. But, according to Carter’s testimony today at the Senate Armed Services Committee, Milley hasn’t yet made the formal recommendation to the Defense secretary.