U.S. Army bases in Texas, Georgia, and Colorado will each gain two additional combat brigades in the coming years, under a new plan being released by Army officials Wednesday.
As the Army moves to grow by 74,000 soldiers by 2010, officials were preparing to go public with a broad plan mapping out where the six new brigade combat teams and eight support units will be based.
Fort Bliss in Texas, Fort Carson in Colorado and Fort Stewart in Georgia will be big winners, each getting roughly 7,000 more soldiers and their families. But every Army installation across the country will see more soldiers, anywhere from a few to thousands.
Information about the plan began to trickle out as Army officials spread out across Capitol Hill, talking to the members of Congress who will see growth in their districts.
Gen. Richard Cody, the Army Vice Chief of Staff, was among those spreading the holiday cheer.
"I spoke with Gen. Cody this morning about the Army's plans to grow the army and what that will mean for our Texas bases," said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas. "Over many months of consultation, the Army has agreed to bring 14,000 troops to Texas over the next few years.
Two of the support brigades will also go to Texas, with an air defense brigade and a logistics brigade going to Fort Hood.
Plans are to increase the number of the active duty Army, Army Guard and Army Reserve by 74,000 overall, with the active duty force growing by 65,000 to a total of 547,000. In October, top Army leaders said they planned to move faster to increase the size of the force, adding the full 74,000 soldiers by 2010, two years sooner than originally planned.
Accelerating the increase is aimed to relieve the strain on forces already stretched by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Originally the growth was to take place over five years, now it will be done in three.
The increase, which will boost the number of combat brigades from the 2006 level of 42 to 48, will cost $2.63 billion.
Roughly half of the 65,000 increase has already been achieved.