Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement in response to the U.S. Army announcement to retain the full brigade end strength for 4-25 Infantry Brigade Combat Team at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER).
“Since the Army first announced its planned reduction of JBER’s 4-25, our united congressional delegation has fought hard to preserve its integrity and end strength. Today’s announcement underscores the incredible capability 4-25 IBCT offers to United States Army and the nation,” said Congressman Don Young. “Not only are they the only airborne brigade in the Pacific and the only arctic-capable airborne brigade in the U.S. Army, they are one of the finest light infantry units in the entire military. The Army’s decision to deploy members of 4-25 to Afghanistan – in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel – further emphasizes the strength and tenacity of our Alaska trained military men and women. I wish the Spartans Godspeed as they prepare to once again deploy to Afghanistan, and I am praying for them, for their families, and for their safe return to JBER in 2018.”
Since the U.S. Army first announced its intent to reduce JBER's 4-25 to a battalion Task Force – cutting 2,600 soldiers, the Alaska Delegation has fought to keep 4-25 as a full Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT).
Along with Senators Murkowski and Sullivan, Congressman Young sent several letters to then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and then-Secretary of the Army John McHugh opposing the cuts to 4-25.
In a February 2016 meeting with Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy, Congressman Young emphasized the importance of retaining the end-strength off 4-25 – calling the decision misguided.
On Monday, March 21, 2016, the Army officially announced it would delay its decision to remove 2,600 soldiers from the 4-25 Infantry Brigade Combat Team stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
On December 2, 2016, Congressman Young voted in favor of S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2017. This legislation included the authorization for 476,000 active-duty soldiers—and increase of 12,000 above FY 2016 levels, and necessary for the reversal of the cuts to 4-25. This legislation passed the Senate on December 11, 2016, and was signed into law by the President on December 23, 2016.
On March 8, 2017, Congressman Young voted in favor of H.R. 1301, the Defense Appropriations Act for the remainder of FY 2017, which provided the necessary funding to permanently retain 4-25.
On April 7, 2017, the Army announced that in late summer/fall of 2017, 4-25 would again be deploying in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. The Army also announced its intent to retain 4-25 following the deployment, contingent to appropriations.