Gov. Ricketts Announces Major Force Structure Changes to Nebraska Army National Guard Units
Changes will expand missions in Greater Nebraska and enhance emergency response readiness
LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and Major General Daryl Bohac announced the first major restructuring of the Nebraska Army National Guard in 20 years. Nearly one in three Nebraska Army National Guard Soldiers will be affected by the changes which include an expansion of missions led by the Nebraska Army National Guard in Central Nebraska and the Panhandle.
The changes impact roughly 1,100 Nebraska Army National Guard Soldiers located in units across the state in 16 Nebraska communities. The changes are part of a much larger reorganization taking place nationally across the Army National Guard affecting numerous states.
“Today is the beginning of an exciting new era for the Nebraska Army National Guard as it undergoes its largest force restructuring in roughly 20 years,” said Governor Ricketts. “These changes will dramatically increase military occupational specialty training opportunities in the western and central regions of our state. Congratulations to Major General Bohac and his entire team as they pursue these new missions.”
In Nebraska, the biggest change will involve the Lincoln-based 67th Battlefield Surveillance (BfSB) headquarters, which like other similar battlefield surveillance brigades, is being deactivated along with a number of its subordinate units. The Nebraska BfSB will be replaced by a Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and similar supporting units.
The changes will affect units in Lincoln, Omaha, Beatrice, Columbus, York, Hastings, Kearney, Grand Island, Mead, O’Neill, Broken Bow, North Platte, McCook, Sidney, Scottsbluff, and Chadron. According to Guard officials, the changes are the largest in Nebraska since a similar transformation of the 67th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) into the 67th Area Support Group in the mid-1990s. That transformation involved the transitioning of infantry, armor and artillery battalions into logistical and transportation units.
The major changes to Nebraska Army National Guard units, which will occur over the course of roughly three years, currently include:
- The transition of the Lincoln-based 67th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade into the 67th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade;
- The addition of a new engineer battalion headquarters in Columbus;
- The replacement of the Kearney-based transportation battalion headquarters with a brigade support battalion headquarters;
- The transition of Kearney’s transportation company into distribution support and field maintenance companies;
- The transition of the transportation company in Chadron and Scottsbluff into a military police company. Scottsbluff will also see the addition of a new field maintenance company detachment;
- The transition of O’Neill’s chemical company detachment into a field maintenance company detachment;
- The addition of a new military police company detachment in Grand Island;
- The transition of York’s transportation company detachment into an engineer company detachment;
- The addition of a new Division Main Command Post Operational Detachment and a Military History Detachment in Lincoln;
- The deactivation of the Mead-based Detachment 2, 165th Quartermaster Company with the remaining Rigger Soldiers reorganized into the 515th Rigger Support Team at the Mead Training Site;
- Some slight changes to the Lincoln, Hastings, Mead, and Beatrice-based 1-134th Cavalry Squadron with the addition of a new Cavalry Support Company in Lincoln;
- The transition of an engineering detachment and a brigade support company detachment in Hastings into a new Engineering Forward Support Company.
According to Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, Nebraska’s adjutant general, the force structure changes gave Nebraska the rare opportunity to look at the way it is currently stationed and reorganize itself to provide greater opportunities for soldiers to receive training and promotion opportunities closer to home.
“This realignment is an opportunity to provide our current soldiers and those who are interested in joining our ranks better opportunities for personal and professional growth from the time they enlist until the time they retire without having to travel extensively from their hometown communities,” said Major General Bohac. “This is particularly evident in the central and western areas of the state where for the last 20 years, Nebraskans who lived west of Kearney only had the opportunity to serve in our transportation companies.”
Following the realignment, new military police, field maintenance, and a distribution company will all be located in central and western Nebraska, as well as the remaining two transportation companies, giving Nebraskans living in these communities more choices than they ever had before. Bohac said the realignment will, in turn, dramatically enhance the Nebraska Army National Guard’s response readiness for state and national emergencies.
“It’s good for the soldiers and it’s good for the state,” he said. “We believe that this realignment will increase satisfaction within the soldiers serving in these units, which will in turn improve our reenlistment rates as well as our capabilities and readiness.”
No armory or readiness centers are expected to be closed by this announcement, although Bohac did say that the changes may affect the number of soldiers stationed at each of the individual facilities slightly as units are realigned and soldiers retrained for their new missions.
According to Guard officials, the changes are set to begin in early January and are expected to take approximately three years to complete.