Afterword: A homecoming for the 1st ID
Stars and Stripes August 29, 2006
Part of the Stars and Stripes special series, “The Big Red One: Nearly a century of war”.
After decades of helping lead the way for America’s military around the world, the 1st Infantry Division is settling into a new role at Fort Riley, Kan.
Fort Riley has served on and off as the division’s home at different points in the 20th century. The Big Red One now will help run the base’s training resources.
It will help train transition teams headed for Iraq and Afghanistan, said Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hunzeker, a former division commander who handed over control of the 1st ID to Maj. Gen. Carter Ham on Aug. 1 when the division officially was welcomed to Riley.
The division still will have deployable brigades, but units and soldiers also will help teach American soldiers, sailors and Marines how to train foreign forces, Hunzeker said.
Fort Riley is expected to see an influx of about 8,000 division soldiers as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd brigades all will be based there. The division had about 12,000 soldiers before transformation began in Germany.
The 1st Brigade was at Fort Riley before transformation. The 2nd Brigade remains in Europe and is under the command-and-control of the 1st Armored Division. The brigade is expected to be re-flagged in the near future. The 3rd Brigade left Germany earlier this year.
The move did not mean a massive shipment of Germany-based 1st ID soldiers to Fort Riley but was instead a formal movement of the division structure. In all, hundreds, not thousands, of 1st ID soldiers in Germany became 1st ID soldiers at Riley.