Updated:JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. —
A new two-star Army headquarters will be established at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Army Secretary John McHugh announced Thursday.
"This new headquarters will provide command and control for several brigade-size units, many of which have been activated since 2003," McHugh said. "Under the leadership of Gen. Ray Odierno, the chief of staff of the Army, and joined by officials from I Corps and U.S. Army Forces Command, the Department of the Army believes this new headquarters will help meet the needs created by the base's nine years of dynamic growth and its evolving future missions."
McHugh said the new headquarters is an internal reorganization within the Army that will provide oversight for personnel, equipment, training and readiness of three Stryker brigade combat teams, a combat aviation brigade and a fires brigade -- totaling some 17,000 Soldiers.
Over the past nine years, the base has grown by about 15,000 soldiers and 22,000 family members. During that time, it has also seen the rapid establishment of three Stryker brigade combat teams and a military construction program totaling $1.75 billion.
"This has been one of the fastest growing installations in the Army," McHugh said.
JBLM is the largest in size of the Department of Defense’s 12 joint bases, and is the second largest in population.
The new headquarters' formal activation is scheduled for Oct. 1, but the unit's personnel and three general officers will begin arriving early this summer. The new unit will be designated Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division and its commander will be announced at a later date.