Army Brings 'V Corps' Back to Life to Support a More Powerful Europe Presence

Col. CJ King, commander of Fort Knox Garrison command.
Col. CJ King, commander of Fort Knox Garrison command, answers reporters’ questions Feb. 12, 2020, about the new V Corps headquarters moving to the central Kentucky Army post in October 2020. (U.S. Army/Eric Pilgrim)

The U.S. Army is reactivating its V Corps headquarters to beef up the service's command-and-control presence in Europe as part of a continuing effort to project American military strength in the region.

The original V Corps was deactivated in 2013 as the military reduced its force posture in Europe to a more "agile force," built around a cavalry brigade equipped with highly mobile Stryker combat vehicles and an airborne infantry brigade, Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa told

Since then, the Pentagon has taken steps to rebuild its forces in Europe in the face of growing Russian aggression. Efforts include a new continuous rotation of an Army armored brigade to the continent, and training events with European allies such as DEFENDER-Europe 20, a large-scale exercise involving 20,000 U.S. soldiers and 17,000 allied troops.

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The decision to stand up another corps headquarters was the next step, Ochoa said.

"It was an urgent requirement from the European command ... because of the changing security environment over there," she said.

The V Corps HQ will be permanently based at Fort Knox, Kentucky and will consist of about 600 soldiers and leaders who will rotate to Europe on a continuous basis in roughly company-sized elements to form an "operational rotational command post," Ochoa said.

"Its primary mission will be to conduct operational planning, mission command and oversight of rotational and other assigned forces," Ochoa said. "It will also provide additional capability in support of U.S. interests, allies and partners in the region."

The corps command is set to be active by October at Knox, with an expected rotation of personnel to the overseas command post in fiscal 2021, Ochoa said.

The Army looked at installations across the service, but chose Knox because of features such as its network infrastructure and transportation proximity as well as its availability of schools, services and other resources needed for soldiers and their families, Ochoa said.

"The Army is conducted a comprehensive analysis to determine the most suitable location for the headquarters," Ochoa said. "Fort Knox met the criteria needed."

-- Matthew Cox can be reached

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