A new U.S. Army Reserve command and control unit is expected to bring hundreds of jobs and an Army leadership presence to southeast Kansas.


A new U.S. Army Reserve command and control unit is expected to bring hundreds of jobs and an Army leadership presence to southeast Kansas.

The 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command will be at the Lanny J. Wallace Army Reserve Center in Wichita. Plans for the unit were announced Wednesday by Rep. Todd Tiahrt and Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, all Kansas Republicans, along with U.S. Army Reserve chief Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz.

Tiahrt said adding more military personnel in Kansas will help the state address a gap created by base closures in 2005. He said the hundreds of jobs will boost the local economy.

Most of the positions will be filled by Army Reserve soldiers. Some of them could be transferred from other units, while others could be enlisted soldiers enrolled in college and looking for part-time jobs. There will be few civilian jobs, Army Reserve officials said.

Since the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission chose to transfer Army Reserve leadership from Kansas, Tiahrt has helped lead an effort to reverse the decision and keep a significant Army Reserve presence in the Midwest.

“After the 2005 base realignments, we saw a transfer of Army Reserve leadership leaving the heartland,” Tiahrt said in a written statement. “I am very pleased our efforts paid off so we can maintain a robust leadership presence in Wichita.”

The Army Reserve has placed the unit in a two-year “carrier status” to allow for time to equip it, recruit soldiers and start training. The planned activation date is Sept. 16, 2011.

The unit will be led by a yet-to-be named brigadier general and will be staffed by about 250 officers, warrant officers and enlisted soldiers.

Stultz said there’s been a growing demand to position command units in targeted areas around the country as the Army Reserve “continues to transition from a strategic force in reserve to an operational force.”

“This new Army Reserve unit will be geographically essential, yet globally employable,” he said in a statement.