Reorganization plan of United States Army

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Graphic legend of Army Transformation

The reorganization plan of the United States Army is a current modernization and reorganization plan of the United States Army that was implemented under the direction of Brigade Modernization Command. This effort formally began in 2006 when General Peter Schoomaker (the Army Chief of Staff at the time), was given the support to move the Army from its Cold War divisional orientation to a full-spectrum capability with fully manned, equipped and trained brigades. This was the most comprehensive reorganization since World War II and included modular combat brigades, support brigades, and command headquarters, as well as rebalancing the active and reserve components. The plan was first proposed by Army Chief of Staff, Eric Shinseki, in 1999, but was bitterly opposed internally by the Army.[citation needed]

In the summer of 2018, the U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC),[1][2] a new Army command for modernization was activated.[3][4] In April 2018, 15 cities were in the running for the headquarters of this command, which is expected to speed modernization in the Army.[5] The search narrowed down to five cities in June 2018[6] and settled on Austin on 12 July 2018. The modernization effort, to be coordinated with FORSCOM, Army Materiel Command, and TRADOC, addresses the long lead times[7] for introducing new materiel and capabilities into the brigades of the Army.[3]

In the fall of 2018, Army Strategy for the next ten years was articulated.[8] The strategy listed four Lines of Effort to be implemented:[8]

  1. Build readiness by 2022
  2. Modernization in the midterm around 2022
  3. Reform by 2020
  4. Strengthen alliances and partnerships

Origin and initial design

Before General Schoomaker's tenure, the Army was organized around large, mostly mechanized divisions, of around 15,000 soldiers each, with the aim of being able to fight two major theatres simultaneously. Under the new plan, the Army would be organized around modular brigades of 3,000–4,000 soldiers each, with the aim of being able to deploy continuously in different parts of the world, and effectively organizing the Army closer to the way it fights. An additional 30,000 soldiers were recruited as a short-term measure to assist in the structural changes, although a permanent end-strength change was not expected because of fears of future funding cuts, forcing the Army to pay for the additional personnel from procurement and readiness accounts. Up to 60% of the defense budget is spent on personnel and an extra 10,000 soldiers would cost US$1.4 billion annually.

On November 22 and 23, 2002, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs held the "Belfer Center Conference on Military Transformation". It brought together present and former defense officials and military commanders for the stated purpose of assessing the Department of Defense's progress in achieving a "transformation" of U.S. military capabilities. The conference was held at the Belfer Center at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. The United States Army War College and the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Security Series were co-sponsors.[9] In some respects this could be said to have been the birthplace of Transformation as a formal paradigm.

In 2004, the United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), which commands most active Army and Army Reserve forces based in the Continental United States, was tasked with supervising the modular transformation of its subordinate structure.

In March 2004, a contract was awarded to Anteon Corporation (now part of General Dynamics) to provide Modularity Coordination Cells (MCC) to each transforming corps, division and brigade within FORSCOM. Each MCC contained a team of functional area specialists who provided direct, ground-level support to the unit. The MCCs were coordinated by the Anteon office in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2007 a new deployment scheme known as Grow the Army was adopted that enabled the Army to carry out continuous operations.[10] The plan was modified several times including an expansion of troop numbers in 2007 and changes to the number of modular brigades. On 25 June 2013, plans were announced to disband 13 modular brigade combat teams (BCTs) and expand the remaining brigades with an extra maneuver battalion, extra fires batteries, and an engineer battalion.

History of ARFORGEN

The Secretary of the Army approved implementing ARFORGEN, a transformational force generation model, in 2006. ARFORGEN process diagram 2010 Army Posture Statement, Addendum F, Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN)[11]

ARFORGEN model concept development began in the summer of 2004 and received its final approval from the Army’s senior leadership in early 2006.[12]

FORSCOM, Department of the Army AR 525-29 Military Operations, Army Force Generation, 14 Mar 2011[dead link]

In 2016 the Army force generation process ARFORGEN was sidelined because it relied mostly on the Active Army, in favor of the total force policy, which includes the Reserve and National Guard; in the new model, the total force could have fallen to 980,000 by 2018,[13] subject to DoD's Defense Strategic Guidance to the Joint Staff.[14]:note especially pp.1–3 By 15 June 2017, the Department of the Army approved an increase in the Active Army's end-strength from 475,000 to 476,000. The total Army end-strength increases to 1.018 million.[15]

Planning process, evolution, and transformation

The commander-in-chief directs the planning process, through guidance to the Army by the Secretary of Defense.[14] Every year, Army Posture Statements by the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army summarize their assessment[ReadyArmy 1]:minute 1:15:00/1:22:58 of the Army's ability to respond to world events,[16][17] and also to transform for the future.[18] In support of transformation for the future, TRADOC, upon the advice of the Army's stakeholders, has assembled 20 warfighting challenges.[19] These challenges are under evaluation during annual Army warfighting assessments, such as AWA 17.1, held in October 2016. AWA 17.1 is an assessment by 5,000 US Soldiers, Special Operations Forces, Airmen, and Marines,[20] as well as by British, Australian, Canadian, Danish, and Italian troops.[21][22][23] For example, "reach-back" is among the capabilities being assessed; when under attack in an unexpected location, a Soldier on the move might use WIN-T to reach back to a mobile command post, to communicate the unexpected situation to higher echelons,[24][25] a building block in multi-domain operations.[26] [27][8]

Implementation and current status

Grow the Army was a transformation and re-stationing initiative of the United States Army which began in 2007 and was scheduled to be completed by fiscal year 2013. The initiative was designed to grow the army by almost 75,000 soldiers, while realigning a large portion of the force in Europe to the continental United States in compliance with the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure suggestions. This grew the force from 42 Brigade Combat Teams and 75 modular support brigades in 2007 to 45 Brigade Combat Teams and 83 modular support brigades by 2013.

On 25 June 2013, US Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno announced plans to disband 13 brigade combat teams and reduce troop strengths by 80,000 soldiers. While the number of BCTs will be reduced, the size of remaining BCTs will increase, on average, to about 4,500 soldiers. That will be accomplished, in many cases, by moving existing battalions and other assets from existing BCTs into other brigades. Two brigade combat teams in Germany had already been deactivated and a further 10 brigade combat teams slated for deactivation were announced by General Odierno on 25 June. (An additional brigade combat team was announced for deactivation 6 November 2014.) At the same time the maneuver battalions from the disbanded brigades will be used to augment armored and infantry brigade combat teams with a third maneuver battalion and expanded brigades fires capabilities by adding a third battery to the existing fires battalions. Furthermore, all brigade combat teams—armored, infantry and Stryker—will gain a Brigade Engineer Battalion, with "gap-crossing" and route-clearance capability.[28]

On 6 November 2014, it was reported that the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, currently stationed in South Korea, was deactivated in June 2015 and be replaced by a succession of U.S.-based brigade combat teams, which are to be rotated in and out, at the same nine-month tempo as practiced by the Army from 2001–2014.[29]

Eleven brigades were inactivated by 2015. The remaining brigades as of 2015 are listed below. On 16 March 2016, the Deputy Commanding General (DCG) of FORSCOM announced that the brigades would now also train to move their equipment to their new surge location as well as to train for the requirements of their next deployment.[30][31][32]

By 2018, Secretary of the Army Mark Esper noted that even though the large deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan had ceased, at any given time, three of the Armored Brigade Combat Teams are deployed to EUCOM, CENTCOM, and INDOPACOM, respectively, while two Infantry Brigade Combat Teams are deployed to Iraq, and Afghanistan, respectively.[33]

[At any given time,] there are more than 100,000 Soldiers deployed around the world —Secretary of the Army Mark Esper[33]

Reorganization plans by unit type

The Army has now been organized around modular brigades of 3,000–4,000 soldiers each, with the aim of being able to deploy continuously in different parts of the world, and effectively organizing the Army closer to the way it fights. The fact that this modernization is now in place has been acknowledged by the renaming of the 'Brigade Modernization Command' to the "U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command," on 16 February 2017.[34]

Modular combat brigades

Modular combat brigades are self-contained combined arms formations. They are standardized formations across the active and reserve components, meaning an Armored BCT at Fort Hood is the same as one at Fort Stewart.[Note 1]

Reconnaissance plays a large role in the new organizational designs. The Army felt the acquisition of the target was the weak link in the chain of finding, fixing, closing with, and destroying the enemy. The Army felt that it had already sufficient lethal platforms to take out the enemy and thus the number of reconnaissance units in each brigade was increased.[Note 2][35] The brigades sometimes depend on joint fires from the Air Force and Navy to accomplish their mission. As a result, the amount of field artillery has been reduced in the brigade design.

The three types of BCTs are Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs), Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (includes Light, Air Assault and Airborne), and Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs).

Armored Brigade structure

Armored Brigade Combat Teams, or ABCTs consist of 4,743 troops. This includes the third maneuver battalion as laid out in 2013. The changes announced by the U.S. army on 25 June 2013,[28] include adding a third maneuver battalion to the brigade, a second engineer company to a new Brigade Engineer Battalion, a third battery to the FA battalion, and reducing the size of each battery from 8 to 6 guns. These changes will also increase the number of troops in the affected battalions and also increase the total troops in the brigade. Since the brigade has more organic units, the command structure includes a deputy commander (in addition to the traditional executive officer) and a larger staff capable of working with civil affairs, special operations, psychological operations, air defense, and aviation units. An Armored BCT consists of:

  • the brigade headquarters and headquarters company (HHC): 43 officers, 17 warrant officers, 125 enlisted personnel – total: 185 soldiers. The commander and deputy commander each have a personal M2A3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle.[citation needed][Note 3]
  • the Brigade Engineer Battalion (BEB) (formerly Brigade Special Troops Battalion (BSTB)), consisted of a headquarters company, signal company, military intelligence company with a TUAV platoon and two combat engineer companies (A and B company). The former BSTB fielded 28 officers, 6 warrant officers, 470 enlisted personnel – total: 504 soldiers. Each of the combat engineer company fields 13× M2A2 ODS-E, 1× M113A3, 3× M1150 ABV, 1× M9 ACE, and 2× M104 AVLB.
  • a Cavalry (formerly Armed Reconnaissance) Squadron, consisting of a headquarters troop (HHT) and three reconnaissance troops and one armored troop. The HHT fields 2× M3A3 cavalry fighting vehicles and 3× M7A3 fire support vehicles armed with TOW anti-tank guided missiles, while each reconnaissance troop fields 7× M3A3 cavalry fighting vehicles. The squadron fields 35 officers and 385 enlisted personnel – total: 424 soldiers.
  • three identical combined arms battalions (CABs); flagged as a battalion of an infantry, armored or cavalry regiment. Each battalion consists of a headquarters and headquarters company, two tank companies and two mechanized infantry companies. The battalions field 48 officers and 580 enlisted personnel each – total: 628 soldiers. The HHC fields 1× M1A2 main battle tank, 1× M2A3 infantry fighting vehicle, 3× M3A3 cavalry fighting vehicles, 4× M7A3 fire support vehicles and 4× M1064 mortar carriers with M120 120 mm mortars. Each of the two tank companies fields 14× M1A2 main battle tanks, while each mechanized infantry company fields 14× M2A3 infantry fighting vehicles. In 2016, the ABCT's combined arms battalions adopted a triangle structure, of two armored battalions (of two armored companies plus a single mechanized infantry company) plus a mechanized infantry battalion (of two mechanized companies and one armored company).[36] This resulted in the reduction of two mechanized infantry companies; the deleted armored company was reflagged as a troop to the Cavalry Squadron.
  • a Field Artillery battalion, consisting of a headquarters battery, two cannon batteries with 8× M109A6 self-propelled 155 mm howitzers each [The changes announced by the U.S. Army on 25 June 2013,[28] include adding a third battery to the FA battalion, and reducing the size of each battery from 8 to 6 guns. These changes also increase the number of troops in the affected battalions and also increase the total troops in the Brigade.], and a target acquisition platoon. 24 officers, 2 warrant officers, 296 enlisted personnel – total: 322 soldiers.
  • a brigade support battalion (BSB), consisting of a headquarters, medical, distribution and maintenance company, plus six forward support companies, each of which support one of the three combined arms battalions, the cavalry squadron, the engineer battalion and the field artillery battalion. 61 officers, 14 warrant officers, 1,019 enlisted personnel – total: 1,094 soldiers.
Infantry Brigade structure

Infantry Brigade Combat Team, or IBCTs, comprised around 3,300 soldiers, in the pre-2013 design, which did not include the 3rd maneuver battalion. The 2013 end-strength is now 4,413 Soldiers:

  • Special Troops Battalion (now Brigade Engineer Battalion)
  • Cavalry Squadron
  • (2), later (3) Infantry Battalions
  • Field Artillery Battalion
  • Brigade Support Battalion
Stryker Brigade structure

Stryker Brigade Combat Team or SBCTs comprised about 3,900 soldiers, making it the largest of the three combat brigade constructs in the 2006 design, and over 4,500 Soldiers in the 2013 reform. Its design includes:

  • Headquarters Company
  • Cavalry Squadron (with three 14-vehicle, two-120 mm mortar reconnaissance troops plus a surveillance troop with UAVs and NBC detection capability)
  • (3) Stryker infantry battalions (each with three rifle companies with 12 infantry-carrying vehicles, 3 mobile gun platforms, 2 120 mm mortars, and around 100 infantry dismounts each, plus an HHC with scout, mortar and medical platoons and a sniper section.)
  • Anti-tank company (9 TOW-equipped Stryker vehicles) (folded into the Brigade Engineer Battalion)
  • Field Artillery Battalion (three 6-gun 155 mm Howitzer batteries, target acquisition platoon, and a joint fires cell)
  • Engineer Company (folded into the Brigade Engineer Battalion) [An additional engineer company was added to the battalion[28] in the 2013 reform]
  • Signal Company (folded into the Brigade Engineer Battalion)
  • Military Intelligence Company (with UAV platoon) (folded into the Brigade Engineer Battalion)
  • Brigade Support Battalion (headquarters, medical, maintenance, and distribution companies)

Modular support brigades

Heavy Combat Aviation Brigade Structure
Full Spectrum Combat Aviation Brigade Structure

Similar modularity will exist for support units which fall into five types: Aviation, Fires (artillery), Battlefield Surveillance (intelligence), Maneuver Enhancement (engineers, signal, military police, chemical, and rear-area support), and Sustainment (logistics, medical, transportation, maintenance, etc.). In the past, artillery, combat support, and logistics support only resided at the division level and brigades were assigned those units only on a temporary basis when brigades transformed into "brigade combat teams" for particular deployments.

Combat Aviation Brigades are multi-functional, offering a combination of attack helicopters (i.e., Apache), reconnaissance helicopters (i.e., Kiowa), medium-lift helicopters (i.e., Blackhawks), heavy-lift helicopters (i.e., Chinooks), and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) capability. Aviation will not be organic to combat brigades. It will continue to reside at the division-level due to resource constraints.

Heavy divisions (of which there are six) will have 48 Apaches, 38 Blackhawks, 12 Chinooks, and 12 Medevac helicopters in their aviation brigade. These are divided into two aviation attack battalions, an assault lift battalion, a general aviation support battalion. An aviation support battalion will have headquarters, refuelling/resupply, repair/maintenance, and communications companies.[37] Light divisions will have aviation brigades with 60 armed reconnaissance helicopters and no Apaches, with the remaining structure the same. The remaining divisions will have aviation brigades with 30 armed reconnaissance helicopters and 24 Apaches, with the remaining structure the same. Ten Army Apache helicopter units will convert to heavy attack reconnaissance squadrons, with 12 RQ-7B Shadow drones apiece.[35][38] The helicopters to fill out these large, combined-arms division-level aviation brigades comes from aviation units that used to reside at the corps-level.

Fires Brigade Structure

Fires Brigades (renamed Field Artillery Brigades in 2014) provide traditional artillery fires (Paladin, Howitzer, MLRS, HIMARS) as well as information operations and non-lethal effects capabilities. After the 2013 reform, the expertise formerly embodied in the pre-2007 Division Artillery (DIVARTY) was formally re-instituted in the Division Artillery Brigades of 2015.[39] The operational Fires battalions will now report to this new formulation of DIVARTY, for training and operational Fires standards, as well as to the BCT.[40][41]

Air Defense: The Army will no longer provide an organic air defense artillery (ADA) battalion to its divisions. Nine of the ten active component (AC) divisional ADA battalions and two of the eight reserve (ARNG) divisional ADA battalions will deactivate. The remaining AC divisional ADA battalion along with six ARNG divisional ADA battalions will be pooled at the Unit of Employment to provide on-call air and missile defense (AMD) protection. The pool of Army AMD resources will address operational requirements in a tailorable and timely manner without stripping assigned AMD capability from other missions.

Maneuver Enhancement Brigades are designed to be self-contained, and will command units such as chemical, military police, civil affairs units, and tactical units such as a maneuver infantry battalion. These formations are designed to be joint so that they can operate with coalition, or joint forces such as the Marine Corps, or can span the gap between modular combat brigades and other modular support brigades.[Note 4]

Combat Sustainment Brigade Structure

Sustainment Brigades provide echelon-above-brigade-level logistics.[42] The DoD-level Global Combat Support System includes an Army-level tool (GCSS-A), which runs on tablet computers with bar code readers which 92-A specialists use to enter and track materiel requests, as the materiel makes its way through the supply chain to the brigades.[43]

Battlefield Surveillance Brigade Structure

The former Battlefield Surveillance Brigades,[44] now denoted Military Intelligence Brigades (Expeditionary), will offer additional UAVs and long-term surveillance detachments.[45] Each of the three active duty brigades is attached to an Army Corps.[44]

Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Structure

Security Force Assistance Brigades

Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABs) are brigades whose mission is to train, advise, and assist (TAA) the armed forces of other coalition partners. The SFAB are neither bound by conventional decisive operations nor counter-insurgency operations. Operationally, a 500-soldier SFAB would free-up a 4500-soldier BCT from a TAA mission. On 23 June 2016 General Mark Milley revealed plans for train/advise/assist Brigades, consisting of seasoned officers and NCOs with a full chain of command,[46]:Minute 18:40/1:00:45 but no junior Soldiers. In the event of a national emergency the end-strengths of the SFABs could be augmented with new soldiers entering basic training and advanced individual training.[46] By October 2017, the first of six planned SFABs (the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade)[47] was established at Fort Benning.[48][46]:minute 50:00 An SFAB was projected to consist of 500 senior officers and NCOs, which, the Army says, could act as a cadre to reform a full BCT in a matter of months.[49] In May 2017, the initial SFAB staffing of 529 soldiers was underway, including 360 officers. The officers will have had previous command experience.[46]:21:20 Commanders and leaders will have previously led BCTs at the same echelon.[50] The remaining personnel, all senior NCOs, are to be recruited from across the Army.[51][52][53] Promotable E-4s who volunteer for the SFAB are automatically promoted to Sergeant upon completion of the Military Advisor Training Academy.[54] A team of twelve soldiers would include a medic, personnel for intelligence support, and air support,[55] as cited by Keller.[56]

Funding for the first two SFABs was secured in June 2017.[15] On 16 October 2017, BG Brian Mennes of Force Management in the Army's G3/5/7 announced accelerated deployment of the first two SFABs, possibly by Spring 2018 to Afghanistan and Iraq, if required.[57] This was approved in early July 2017, by the Secretary of Defense and the Chief of Staff of the Army. These SFABs would be trained in languages, how to work with interpreters,[58] and equipped with the latest equipment[59] [60] including secure, but unclassified, communications[61] and weapons to support coalition partners,[57] as well as unmanned aircraft systems (UASs).[62] The first five SFABs would align with the Combatant Commands (CENTCOM, USINDOPACOM, AFRICOM, ...) as required; an SFAB could provide up to 58 teams (possibly with additional Soldiers for force protection).[57] 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade deployed to Afghanistan in Spring 2018.[63] On 8 February 2018, 1st SFAB held an activation ceremony at Fort Benning, revealing its colors and heraldry for the first time, and then cased its colors for the deployment to Afghanistan.[64]

On 8 December 2017, the Army announced the activation of the second Security Force Assistance Brigade,[65] for January 2018, the second of six planned SFABs. The SFAB are to consist of about 800 senior and noncommissioned officers who have served at the same echelon, with proven expertise in advise-and-assist operations with foreign security forces. Fort Bragg was chosen as the venue for the second SFAB[66] in anticipation of the time projected to train a Security Force Assistance Brigade.[65] On 17 January 2018 Chief of Staff Mark Milley announced the activation of the third SFAB.[56] 2nd SFAB undergoes three months of training beginning October 2018, to be followed by a Joint Readiness Training Center Rotation beginning January 2019, and deployment in spring 2019.[67] The 3rd, 4th, and 5th SFABs are to be stationed at Fort Hood, Fort Carson, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, respectively;[68] the headquarters station for the National Guard SFAB (54th SFAB) will be in Indiana, one of six states to contribute an element of 54th SFAB.[69]

The Security Force Assistance Command and all six SFABs will be activated by 2020.[8] The Security Force Assistance Directorate, a one-star Directorate for the SFABs, will be part of FORSCOM in Fort Bragg. SFAD will be responsible for the Military Advisor Training Academy as well.[70][71] The 1st SFAB commander was promoted to Brigadier General in Gardez, Afghanistan on 18 August 2018.[72] The 2nd SFAB commander was promoted to Brigadier General 7 September 2018;[73] 2nd SFAB deploys to Afghanistan in Spring 2019.[74]

Security Assistance is part of The Army Strategy 2018's Line of Effort 4: "Strengthen Alliances and Partnerships".[8]

Army Field Support Brigades

Army Field Support Brigades (AFSBs) have been utilized to field materiel in multiple Combatant Command's Areas of Responsibility (AORs). Initially 405th AFSB prepositioned stocks for a partial brigade; eventually, the 405th was to field materiel for an ABCT, a Division headquarters, a Fires Brigade, and a Sustainment Brigade in their AOR, which required multinational agreements.[75] Similarly, 401st AFSB configured materiel for an ABCT in their AOR as well. The objective has been combat configuration: maintain their vehicles to support a 96-hour readiness window for a deployed ABCT on demand.[76] In addition, 403rd Army Field Support Brigade maintains prepositioned stocks for their AOR.

Command headquarters

Below the Combatant Commands echelon, Division commands will command and control their combat and support brigades. Divisions will operate as plug-and-play headquarters commands (similar to corps) instead of fixed formations with permanently assigned units. Any combination of brigades may be assigned to divisions for a particular mission up to a maximum of four combat brigades. For instance, the 3rd Infantry Division headquarters could be assigned two armor brigades and two infantry brigades based on the expected requirements of a given mission. On its next deployment, the same division may have one Stryker brigade and two armor brigades assigned to it. The same modus operandi holds true for support units. The goal of reorganization with regard to logistics is to streamline the logistics command structure[77] so that combat service support can fulfill its support mission more efficiently.

The division headquarters itself has also been redesigned as a modular unit that can be assigned an array of units and serve in many different operational environments.[78] The new term for this headquarters is the UEx (or Unit of Employment, X). The headquarters is designed to be able to operate as part of a joint force, command joint forces with augmentation, and command at the operational level of warfare (not just the tactical level). It will include organic security personnel and signal capability plus liaison elements. As of March 2015, nine of the ten regular Army division headquarters, and two national guard division headquarters are committed in support of Combatant Commands.[79]:Executive Summary [80][81]

When not deployed, the division will have responsibility for the training and readiness of a certain number of modular brigades units. For instance, the 3rd Infantry Division headquarters module based at Fort Stewart, GA is responsible for the readiness of its combat brigades and other units of the division, assuming they have not been deployed separately under a different division.

The re-designed headquarters module comprises around 1,000 soldiers including over 200 officers. It includes:

  • A Main Command Post where mission planning and analysis are conducted
  • A mobile command group for commanding while on the move
  • (2) Tactical Command Posts to exercise control of brigades[82]
  • Liaison elements
  • A special troops battalion with a security company and signal company

Divisions will continue to be commanded by major generals, unless coalition requirements require otherwise. Regional army commands (e.g. 3rd Army, 7th Army, 8th Army) will remain in use in the future but with changes to the organization of their headquarters designed to make the commands more integrated and relevant in the structure of the reorganized Army, as the chain of command for a deployed division headquarters now runs directly to an Army service component command (ASCC), or to FORSCOM.[78]

In January 2017, examples of pared-down tactical operations centers, suitable for brigades and divisions, were demonstrated at a command post huddle at Fort Bliss. The huddle of the commanders of FORSCOM, United States Army Reserve Command, First Army, I and III Corps, 9 of the Active Army divisions, and other formations discussed standardized solutions for streamlining command posts.[82] The Army is paring-down the tactical operations centers, and making them more agile,[83][84] to increase their survivability.[41]

Four major commands

United States Army Futures Command (AFC), "a small agile command",[85] (currently 50 people, mostly civilians)[86] is slated to be the Army's fourth Army command (ACOM),[87] joining FORSCOM, Army Materiel Command (AMC), and TRADOC as four-star commands. Austin, Texas is the station for the headquarters of Futures Command.[88] Initial operating capability is slated for 2018.[85][89] Although the Army has enjoyed overmatch for the past seventy years,[7] more rapid modernization for conflict with near-peers is the reason for AFC, which will be focused on achieving clear overmatch[90] in six areas — long-range precision fires,[91][92] next-generation combat vehicle, future vertical lift platforms, a mobile & expeditionary Army network,[93][94] air & missile defense capabilities,[95] and soldier lethality.[96] (See: Futures)

In a reform-oriented break with Army custom, leaders of AFC headquarters will locate in a downtown property of the University of Texas System, while project-driven soldiers and Army civilians will co-locate with entrepreneurs/innovators in tech hubs, in the vision of Under Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy.[97][98][2] The official activation ceremony of AFC was on 24 August 2018, in Austin, Texas;[99] in a press conference on that day featuring Army Chief of Staff Milley, Secretary Esper, Mayor Adler, and AFC commander Murray,[100] Chief Milley noted that AFC would actively reach out into the community in order to learn, and that Senator John McCain's frank criticism of the acquisition process was instrumental for modernization reform at Futures command.[100]:minute 7:30 In fact, AFC soldiers would blend into Austin by not wearing their uniforms [to work side-by-side with civilians in the tech hubs], Milley noted in the 24 August 2018 press conference.[100]:minute 6:20 Secretary Esper said he expected failures during the process of learning how to reform the acquisition and modernization process.[100]:minute 18:20

The design of AFC was informed by the cancellation of the Army's Future Combat Systems project. Under Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy reviewed the reasons for that cancellation.[2]: Minute 19:40 Thus "unity of command and purpose"[2]: Minutes 12:22, 23:01 was a criterion for the design by unifying previous modernization efforts in a single command; the sub-goals would be met in do-able chunks.[101][102] The ratio of uniformed personnel to Army civilian employees is expected to be a talent-based, task-based issue for the AFC commander.[2]: Minute 32:40The expectation is that these reforms will enable cultural change across the entire Army, as a part of attaining full operational capability.[2]: Minute 27:14[103] The Program Executive Offices (PEOs) of ASA (ALT) will have a dotted-line relationship with Futures Command.[104]

In order to separate Army modernization from today's requirement for readiness,[104] eight cross-functional teams (CFTs)[Note 5][4][101][95] were transferred from the other three major commands to Futures Command.[104] United States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command and the United States Army Capabilities Integration Center[105] will report to the new command.[106] ATEC retains its direct reporting relationship to the Chief of Staff of the Army.

The first tranche of transfers into AFC included: Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC), Capability Development and Integration Directorates (CDIDs), and TRADOC Analysis Center (TRAC) from TRADOC, and RDECOM (including the six research, development and engineering centers (RDECs), and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARLs)[107]), and Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA), from AMC, as announced by Secretary Esper on 4 June 2018.[108] TRADOC's new role is amended accordingly.[108] The Principal Military Deputy to the ASA(ALT) is also deputy commanding general for Combat Systems, Army Futures Command, and leads the PEOs; he has directed each PEO who does not have a CFT to coordinate with, to immediately form one, at least informally.[109] General Murray has announced that AFC intends to be a global command, in its search for disruptive technologies.[110] Army Chief of Staff Milley is looking for AFC to attain full operational capability (FOC) by August 2019.[100]

Training and readiness

Under Schoomaker, combat training centers (CTCs) emphasized the contemporary operating environment (such as an urban, ethnically-sensitive city in Iraq) and stress units according to the unit mission and the commanders' assessments, collaborating often to support holistic collective training programs, rather than by exception as was formerly the case.

Schoomaker's plan was to resource units based on the mission they are expected to accomplish (major combat versus SASO, or stability and support operations), regardless of component (active or reserve). Instead of using snapshot readiness reports, the Army now rates units based on the mission they are expected to perform given their position across the three force pools ('reset', 'train/ready', and 'available').[111] The Army now deploys units upon each commanders' signature on the certificate of their unit's assessment (viz., Ready). As of June 2016, only one-third of the Army's brigades are ready to deploy.[112]

"Soldiers need to be ready[ReadyArmy 2] 100 percent of the time."[13]—Robert B. Abrams, FORSCOM commander, June 2, 2016

Chief of Staff Mark Milley's readiness objective is that all operational units be at 90 percent of the authorized strength in 2018, at 100 percent by 2021, and at 105 percent by 2023.[113]

The observer coach/trainers at the combat training centers, recruiters, and drill sergeants are be filled at 100 percent strength by the end of this year (2018).[113][114]

Family Readiness Groups

Army spouses belong to Family Readiness Groups (FRGs)[115] which mirror the command structure of an Army unit. An FRG seeks to meet the needs of soldiers and their families, for example during a deployment.[116] As a soldier transfers in and out of an installation, the soldier's entire family will typically undergo a permanent change of station (PCS) to the next post. Transfers typically follow the cycle of the school year to minimize disruption in an Army family.[117] When a family emergency occurs, the informal support of that unit's FRG is available to the soldier.[116] (But the Army Emergency Relief fund is available to any soldier with a phone call to their local garrison.)[118]

"Associated units" training program

The Army announced a pilot program, 'associated units', in which a National Guard or Reserve unit would now train with a specific active Army formation. These units would wear the patch of the specific Army division before their deployment to a theater;[119] 36th Infantry Division (United States) headquarters deployed to Afghanistan in May 2016 for a train, advise, assist mission.[120]

The Army Reserve, whose headquarters are colocated with FORSCOM, and the National Guard, are testing the associated units program in a three-year pilot program with the active Army. The program will use the First Army training roles at the Army Combat Training Centers at Fort Irwin, Fort Polk, and regional and overseas training facilities.[121]

The pilot program complements FORSCOM's total force partnerships with the National Guard, begun in 2014.[122] Summer 2016 will see the first of these units.

  • Associated units [123][124]
    • 3rd Infantry BCT, 10th Mountain Div., stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, associated with the 36th Infantry Div., Texas Army National Guard
    • 48th Infantry BCT, Georgia ARNG, associated with the 3rd Infantry Div., Stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia
    • 86th Infantry BCT, Vermont ARNG, associated with the 10th Mountain Div., stationed at Fort Drum, New York
    • 81st Armored BCT, Washington ARNG, associated with the 7th Infantry Div., stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
    • Task Force 1-28th Infantry Bn., 3rd Infantry Div., stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, associated with the 48th Infantry BCT, Georgia Army National Guard
    • 100th Bn., 442nd Infantry Rgt., USAR, associated with the 3rd Infantry BCT, 25th Infantry Div., stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
    • 1st Bn., 143rd Infantry Rgt., Texas ARNG, associated with the 173rd Airborne BCT, stationed in Vicenza, Italy
    • 1st Bn., 151st Infantry Rgt., Indiana ARNG, associated with the 2nd Infantry BCT, 25th Infantry Div., stationed at Schofield Barracks
    • 5th Engineer Bn., stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, associated with the 35th Engineer Bde., Missouri ARNG
    • 840th Engineer Co., Texas ARNG, associated with the 36th Engineer Bde., stationed at Fort Hood, Texas
    • 824th Quartermaster Co., USAR, associated with the 82nd Airborne Div.'s Sustainment Bde., stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
    • 249th Transportation Co., Texas ARNG, associated with the 1st Cavalry Div.'s Sustainment Bde., stationed in Fort Hood
    • 1245th Transportation Co., Oklahoma ARNG, associated with the 1st Cavalry Div.'s Sustainment Bde., stationed in Fort Hood
    • 1176th Transportation Co., Tennessee ARNG, associated with the 101st Airborne Div.'s Sustainment Bde., stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky
    • 2123rd Transportation Co., Kentucky ARNG, associated with the 101st Airborne Div.'s Sustainment Bde., stationed at Fort Campbell

USAR mobilization

Plans are being formulated for mobilization of the Army Reserve (42,000 to 45,000 soldiers) very quickly.[125]

Training against OPFORs

To serve a role as an Opposing force (OPFOR) could be a mission for an Army unit, as temporary duty (TDY), during which they might wear old battle dress uniforms, perhaps inside-out. TRADOC's Mission Command Training Program, as well as Cyber Command designs tactics for these OPFORs. When a brigade trains at Fort Irwin, Fort Polk, or Joint Multinational Training Center (in Hohenfels, Germany) the Army tasks 11th Cavalry Regiment, 1-509th Airborne Infantry Battalion, and 1-4th Infantry Battalion, respectively, with the OPFOR role,[126] and provides the OPFOR with modern equipment (such as the FGM-148 Javelin) to test that brigade's readiness for deployment. Multiple integrated laser engagement systems serve as proxies for actual fired weapons, and Soldiers are lost to the commander from "kills" by laser hits.

Deployment scheme

The force generation system, posited in 2006 by General Schoomaker, projected that the U.S. Army would be deployed continuously. The Army would serve as an expeditionary force to fight a protracted campaign against terrorism and stand ready for other potential contingencies across the full-spectrum of operations (from humanitarian and stability operations to major combat operations against a conventional foe).

Under ideal circumstances, Army units would have a minimum "dwell time," a minimum duration of which it would remain at home station before deployment. Active-duty units would be prepared to deploy once every three years. Army Reserve units would be prepared to deploy once every five years. National Guard units would be prepared to deploy once every six years. A total of 71 combat brigades would form the Army's rotation basis, 42 from the active component with the balance from the reserves.

Thus, around 15 active-duty combat brigades would be available for deployment each year under the 2006 force-generation plan. An additional 4 or 5 brigades would be available for deployment from the reserve component. The plan was designed to provide more stability to soldiers and their families. Within the system, a surge capability would exist so that about an additional 18 brigades could be deployed in addition to the 19 or 20 scheduled brigades.

From General Dan McNeil, former Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) Commander: Within the Army Forces Generation (ARFORGEN) model, brigade combat teams (BCTs) would move through a series of three force pools;[111] they would enter the model at its inception, the "reset force pool", upon completion of a deployment cycle. There they would re-equip and reman while executing all individual predeployment training requirements, attaining readiness as quickly as possible. Reset or "R" day, recommended by FORSCOM and approved by Headquarters, Department of the Army, would be marked by BCT changes of command, preceded or followed closely by other key leadership transitions. While in the reset pool, formations would be remanned, reaching 100% of mission required strength by the end of the phase, while also reorganizing and fielding new equipment, if appropriate. In addition, it is there that units would be confirmed against future missions, either as deployment expeditionary forces (DEFs-BCTs trained for known operational requirements), ready expeditionary forces (REFs-BCTs that form the pool of available forces for short-notice missions) or contingency expeditionary forces (CEFs-BCTs earmarked for contingency operations).

Based on their commanders' assessments, units would move to the ready force pool, from which they could deploy should they be needed, and in which the unit training focus would be at the higher collective levels. Units would enter the available force pool when there is approximately one year left in the cycle, after validating their collective mission-essential task list proficiency (either core or theater-specific tasks) via battle-staff and dirt-mission rehearsal exercises. The available phase would be the only phase with a specified time limit: one year. Not unlike the division-ready brigades of past decades, these formations would deploy to fulfill specific requirements or stand ready to fulfill short-notice deployments within 30 days.

The goal was to generate forces 12–18 months in advance of combatant commanders' requirements and to begin preparing every unit for its future mission as early as possible in order to increase its overall proficiency.

Personnel management would also be reorganized as part of the Army transformation. Previously, personnel was managed on an individual basis in which soldiers were rotated without regard for the effect on unit cohesion. This system required unpopular measures such as "stop loss" and "stop move" in order to maintain force levels. In contrast, the new personnel system would operate on a unit basis to the maximum extent possible, with the goal of allowing teams to remain together longer and enabling families to establish ties within their communities.

Abrams 2016 noted that mid-level Army soldiers found they faced an unexpected uptempo in their requirements,[13] while entry-level soldiers in fact welcomed the increased challenge.[13]

Sustainable Readiness Model

This model is "a structured progression of increased unit readiness over time, resulting in recurring periods of availability of trained, ready, and cohesive units prepared for operational deployment in support of geographic Combatant Commander requirements".[127][77][128] ARFORGEN was replaced by the Sustainable Readiness Model (SRM) in 2017.[129][130][131][13] In 2016 the Chief of Staff of the Army identified the objective of a sustainable readiness process as over 66 percent of the Active Army in combat ready state at any time, with an objective for readiness of the National Guard to be determined.[132]

In 2018 Chief of Staff Mark Milley's readiness objective is that all operational units be at 90 percent of the authorized strength in 2018, at 100 percent by 2021, and at 105 percent by 2023.[113]

The observer coach/trainers at the combat training centers, recruiters, and drill sergeants are be filled at 100 percent strength by the end of 2018.[113]

Prepositioned stocks

Army Materiel Command (AMC), which uses Army Field Support Brigades (AFSBs) to provision the Combatant Commands, has established Army prepositioned stocks (APS) for supplying entire Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs),[133] at several areas of responsibility (AORs):

  • APS-1 is Continental US (CONUS)[133]
  • APS-2 in EUCOM, using several sites,[75] will accelerate the flow of up-to-date materiel there, to forward-operating sites.[134]
  • APS-3 in Pacific Ocean, uses ocean-going vessels.[135]
  • APS-4 in Indian Ocean[133]
  • APS-5 in CENTCOM's Camp Arifjan, Kuwait[76]

Medical readiness is being tested by the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency, an LCMC. For example during Operation Spartan Shield, the LCMC's relevant AFSB effected the hand-off of prepositioned stocks to 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) within 96 hours.[136] In the same Operation, 155th ABCT was issued an entire equipment set for an ABCT, drawn from APS-5 stocks, over 13,000 pieces.[137]

Air Defense Artillery deployments

On 27 March 2018 the 678th Air Defense Artillery Brigade (South Carolina National Guard) deployed to EUCOM, Ansbach Germany for a nine month rotation, for the first time since the Cold War.[138] 10th AAMDC is the executive agent for EUCOM.

In September 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that four Patriot systems—[139] Two from Kuwait, and one apiece from Jordan and Bahrain are redeploying back to the U.S. for refurbishment and upgrades, and will not be replaced.[140]

Forward-deployed materiel

As the U.S. Army's only forward-deployed Airborne brigade, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, stationed in EUCOM, was supplied with new communications materiel — Integrated Tactical Networks (ITN) in 2018.[141] New ground combat vehicles, the Infantry Carrier Vehicle - Dragoon (ICVD) are being supplied to 2nd Cavalry Regiment. ICVDs are Strykers with an unmanned turret and 30 mm autocannon (CROWS), an integrated commander's station, upgraded suspension and larger tires.[141] The Army brigades of EUCOM have been in position for testing materiel, as its elements engaged in a 2018 road march through Europe, training with 19 ally and partner nations in Poland in 2018.[141]

Force size and unit organization

Overall, the Army would end up with 71 brigade combat teams and 212 support brigades, in the pre-2013 design. The Regular Army would move from 33 brigade combat teams in 2003 to 43 brigade combat teams together with 75 modular support brigades, for a total of 118 Regular Army modular brigades. In addition the previously un-designated training brigades such as the Infantry Training Brigade at Fort Benning assumed the lineage & honors of formerly active Regular Army combat brigades. Within the Army National Guard, there would be 28 brigade combat teams and 78 support brigades. Within the Army Reserve, the objective was 59 support brigades.(Chief of Staff Mark Milley credits a previous Chief, Creighton Abrams, for placing most of the support brigades in the reserve and national guard, in order to insure that the nation would use the total army, rather than only the active army alone, in an extended war involving the entire nation.)[46]:minute 42:30

In the post-2013 design, the Regular Army is planned to reduce to 32 BCTs after all the BCTs have been announced for inactivation.[142]

Army commands

Army service component commands

Army direct reporting units

Field armies

Army corps

Divisions and brigades

Note: these formations were subject to change, announced in #2013 reform[144]

The 2018 budget will further reduce 40,000 active-duty soldiers from 490,000 in 2015 to 450,000 by 2018 fiscal year-end. Thirty installations will be affected; six of these installations will account for over 12,000 of those to be let go.

In early 2015, the plan was to cut entire BCTs; by July 2015, a new plan, to downsize a BCT (4,500 soldiers) to a maneuver battalion task force (1,032 soldiers, with the possibility of upsizing if need be) was formulated. In 2015, a plan was instituted to allow further shrinking of the Army, by converting selected brigades to maneuver battalion task forces.[145] A maneuver battalion task force includes about 1,050 Soldiers rather than the 4,000 in a full BCT.[146] This 9 July 2015 plan, however, would preclude rapid deployment of such a unit until it has been reconstituted back to full re-deployable strength. This is being addressed with the #"Associated Units" training program from the Reserve and Guard, and the #Sustainable Readiness Model (SRM).[130][13] Funding has been allocated for two (out of six planned) Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABs)[147] composed of 529 senior officers and senior NCOs (a full chain of command for a BCT).[148] The changes announced so far affect:[149]

Active-duty division:

  • 11 division headquarters (one division headquarters stationed overseas in South Korea)

Active-duty combat brigades: 31 at the end of 2017

Support brigades

Active-duty Support Brigades (with reserve-component numbers in parenthesis: ARNG/USAR)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ One consequence of a standardized BCT is that actions performed by one BCT can be made in behalf of a successor BCT. Thus pre-positioned stocks can aid in the rapidity of deployment: Army Prepositioned Stocks site in the Netherlands was established 15 Dec 2016, which will store and service about 1,600 U.S. Army vehicles.
    • U.S. military equipment to arrive in Germany, 6-9 Jan 2017
    • Tank Brigade (3ABCT/4th ID) sets quick pace moving to Europe
    • Soldiers Journal: Rolling Into Europe (3ABCT/4th ID)
  2. ^ The Army is introducing drones in its combat aviation brigades in order to increase its reconnaissance capability.
  3. ^ Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV): Army's first armored multi-purpose vehicle rolls off production line, 16 Dec 2016 The AMPV will replace vehicles for:
    • 522 general purpose
    • 993 mission command
    • 216 medical treatment
    • 790 medical evacuation
    • 386 mortar carrier
  4. ^ In the 2013 reform, the active duty brigades are deactivating by 2015, leaving only the National Guard's, and the Reserve's, maneuver enhancement brigades.
  5. ^ The capabilities as prioritized by the Chief of Staff, will use subject matter experts in the realms of requirements, acquisition, science and technology, test, resourcing, costing, and sustainment, using Cross Functional Teams (CFTs) for:
    1. Improved long-range precision fires (artillery)— Lead: BG Steve Maranian ...PEO Ammunition (AMMO)
    2. Next-generation combat vehicle— Lead: BG Dave Lesperance ...PEO Ground Combat Systems (GCS)
    3. Vertical lift platforms— Lead: BG Wally Rugen ...PEO Aviation (AVN)
    4. Mobile and expeditionary (usable in ground combat) communications network
      1. Network Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence— Lead: MG Pete Gallagher ...PEO Command Control Communications Tactical (C3T)
      2. Assured Position Navigation and Timing— Lead: Kevin Coggins
    5. Air and missile defense— Lead: BG Randall McIntire, ...PEO Missiles and Space (M&S)
    6. Soldier lethality
      1. Soldier Lethality— Lead: BG David M. Hodne ...PEO Soldier
      2. Synthetic Training Environment — Lead: MG Maria Gervais ...PEO Simulation, Training, & Instrumentation (STRI)
    • Above, 'dotted line' relationship is denoted by a '...'
  1. ^ Perkins discusses operationalizing the Army Operating Concept (AOC) AOC="Win in a Complex World"
  2. ^ "Ready Army is a proactive campaign to increase Army community resilience and enhance force readiness by informing Soldiers, their Families, Army Civilians and contractors of relevant hazards, and encouraging them to
    • Be Informed,
    • Make A Plan,
    • Build a Kit and
    • Get Involved." see: DEFCON

References

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  54. ^ 1st SFAB promotes first Soldiers to sergeant under new policy
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  64. ^ (9 February 2018) 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade holds activation ceremony
  65. ^ a b Army announces activation of second Security Force Assistance Brigade at Fort Bragg
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    • Kathryn Bailey, Communication-Electronics PAO (June 28, 2018) Command post modernization vision - first, make it mobile
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  91. ^ Long-range, short term
  92. ^ Picatinny Arsenal, PEO (AMMO)
  93. ^ First unit with TRILOS
  94. ^ Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) note PNT capability
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  102. ^ (12 Sep 2017) Army Directive 2017-22 (Implementation of Acquisition Reform Initiatives 1 and 2)
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  137. ^ Justin Graff, 401st AFSB Public Affairs (July 13, 2018) Largest ever equipment issue from APS-5 to support Operation Spartan Shield
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External links

  • Feickert, Andrew. "U.S. Army's Modular Redesign: Issues for Congress" (PDF). Updated May 5, 2006. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-07-28. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  • 2007 Army Modernization Plan
  • Moran, Michael (2007-09-14). "U.S. Army Force Restructuring, "Modularity," and Iraq". Council on Foreign Relations. Archived from the original on 2008-02-07. Retrieved 2007-09-20.
  • GlobalSecurity.org article about current transformation
  • GlobalSecurity.org article about Force XXI
  • Addendum D: Naming Convention for Headquarters and Forces
  • John Gordon, "Transforming for What? Challenges Facing Western Militaries Today", Focus stratégique, Paris, Ifri, November 2008.
  • ARFORGEN — Army Force Generation Graphic showing the three stages before deployment, discussion, ARFORGEN from Warrant Officer viewpoint, and example of training for deployment
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