Fifth US Army
"In Peace Prepare for War"
USARNORTH achieved full operating capability in October 2006 and on 16 October 2006, Fifth US Army was formally reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters, United States Army North (USARNORTH), to consist of Main Command Post and Operational Elements. USARNORTH had been conceived in 2004 as the dedicated Army Service Component Command to US Northern Command (NORTHCOM), the unified command responsible for defending the US homeland and coordinating defense support of civil authorities. After the redesignation, the Fifth US Army title remained associated with the unit, with Fifth US Army's heraldry being similarly being redesignated for USARNORTH without any modification.
Prior to 2006 Fifth US Army oversaw the training and monitored the mobilization readiness of Army National Guard units within its area of responsibility. Fifth US Army had the additional missions of preparing to mobilize and deploy Reserve Component units, planning for the security and key assets protection of the central, western, and southwestern United States, and, on order, providing assistance to civilian authorities during peacetime crises. Command authority for the Army National Guard in peacetime belonged to the governor of each state and was exercised through the state Adjutant General to subordinate commanders.
Fifth US Army provided training support to designated units in its 21-state area of responsibility west of the Mississippi River. Six training support brigades and 2 simulation brigades were located at Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Travis Air Force Base, California; Fort Lewis, Washington; Houston, Texas; and Camp Parks, California. Three Field Training Groups, located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Austin, Texas; and Los Alamitos, California, supported the training of National Guard Divisions. The training support brigades provided training support and, on order, deployed mobilized units through mobilization assistance teams. During disaster relief, the training support brigade Commander assumed the role of the defense coordinating officer (DCO) for military support to civil authorities (MSCA) operations.
The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Training synchronized and scheduled training assets belonging to Fifth US Army, the training support divisions, training support brigades, and field training groups, for training support. Additionally, training support divisions were under the operational control of Fifth US Army for training support. The Deputy Chief of Staff, Training coordinated time and space requirements at various military facilities within Fifth US Army's area of responsibility that supported the scheduled training. The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Training scheduled and monitored annual assessments of Reserve Component readiness through the training assessment model (TAM) for each unit. These evaluations were used to monitor readiness and to assist the units in preparation of their annual training plans. The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Training performed the primary role of assisting, evaluating, and synchronizing training support for units with assets that were available either within the contiguous United States or from the US Army.
The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations had primary responsibility for mobilization. All of the hard work and effort expended attaining training and readiness standards would be of limited value if units were not able to mobilize and deploy. Fifth US Army, through the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, directed mobilization and demobilization operations and approved mobilization plans for all State Area Commands (STARCs), Army Reserve Commands, Power Projection Platforms, and Power Support Platforms. Additionally, Fifth US Army assumed operational control of the Power Projection Platforms, Power Support Platforms, and exercised command and control of mobilized units from mobilization at their home station to closure at the Power Projection Platforms/Power Support Platforms.
Power Projection Platforms were used to deploy major combat units and their associated support elements. The installation commander oversaw the unit's pre-deployment preparation and insured that the units met their mission requirements before validating them for deployment. Power Support Platforms deploy mobilized units, as well as performing TRADOC's training base expansion mission. In addition, they mobilized individuals and assist the Power Projection Platforms as needed during major mobilizations.
Fifth US Army was first constituted on 1 December 1942 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Fifth Army. Fifth Army's origin can be traced to its birth on foreign soil in World War II. That origin could seen on the shoulder patch worn by Fifth Army soldiers. The blue mosque on the patch was a reminder of the Fifth Army's activation at Oujda, French Morocco, on 5 January 1943. Fifth Army was activated under the command of Lieutenant General Mark Clark. Composed of the Active Army, the National Guard, and the Army Reserve troops, Fifth Army became the first American field army to initiate combat on the European mainland in World War II at Salerno, Italy on 9 September 1943.
Fifth Army immediately began planning its first mission after its activation. This mission was to carry out an amphibious assault on a hostile and well-defended shore. At dawn on 9 September 1943, Fifth Army executed that mission. In the face of fierce enemy resistance, soldiers assigned to Fifth Army battled ashore at Salerno, Italy. Despite a brutal struggle and heavy casualties, America's new field army was victorious. Fifth Army not only became the first American army to initiate combat on the European mainland in World War II, but also the first to win a battle on the continent and the first to liberate a European capital. September 9th was subsequently recognized as the Fifth Army's "Unit" or organization date.
The long, hard Italian campaign was only beginning at Salerno. Bitter fighting followed at the Rapido River, at Monte Cassino, and at Anzio. On 4 June 1944, units of the Fifth Army entered Rome, making the unit the first American Army to liberate a European capital. The Italian campaign continued as Fifth Army battled up the Italian boot, eventually linking up with troops from the Seventh US Army on the Austrian-Italian border on 4 May 1945. Fifth Army troops fought continuously for 602 days, a record for sustained combat by any contemporary American field army. Those 602 days of combat had cost 109,642 American casualties. Of that number, 19,475 had been killed in action.
The place names in that victorious struggle included: Anzio, Monte Cassino, the Rapido and Garigliano rivers, the Gustav Line and the Winter Line, as well as towns like San Pietro and Altaville. The story was one of a thousand bitter engagements on hundreds of mountains and valleys. For its service in World War II, the Fifth Army flag carries battle streamers representing the Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and Po Valley campaigns. After the end of the Second World War, Fifth Army was inactivated on 2 October 1945 at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts.
During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991, some 27,000 citizen-soldiers from more than 200 Army National Guard and Army Reserve units in the Fifth US Army area were mobilized. Many of these soldiers were subsequently deployed to the Persian Gulf. Though many returned and were demobilized with the help of Fifth US Army, other Reserve Component units from its area of responsibility remained overseas after the Gulf Conflict, taking part in Operation Provide Comfort relief efforts in northern Iraq.
After the activation of the Army Reserve Command in October 1992, Fifth US Army no longer commanded the Army Reserve units in its area of responsibility. These units became directly assigned to the US Army Reserve Command. However, it retained the mission of providing training assistance and training support for Reserve Component units in preparation for war and other missions.
Fifth US Army soldiers also served in Somalia, participating in Operation Restore Hope. The Deputy Commanding General of Fifth US Army was named the Deputy Commanding General of the Joint Task Force deployed to support the operation, which initially went to Somalia in December 1992. Other Fifth US Army soldiers deployed to Mogadishu in the aftermath of the 3 October 1993 battle between US Army forces and Somali militia and served there for several months.
In 1995, the Deputy Commanding General of Fifth US Army was named Commander of United Nations Forces in Haiti. Also in 1995, the Continental US Armies (CONUSAs) were realigned. All but 2 of the Continental United States Armies (CONUSA) were inactivated, with First and Fifth US Armies remaining active. Fifth US Army absorbed the states Sixth US Army area of responsibility, increasing its area of responsibility to include all states west of the Mississippi River except Minnesota. This area of responsibility encompassed more than 2 million square miles and a population of approximately 100 million. Fifth US Army headquarters consisted of about 250 assigned military personnel and civilian employees, although some 1,500 soldiers also wore the Fifth US Army patch. To facilitate administrative control, a forward-deployed element, commanded by an Active Component Major General, was established at Fort Lewis, Washington.
In 1997, Fifth US Army assumed the mission of response to Weapons of Mass Destruction incidents for its area of responsibility. When directed, Fifth US Army would deploy Response Task Force-West to support the Lead Federal Agency during a Weapons of Mass Destruction incident in United States Atlantic Command's area of responsibility; assume Operational Control of committed DOD elements, less Joint Special Operations Task Force, and redeploy upon meeting DOD support termination criteria.
In October 1999, under the Army's new integrated force concept, 2 training support divisions were under the operational control of Fifth US Army. These integrated divisions had administrative control over all training support brigades and battalions in their areas of responsibility.
The Army's transformation necessitated restructuring the roles and missions of First US Army and Fifth US Army to support reserve component modularity and the Army Force Generation process known as Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN). First US Army's training mission expanded on 16 January 2006 to include training, readiness oversight and mobilization for US Army Reserve and National Guard units throughout the continental United States and two US territories. The transition of the expanded geographic mission began in mid-December 2005 with the transfer of authority between First US Army and Fifth US Army for the Western United States. Previously, First Army trained, mobilized and deployed U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard units in the eastern United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
In 2004, it was determined that Fifth US Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas would assumed become known as US Army North, the US Army Component Command under US Northern Command. Fifth US Army had already gained Defense Support to Civilian Authorities nationwide. First US Army had also conducted Homeland Defense in support of national objectives. as well as providing Department of Defense support of civilian authorities, such as relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, but ceded these responsibilities with the redesignation of Fifth US Army as US Army North (ARNORTH) in 2006.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|