US Army Forces Command [FORSCOM]
United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) is the Army Component of the United States Joint Forces Command and a major Army command. The FORSCOM mission is to train, mobilize, and deploy ready ground forces of America's Army to meet operational requirements of our nation. FORSCOM is stewards of Army resources, caring for soldiers, civilians, retirees and families, and for the high-quality installations from which it projects and supports the force.
U.S. Army Forces Command is the Army's largest major command. Headquartered at Fort McPherson, Georgia, FORSCOM commands Active Component and U.S. Army Reserve forces in the Continental U.S. (CONUS) and Puerto Rico. Following mobilization, FORSCOM assumes command and control of Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve units preparing for deployment. As the Army Component of Joint Forces Command, FORSCOM provides military support to civil authorities, domestic counterdrug support, and commands Joint Task Force Six. It provides domestic disaster and emergency response assistance and supports Joint Forces Command's joint integration and joint experimentation missions.
As an Army major command, FORSCOM trains, mobilizes, and deploys ready land forces in support of operations worldwide. It establishes training requirements, provides training support and oversight, and evaluates the training of Active Component, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve units. Forces Command manages 24 installations on which it trains, supports, houses, and from which it projects its force.
FORSCOM has been designated as the executive agent and coordinating authority for mobilization and deployment planning and execution within CONUS. As such, FORSCOM mobilizes, trains, and supports units, less Special Operations Forces (SOF), required to expand the AC to meet war, emergency, or contingency requirements, as directed by DA. FORSCOM plans for mobilization by providing mobilization guidance directly to Continental U.S. Army, major troop unit/FORSCOM installation commander, other Major Army Command (MACOM) installation commanders, The State Adjutants General (TAG) in consonance with National Guard Bureau (NGB) and the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) Major Subordinate Commands (MSCs). The CONUSAs are assigned responsibility for completion of all mobilization planning and execution for FORSCOM missions within the Army areas.
Forces Command has an Active Component end strength of approximately 197,000 soldiers and 19,000 Department of the Army civilians. It consists of 10 Active Component major subordinate commands, including three U.S. Armies and three Corps. First U.S. Army at Fort Gillem, Georgia, and Fifth U.S. Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, are Forces Command's two Continental U.S. Armies. They are responsible for the training support, oversight, post-mobilization training, and deployment of Reserve Component units in CONUS, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Third U.S. Army, located at Fort McPherson, Georgia, is also the Army Component of U.S. Central Command, the joint command responsible for Southwest Asia and the Horn of Africa. I Corps at Fort Lewis, Washington, III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas, and XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, are FORSCOM's three Corps. They include six Active Component divisions, two Active Component/Army National Guard Integrated Divisions, two armored cavalry regiments, five divisional brigades, and a range of combat support and combat service support units. U.S. Army Signal Command at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, provides all echelons-above-corps tactical, power projection, and strategic signal support, while the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command at Fort Bliss, Texas, provides critical theater air and missile defense planning, integration, coordination, and execution functions. The National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, which includes one armored cavalry regiment, and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, enable Active and Reserve Component soldiers to train for the tough, demanding conditions of combat.
The U.S. Army Reserve Command, with approximately 186,000 U.S. Army Reserve soldiers and 10,000 Department of the Army civilians, is FORSCOM's only reserve component major subordinate command. It commands all U.S. Army Reserve conventional forces in the Continental U.S. and Puerto Rico, including 13 theater level warfighting support headquarters, 11 Regional Support Commands, five Training Support Divisions, and seven Individual Training Divisions. U.S. Army Reserve units are part of the federal force. Their primary focus in the warfight is combat support and combat service support specialties such as medical, civil affairs, transportation, and chemical warfare. Prior to mobilization, FORSCOM exercises training readiness oversight of U.S. Army Reserve forces. Upon mobilization, FORSCOM assumes command and control of mobilized U.S. Army Reserve units.
Army National Guard forces in the Continental U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, when not federalized, are under the command and control of The Adjutant General of their respective states, territories, and the District of Columbia. FORSCOM provides them training support and oversight. These forces include eight combat divisions, 14 of 15 enhanced separate brigades, two of three strategic reserve brigades, Weapons of Mass Destruction - Civil Support Teams, and extensive combat support and combat service support units. Upon mobilization, FORSCOM assumes command and control of mobilized units through deployment.
The US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) was activated on July 1, 1973 as part of operation STEADFAST, a reorganization of the Army's major commands (MACOMs). On July 1, 1973 the Continental Army Command (CONARC) was inactivated and replaced with FORSCOM and the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). The former moved to Fort McPherson, GA, where it displaced Third US Army, which inactivated on Oct. 1, 1973. TRADOC remained at Fort Monroe, Va. FORSCOM, now the Army's largest MACOM, was responsible for the training and combat readiness for all active Army forces and USAR units in CONUS to include Alaska, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. FORSCOM also advised and oversaw the training of Army National Guard units but had direct control of these units only when they were called to active duty. On Dec. 1, 1982, Third US Army was activated as one of FORSCOM's major subordinate units, becoming the Army component of the US Central Command. The Third US Army commander was also the Deputy Commander (or Deputy CINC when a joint command) FORSCOM.
On Oct.11, 1983, ground breaking ceremonies were held for the construction of a new command and control building, to be called Marshall Hall after the great Army Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall. HQ FORSCOM had outgrown the 54 WWI and WW II, mostly temporary wooden buildings that the staff worked in. On July 1, 1987, as the result of the DOD reorganization directed by the Goldwater-Nichols Act, FORSCOM became a specified command. Among the new missions imposed were the planning and conduct of joint exercises, providing a general reserve of deployable Army forces to reinforce other commands as directed, and conduct joint training and exercises as appropriate. The command was also responsible for the defense of CONUS and planning common defense with the Canadians. On July 26, 1988, Marshall Hall was dedicated as the new FORSCOM command and control facility. The 356,000 square-foot building covers five acres and can house up to 2,000 military and civilian employees.
On Oct.1, 1990, the US Army Reserve Command (USARC) was established as a major subordinate command of FORSCOM. USARC has broad responsibility and authority over the day-to-day running of the USAR. On Oct. 1, 1993, FORSCOM ceased being a specified command and reverted to MACOM status simultaneously becoming the Army component of US Atlantic Command (ACOM). While FORSCOM remained the Army's largest MACOM it lost some planning and other functions to ACOM while picking up several others. FORSCOM was responsible for all US involvement in UN peacekeeping operations, responding to natural disasters within CONUS, planning for the land defense of CONUS, and working to improve joint tactics, techniques, and procedures. As part of the latter responsibility, ACOM was responsible for all joint training in CONUS. FORSCOM was also responsible for both devising force packages for contingencies and deploying these to other commands during times of crisis.
On Oct. 1, 1996, HQDA put the US Army Signal Command (ASC) under FORSCOM as a major subordinate command. The ASC provided all the strategic signal support to unified and Army component commanders in both war and peace. The ASC Commander became "dual-hatted" as the FORSCOM Signal Officer (G6). HQ ASC remained at Fort Huachuca with additional staff at HQ FORSCOM to handle signal efforts here.
FORSCOM has been involved in a number of large scale efforts in support of national policy. In the spring of 1975, FORSCOM was deeply involved in the operations surrounding the support of the Vietnamese refugees, Operation NEW LIFE in Guam and Task Force NEW ARRIVALS in CONUS. When a severe earthquake hit Guatemala in February 1976 FORSCOM coordinated the deployment of 24 units to include a field hospital and engineer assets to help the country recover; the units returned at the end of April. During the winter of 1977, one of the worst in US history, FORSCOM units provided support to a number of snowed in communities to include a Task Force dubbed SNOW GO from the 82nd Airborne Division to dig out Buffalo, N.Y. The winter of 1978, like that of the preceding year, was among the worst in US history. Excessive snowfall in the Northeastern US resulted in federal aid as large areas were declared disaster areas. An 82nd Airborne Division Task Force SNOW BLOW spent five days digging out Toledo, Oh. Then things got so bad FORSCOM had to deploy three separate engineer Task Forces to dig out areas in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Later in 1977 FORSCOM sent out more troops to provided relief efforts in the wake of floods, ice storms, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. When the Mount St. Helens volcano erupted in May 1980, FORSCOM's 9th Infantry Division was deeply involved in the rescue and clean up operations. Throughout its existence HQ FORSCOM has been involved in the support operations following natural disasters and fighting wildfires.
FORSCOM has also been deeply involved in military operations. In October 1983 FORSCOM units participated in Operation URGENT FURY in Grenada. From Dec. 20, 1989 to Jan. 31, 1990, FORSCOM provided some 11,420 military personnel in support of Operation JUST CAUSE in Panama. Then, on Aug. 7, 1990, in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, FORSCOM became involved in the largest mobilization and deployment of troops since WW II to support military operations in Saudi Arabia, Operation DESERT SHIELD. FORSCOM 's Battle Staff began 24-hour operation on Aug. 6, 1990 in anticipation of the effort. Among the first troops deployed was the 82nd Airborne Division. FORSCOM began orchestrating a massive movement of troops in support of DESERT SHIELD. By Sept. 30, 1990, there were about 74,000 FORSCOM troops, active component, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard serving in Southwest Asia. By Feb. 26, 1991, at the peak of DESERT SHIELD, 236,000 active component personnel had deployed to Saudi Arabia. Some 1,031 Reserve Component units had been mobilized with 689 being sent to SWA and 39 to USAREUR to replace deployed units from that command. After Operation DESERT STORM was completed FORSCOM had the heavy task of bringing everyone back to CONUS.
After these operations FORSCOM continued to undertake disaster relief operations and support national policy in peacekeeping operations. In August 1992, FORSCOM deployed troops and supplies in support of relief operations in the wake of the devastation left by Hurricane ANDREW. Shortly thereafter, in December 1992, USCINCENT began humanitarian operations, RESTORE HOPE, in Somalia under UN authority. FORSCOM deployed troops and supplies in support of this effort. This operation and its follow-on, CONTINUE HOPE, continued to 1993 and some 10,000 FORSCOM troops took part. While this effort was winding down, FORSCOM provided troops and supplies to Haiti, again under UN auspices, to alleviate the politico-economic collapse of that country. These efforts became Operations MAINTAIN DEMOCRACY & UPHOLD DEMOCRACY.
FORSCOM has supported to the war on drugs since the command was activated. Up to 1989 this support was provided on request from other Federal agencies and usually took the form of aircraft and communications assets. On Feb. 3, 1989, the JCS directed the CINCFOR to be a supporting CINC in the DOD role in the National Anti-Drug Surveillance Operation. On Sept. 3, 1989, the FORSCOM J3 established a Counternarcotics Operations Division to handle the command's increased role in the war on drugs. The FORSCOM Commander employed forces and conducted operations, in accordance with the law, to support law enforcement agencies and cooperating foreign governments to stop the flow of drugs across US borders.
In its 2005 BARC Recommendations, the Department of Defense recommended that FORSCOM be relocated to Pope Air Force Base, NC. Its former station, Fort McPherson, GA, would be closed permenantly.
FORSCOM is a major Army command and the Army component of US Joint Forces Command. It:
- Trains, mobilizes, deploys and sustains combat ready forces capable of operating in a joint and combined environment to meet worldwide operational commitments.
- Develops and cares for people.
- Optimizes available resources.
- Establishes and improves power projection platforms.
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