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Rotation & Rebalance

The Rotation, Manning and Mobilization Task Force (RMMTF) was established by the DCS G3 based on guidance from the Under Secretary of the Army and CSA to develop a new Army rotation policy and to identify related force structure changes necessary to enable the Army to sustain the Global War on Terror indefinitely. Specifically, the TF will establish policies for the length and frequency of deployments for AC and RC personnel and determine optimum unit deployment rotation policies. This will lead to a thorough force structure analysis, which will result in recommended force structure adjustments, including possible adjustments to the AC/RC mix. Additionally, exceptions to recommended policies will be identified in order to cover the near term until force structure can be properly adjusted. As part of this effort, synchronization with the G1 led Manning TF occurs to ensure mutual attainment of stated objectives. The RMMTF kick off meeting was held on 24 Sep 02.

Unit rotations are a subset of unit manning, and involve sending a unit, unaccompanied by families, to a given deployment area for a set period, such as six months. The Army now uses unit rotations in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Sinai.

The days of the "weekend warrior" are gone. Guardsmen and reservists are giving much more than a weekend a month and two weeks of annual training a year. Many serve 60 to 120 days a year. Although only about 2 percent of the 1.2 million guardsmen and reservists have been called up in eight mobilizations between 1990 and 2003, it's the same kinds of specialties - civil affairs, air traffic control, mortuary affairs and force protection - that always are needed.

Thus a new plan to rebalance the force - active, and reserve components. The plan includes looking at specialties that reside primarily, if not 100 percent, in the Guard and reserve, and perhaps moving them to the active side. Conversely, some active missions might be better suited for the Guard and reserve. Hiring contractors for some specialties is a third part of the plan. A key to rebalancing the force is developing a rotation plan for troops.

Secretary Rumsfeld has asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff in conjunction with combatant and unified and specified commanders and (Office of the Secretary of Defense) staff to develop a rotational policy that says in the period 2004-2010 DOD will need specific kinds of units -- active, Guard and reserve -- to meet the worldwide deployments. Once the Army does that, it will be able to tell a guardsman or reservist, for example, that three years from now you need to do six months of duty in the Sinai. With a rotation policy comes predictability - something reservists, guardsmen, families and employers want.

Employers say one of the most difficult things they deal with is multiple mobilizations of the same people. This is particularly true in small business and for self-employed people. If the same guardsmen and reservists are called up repeatedly, it could affect recruitment and retention. This is one reason it's so important to do rebalancing. The Army is finding that it is taking the same people away in deployments. Rebalancing will make Army forces more agile, more responsive, more integrated and have the ability to meet the demands of the nation in both peace and war.

In addition to a rebalanced force, the future holds a more flexible drilling schedule for guardsmen and reservists. Instead of the traditional weekend drill, there could be two two-week training periods, he added. Reservists or guardsmen might only go to the drill center once a year for administrative duty. Some might do all their training at the same time. Virtual drilling -- a lawyer doing legal briefs remotely, for example -- may also be a possibility.

Reserve Component [RC] Aviation responsiveness is linked to the complexity of the mission, the time to train and the resources available. The Army resources RC units at no higher than the platoon level. The RC can be quickly responsive to those mission sets that require individual, crew, team or in some cases up to platoon proficiency. In reality they do so almost daily in what could be called HLS/D missions currently performed in the States. Fixed Wing, Cargo, MEDEVAC and General support aviation can respond quickly if properly equipped.

The complexity of the Air Assault and Attack/Recon missions call for operations at the company and battalion level. Because training resources are funded at the platoon level, RC Assault and Attack/Recon units are better suited for follow on missions in these categories. That allows time for the unit to be resourced and trained to that higher level.

The Army is examining a rotational readiness program for RC units by placing RC units in a Green, Amber and Red cycle for deployments. Resources would be focused at unit level training in the amber and green zone. Red zone units would be in a crew level, proficiency stage. If this was tied to an equipment pool that the Green units could draw from upon mobilization - RC responsiveness could be improved.

Current rebalancing efforts underway within the Army will significantly reshape both the active and reserve components. Changes in mission focus, resource assignments, force structure and mobilizations processes are all likely as the Army seeks to implement the Secretary of Defense's guidance to rebalance the force. Recommendations include: RC volunteerism, Maintaining the Total Force Policy, Deployment Incentive Programs, Increased National Guard role in Homeland Defense, Expanded responsibilities for Joint State National Guard Headquarters, Transforming "mobilization" to "transition to active duty", Maintain warfighting roles in the RC, Developing and sustaining specialized CBRNE capabilities for "the domestic front" within DHS.



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