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Army National Guard Divisions

In February 2004, the Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA), General Peter Schoomaker, announced a plan that would involve an extensive restructuring effort to convert the Army into a set of modular combat and support brigades. In addition to developing modular, brigade-based units, the 2005 Defense Review eliminated an entire echelon of command above the brigade, moving from three levels to two.

This new higher-level headquarters was to become significantly more capable and versatile than comparable existing headquarters, and it removed redundancies in command structure. These modular headquarters would be able to command and control any combination of capabilities: Army, joint or coalition. Their design, training and mindset allow them to serve as the core of joint or multinational task force headquarters, with significantly reduced personnel augmentation. By 2006, DOD planned to have reorganized one of the current corps headquarters and six of the existing division headquarters into this design. The eight Army National Guard divisions converted to eight units of employment headquarters between fiscal years 2005 and 2010.

As in the Regular Army, the eight Army National Guard Divisions are shedding all their organic structure and transforming to a modular, deployable command and control headquarters. In peacetime, the Guard division headquarters will have training and oversight authority for four or five BCTs located in the same geographic area. In wartime, each division would have a variable number of BCTs and support units attached to it depending on its mission.

In addition, Guard division headquarters will have the capability to exercise command and control in a domestic emergency, as did both the 35th and 38th Infantry Divisions following Hurricane Katrina. The 35th Infantry Division headquarters deployed to Louisiana to assist the Adjutant General of Louisiana in his command over tens of thousands of Guardsmen who deployed there in the wake of the hurricane. The 38th Infantry Division headquarters performed the same mission in support of the Adjutant General of Mississippi.

The transition to 34 Brigade Combat Teams represents a considerable reduction in the Army National Guard's combat force structure from only five years earlier. In 2000, the Army Guard consisted of eight complete infantry divisions, each consisting of three maneuver brigades, plus 16 separate brigades, an Armored Cavalry Regiment and an Infantry Group, for a total of 42 ground maneuver brigades or their equivalent. The Army Guard's authorized strength of 350,000 in 2000 was the same as in 2005. The transition is even more dramatic when compared to the Cold War height of the Army Guard in 1989, when strength stood at 457,000 and the Guard fielded 53 ground maneuver brigades or their equivalent.

A conference of Army National Guard G-3s from the various states also recommended that the divisions providing Training and Oversight of the 39th Infantry BCT (Arkansas) and the 45th Infantry BCT (Oklahoma) be swapped: under the new plan, TRO for the 39th BCT will come from the Guard's 36th Infantry Division, while TRO for the 45th BCT will come from the 35th Infantry Division.

1996 - Army National Guard Division Redesign (ADRS)

On 23 May 1996, the Secretary of the Army approved the Army National Guard Division Redesign Study (ADRS) plan to convert 12 ARNG combat brigades and slice elements from two ARNG divisions in 4 phases to required CS/CSS structure. The plan converted approximately 48K of ARNG combat force structure to CS/CSS by FY09. The ARNG converts six brigades to resource approximately 20K of CS/CSS between FY00-07 (Phases 1 and 2). The ARNG converts additional 28K spaces by FY09. One division equivalent converts between FY06-07 (Phase 3) and another division equivalent will convert during FY08-09 (Phase 4). The division and brigade headquarters form Composite command and control headquarters for the CS/CSS structure. All conversions are validated through the Total Army Analysis process.

Through the Army National Guard Division Redesign study (ADRS), the ARNG hoped to recreate its entire institutional makeup to meet the needs of the future. Under ADRS, the ARNG planned to reconfigure its structure of 15 enhanced brigades, eight low-priority divisions and three stand-alone (non-divisional) brigades into 10 divisions and six stand-alone brigades. Of the 10 divisions, three would keep their old structure; three would include an enhanced-brigade in place of a traditional divisional brigade; two are committed to the newly designed AC/ARNG divisions (7th and 24th Infantry); and the last two would be a composite of the divisional brigades left over after the ADRS is completed. Additionally, 12 divisional brigades were earmarked to convert to combat support and combat service support functions, shoring up a projected shortfall of 124,800 support soldiers. By trimming most of its low-priority divisions, strengthening others by mixing in high-priority enhanced-brigades and converting much-needed billets to support troop shortfalls, the ADRS will improve the institution's warfighting efficiency.

The Army National Guard Division Redesign Study recommended the establishment of two AC/NG Integrated Divisions, each consisting of an active Army headquarters (staffed by some of the 5,000 AC support personnel) and three Army National Guard enhanced Separate Brigades. An Active Component Division Commander would become responsible for the combat readiness of the three brigades and the other elements necessary to create a full division capable of deploying in wartime. The 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (North Carolina), the 218th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (South Carolina), and the 48th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (Georgia) make up the 24th Infantry Division [Mech] headquartered at Fort Riley, Kansas. The other Integrated Division, the 7th Infantry Division (Light) headquartered at Fort Carson, Colorado, is composed of the 39th Infantry Brigade (Arkansas), the 45th Infantry Brigade (Oklahoma), and the 41st Infantry Brigade (Oregon). The activation date for the two divisions was 01 October 1999.

The integrated division concept establishes an active duty division headquarters to oversee the training and readiness of its associated three Enhanced Separate Brigades (eSBs). While this arrangement provides readiness and training benefits to the eSBs, under this concept the integrated division is not deployable because it lacks a division combat support (CS)-combat service support (CSS) base. Although the AC/RC integrated divisions currently are not deployable as division-sized combat formations, the Army has identified deployability as a possible future evolution of this concept.

The Army National Guard Division Redesign Study addressed the future of the enhanced Separate Brigades. Six of them are to be rolled up into divisions, with the active Army providing two new division headquarters each commanding three formerly-separate Guard maneuver brigades. Furthermore, the Division Redesign Study, if fully implemented, will embed three other eSBs within existing Guard divisions. Rather than fifteen eSBs, was the case in the 1990s, the future Guard combat force may contain no more than six stand-alone brigades, or about what is needed to help secure the lines of communication for three or four corps, the classic separate brigade mission.

The Army National Guard Division Redesign Study proposed a four-phased implementation plan. The 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized) was one of only three Guard divisions retained "full up" in current configuration with no changes in stationing. The others are the 29th Light Infantry Division, stationed principally in Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts, and Texas' 49th Armored Division. Of the remaining five ARNG divisions, three would lose one organic brigade, which will be converted to non-divisional combat service support structure. A separate brigade would be "embedded" in each of these divisions as the third maneuver brigade. Two more divisions remain untouched for the moment, but have been earmarked for conversion to combat support/combat service support structure in the out-years should all phases of the plan be implemented. While this is happening, the Guard's last three separate (but non-enhanced) brigades would also disappear, to be reorganized as combat service support units. The bottom line amounts to the loss of two full divisions, three divisional brigades, and three separate brigades, most to be restructured as non-divisional CSS.

As a result of the Army Division Redesign Study, the 34th Infantry Division and the 35th Infantry Division were earmarked for re-organization. The study proposed cutting two Divisions and converting up to 12 current Divisional brigades to CS/CSS units. The remaining Division headquarters would be converted to a Command and Control Headquarters.

Full implementation of the plan was contingent upon multi-year funding to procure the required CSS equipment packages; only funding for the first three years (FY01-03), or enough to convert the initial three brigades, is assured. The original ADRS plan would complete conversions by FY12. The Secretary of the Army signed a memorandum in August 1997 constituting guidance to include appropriate funds ($586M) in future POMs to procure necessary equipment by FY07 and complete conversions by FY09. Approximately $2.2B has been programmed to resource the ADRS plan in POM02-07. Phase I requirements are totally funded and; Phase II requirements are funded except for Stationing Milcon. The unfunded requirements for Phase II construction ($178M) will be funded in POM 03-07. Future POMs will identify additional resource requirements for Phases III and IV.

1993 Bottom-Up Review

One of the things that made the National Guard divisions vulnerable in any analysis is the fact that they were not called for in war plans by the unified CINC's. The Army National Guard divisions were fully capable, given sufficient resources, to execute any mission assigned. Modern reserve component combat forces have proven their worth on today's modern battlefield. The Marine Corps Reserve in Operation Desert Shield/Storm is an excellent example. The key to their success was a mission to train to and the resources to do it with.

For the Army National Guard, the 1993 Bottom-Up Review identified a need for Army combat forces beyond the 10 active divisions in the event major theater wars proved more difficult than foreseen or unexpected circumstances arose that required additional ground forces. As a result, the Bottom-Up Review directed the creation of 15 National Guard brigades, now known as enhanced separate brigades, to be maintained at a higher level of readiness.

The 1993 Bottom-Up Review assigned specific missions to those Army National Guard combat forces (22 brigades, equating to 7 1/3 divisions) not required for the two-MRC plans: Extended Crises (''* * * provide the basis for the rotational forces.''); Peace Operations (''* * * be prepared to share the burden of conducting these operations.''); Deterrent Hedge and Expansion Basis (''* * * form the basis of an expanded American force structure and serve as a deterrent to future adversarial regimes * * *''); and Domestic Missions (''* * * Guard and reserve force structure provides added capability to respond to external conflicts and to support civil authorities at home.'').

As a "follow-on" force, the divisions would likely be used to expand the Army during a prolonged crisis. They would deploy to continue the fight after the active component divisions and the enhanced Separate Brigades had already deployed. This includes providing rotational forces to relieve other forces deployed ahead of them. As a ''contingent'' force, there are many missions. In the dual-MRC scenario, an assumption is that the enhanced Separate Brigades would be mobilized very early after the start of any MRC. The only combat forces available in CONUS to perform the post-mobilization training for the eSBs are the ARNG divisions. Army warplanners have recently been documenting the need for one or more ARNG divisions to have the mission of backfilling one or more OCONUS-based active division(s) in Europe after the deployment of the active unit(s). This is known as the "contingency trace" role for the divisions.

1997 - Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR)

The 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) provided savings from the reserve component reductions to accelerate the pace of the ADRS program from FY12 to FY09. On 20 December 1999, Secretary Defense deferred the remaining 25K reductions to the 2001 QDR.

The 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review [QDR] projected that no major power would have both the will and capacity to threaten the United States on a global scale before 2010 and potential threats after that are very uncertain. Therefore, the need for a large strategic Reserve via the National Guard divisions, the Army National Guard divisions, declined, as was noted as well by the Commission on Roles and Missions. In this context, the QDR reviewed potential missions for the Army National Guard divisions, taking as a starting point the QDR defense strategy and the projected security environment. An Army total analysis of support requirements in two major theater wars conducted in 1994 and 1995 revealed a large shortfall in combat support [CS] and combat service support [CSS] units. Some of these requirements could be filled by realigning existing CS and CSS units, but a significant shortfall still remained. The Secretary of the Army determined in 1996 that 12 National Guard brigades from within the eight divisions of the Army National Guard should be converted from combat units to CS and CSS under what has been called the Army National Guard Division Redesign Program.

There was a substantial difference in the readiness between the National Guard divisions and the the 15 Enhanced Separate Brigades (ESBs). Their role in the warfight was a QDR issue. The QDR did not specifically recommend eliminating ARNG Combat Divisions. In general, some but not all of the ESBs could be readied in time to contribute to the QDR scenarios. However, since the ESBs are the most ready of the National Guard units, and unit location and training facilities are a constraint, it was not considered a realistic option to augment the readiness of the National Guard divisions at the expense of either the ESBs or the active forces. Army Guard forces are resourced at a baseline of C-3 (combat ready); Enhanced brigades and Force Support Package units are funded at C-1 (fully combat ready).

The QDR intent was to resource the eight divisions in the Army National Guard to maintain readiness standards prescribed by the Defense Planning Guidance, specifically proficiency at the individual, crew, squad, and section levels. Other units within the Army National Guard have different readiness requirements, and are resourced accordingly. The eight divisions in the Army National Guard, as they are currently configured, are not required to implement the national military strategy, and have reduced utility to support state and territorial authorities. Following appropriate post-mobilization training that is tailored to the requirements of the anticipated mission, Army National Guard divisions would most likely be used to provide rear area security in overseas theaters, and to reinforce or relieve active forces in post-conflict occupation duties. Selected subordinate units within the divisions are required to implement the national military strategy and would deploy in support of combat operations. However, as entire divisions, they are not required to implement the national military strategy and are not characterized, at this time, as either follow-on forces or contingency forces.

Critics charged that the QDR recommendations for reductions in force structure and manpower in the Army National Guard were made without any meaningful pre-decisional participation by the senior leadership of the National Guard. Contrary to the strategy based decisions which Secretary of Defense Cohen publicly sought, these decisions were said not based upon any identifiable strategy. The potential of the presently configured Army National Guard to assume new current missions and relieve the Active Army of the OPTEMPO pressures of which it complains was not considered. Nor was the Army Guard's ability to replace higher cost Active Army units in the current war plans considered. Additionally, the recommendations did not take into account the unleveraged potential of the Combat Support and Combat Service Support units embedded in the existing combat structure to support current and wartime missions. Finally, there was no consideration of the fact that Army Guard combat units in time of conflict can be mobilized, trained and deployed to embarkation points well within the time it would take to provide ships and planes to transport Guard troops and equipment to a major theater war zone.

The Army had invested heavily in the enhanced brigades, and divisions are not the current Guard force of choice. None of the Guard divisions are even missioned within the two-Major Theater War scenario, which determines the overall requirement for combat forces. This translates into very low levels of resourcing. The notion that separate brigades, regardless of their levels of resourcing, can fight and win America's battles simply will not stand up. The battlefield denominator of the United States Army is not the brigade, but rather the division or even the corps. While the visionaries behind Force XXI and the futurists developing The Army After Next look to smaller, more lethal forces which optimize technology in lieu of manpower, no one anywhere seriously suggests the demise of the Army division as the battlefield's basic building block.

2000 - ARNG Division Missioning

DAMO-SS led a study to determine the availability of ARNG divisions for use in MTW combat operations. This was a three-part study to develop Army deployment and validation standards, post-mobilization training requirements, and ARNG division availability timelines for MTW combat employment. The study recommended a C2 deployment standard for Army combat units with validation by the FORSCOM/MACOM commander. The study developed a descriptive ARNG division training model that provides a menu of tasks and events from which a commander may choose in planning post mobilization training. The findings of this report were based on enhanced levels of resourcing for the ARNG divisions by FY 2005. Overall, an MTW apportioned ARNG division, with adequate pre-mobilization enhancements, and a dedicated post-mobilization training structure can be trained and validated for combat in "about 150 days" from unit mobilization. The 150 day timeline is contingent upon the availability of additional resources to meet model projections. If additional resources, as outlined in the report, are not in place prior to post mobilization, the 150 day timeline will be extended.

In March 2000 about 1,000 citizen-soldiers of the 49th Armored Division became the first National Guard unit since World War II to provide the command and control for an active Army maneuver outfit, in this case the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Carson, CO. The Lone Star Division's headquarters, reinforced by 200 Guardmembers from Maryland, directed the peacekeeping efforts of up to 3,000 3rd Cav soldiers in the American sector during the seventh Stabilization Force rotation. Two other Army Guard divisions were picked to command the Bosnian operation in keeping with Shinseki's vision of all reserve and active components serving side-by-side in "The Army." Virginia's 29th Infantry Division picked it up in October 2001, and Pennsylvania's 28th Infantry Division in October 2002.

In September 2000, at the 122nd National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) convention in Atlantic City, the Chief of Staff (CSA) General Eric Shinseki announced some of the results of the Army's deliberate planning process related to ARNG division missioning. The CSA announced the alignment of the eight ARNG divisions with the four Army corps. 40th Infantry Division (ID) (California) is aligned with I Corps at Fort Lewis, Washington. 34th ID (Minnesota), 38th ID (Indiana), and 49th Armored Division (Texas) are aligned with III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas. 28th ID (Pennsylvania), 29th ID (Virginia), and 42nd ID (New York) are aligned with XVIII Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. 35th ID (Kansas) is aligned with V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany. These alignments enhance the training readiness of the ARNG combat formations. By assuming the mission orientation of the aligned corps, the ARNG divisions achieve greater training and geographic focus. The eight divisions will be missioned as follows: Four (4) to Major Theater of Wars (MTWs), one (1) to EUCOM, one (1) to SOUTHCOM and two (2) to the Base Generating Force (BGF).

2002 Army National Guard Restructuring Initiative

In August 2002 Army Secretary Thomas E. White approved a plan to restructure elements of as many as four Army National Guard divisions. The plan would withdraw older tanks, and turn four brigades into general-purpose "mobile light brigades." The changes, tentatively scheduled to take effect in fiscal year 2008, focus on units with aging M-1 tanks and M-113 APCs that are costly to maintain and have no prospect of being deployed in combat. The change will convert about one-third of the Guard's heavy brigades, including 3,000 vehicles, to mobile light brigades. All were light units in the 1970s and became heavy units in the 1980s and 1990s.

The changes may be limited to two divisions, with a total of four heavy brigades -- each with 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers -- to be transformated into light brigades. This includes three brigades of the New York-based 42nd Division. Two brigades from the 38th Division, in Michigan and Ohio, are expected to be merged into a single brigade and transformed into a light unit. The 42nd Division's 3rd Brigade is based in Buffalo, with subordinate units in New York, Buffalo and Staten Island; the Montpelier, Vt.-based 86th Brigade, with subordinate units in Melrose, Mass., and St. Albans, and Rutland, Vt.; and the Ft. Dix, N.J.-based 50th Brigade, with units in Riverdale, Woodbury and Port Murray, N.J. In the Indiana-based 38th Division, it could include the 46th Infantry Brigade, based in Wyoming, Mich.

The Army continued to realize its vision of transforming itself into a more agile and responsive force with the announcement on 08 September 2002 of the Army National Guard Restructuring Initiative (ANGRI). "This initiative will help the Guard become a more deployable, more mobile, and more flexible force, better suited to support our Nation at home and abroad," said Thomas E. White, Secretary of the Army. "It will also improve the structure and training of the Army National Guard in order to better align it with other ongoing Army Transformation programs and the latest defense strategy."

The ARNGRI restructures a sizable portion of the Army National Guard combat structure to better perform Homeland Security (HLS), Major Combat Operation (MCO), and Base Generation, CINC Support, Small Scale Contingency (SSC) requirements and other roles in support of Combatant Commanders. The combat structures under ARNGRI will be creative, robust and responsive formations that are lighter and more capable of meeting the requirements of both joint warfighting and emerging defense strategy. This initiative also creates a bridge to the transformation of the National Guard to the Objective Force without incurring the sizable expense of modernizing and maintaining a heavy legacy fleet.

The program introduced two new types of organizations into the Army force structure - mobile light brigades (MLBs) and multi-functional divisions (MFDs). Together these restructured units will work with existing Army National Guard combat brigades, to create formations that are more versatile and responsive in supporting the complex needs of the Commanders both at home and abroad.

Designated MLBs and MFDs will be selected in the future. Pending congressional approval, the Army National Guard Restructuring Initiative would begin in 2008 and should be completed by 2012. The changes could touch parts of as many as four Guard divisions, each with up to 15,000 soldiers. Guard officials expect the impact to be limited to two divisions with a total of four heavy brigades to be reorganized as light brigades. Three brigades were from the New York-based 42nd Division. Two brigades from the Indianapolis-based 38th Division, in Michigan and Ohio, are expected to be merged into a single brigade and transformed into a light unit

The multi-functional divisions (MFDs) were designed to perform full spectrum warfighting missions, homeland security, and force generation roles.

The mobile light brigades (MLBs) were lighter combat forces enhanced with systems and organizations that are faster, more responsive, and provide their commander with improved situational awareness than existing brigades. Typically the new MLBs will operate as a subordinate unit within the MFDs, which are designed to perform full spectrum warfighting missions, homeland security, and force generation roles. All were light units in the 1970s, and became heavy units in the 1980s and 1990s.

Under the mobile light brigade concept, the National Guard nationwide would eliminate about 2,400-3,000 tracked vehicles, or about a third of its strength. The units would be those with the oldest equipment in the Army inventory. The brigade's units would give up heavy equipment, including Cold War-era tanks, armored personnel carriers and the self-propelled artillery pieces. The new mobile light brigades would be equipped with faster, lighter and cheaper-to- maintain vehicles like Hummers and trucks. The brigade would give up firepower, and gain speed on the battlefield and ability to deploy more quickly to overseas hot spots or domestic sites for homeland defense,

The restructuring was designed to turn four brigades into general-purpose mobile light brigades that could perform everything from significant battlefield operations in wartime to homeland security tasks, such as guarding nuclear plants.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:35:29 ZULU