Division Ready Force (DRF)
The Division Ready Brigades' ground maneuver battalions form the Division Ready Force (DRF). These battalions also maintain various stages of readiness, depending on where they fall in the planned deployment sequence. One battalion task-organized with combat, CS, and CSS forms the DRF 1 battalion. It is the first unit in the DRB 1 to deploy. The DRF 1 designates one of its companies as the initial ready company (IRC). The IRC is the first unit to respond to division crisis requirements.
The Armored and Mechanized Infantry Brigades are postured to deploy as part of a division alert force. This sequence is developed around the deployment of an initial ready company (IRC) in 18 hours, a division ready force (DRF) in 48 hours, and a division ready brigade (DRB) in 72 hours. The Division Ready Force 1 -- better known as "DRF 1" -- is on an 18 hour recall status.
Combat, CS, and CSS elements not task-organized with a DRB or DRF are organized into separate support packages (SUPPACs) according to the division plan. These elements are also task-organized to initially provide an advance party and operational elements. The advance party prepares for the reception of follow-on forces. Initial operational elements provide the necessary support to sustain operations of the DRB 1. The advance parties also establish a support base for the arrival of the remainder of the division. This organization facilitates the division's ability to rapidly tailor and deploy SUPPACs for a separate brigade operation if the entire division does not deploy.
The 82nd Airborne Division is undisputedly, the largest parachute force in the world, noted for their swiftness to literally jump into action. The Division has one battalion permanently on 18 hours standby, ready to be deployed anywhere in the world. At the time of Operation Desert Shield in August 1990, the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade was the Division Ready Brigade-1 (DRB-1). The 4th Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment was the Division Ready Force-1 (DRF-1), with a two-hour assembly requirement.
Upon receipt of a notification order, DRB-3, acting in a support role, has 18 hours to "push" Division Ready-Force-1 (DRF-1), one of DRB-1's three battalion task forces, into the air "chuted up, loaded, and wheels up."
Immediate Ready Force
The Immediate Ready Force was established to improve USAREUR's ability to rapidly respond to potential contingencies within the European Command's area of responsibility. The cornerstone of the IRF is the Light Immediate Ready Company from the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, in Vicenza, Italy. This airborne force is deployable within 24 hours and can be quickly reinforced with additional units from SETAF's 173rd Brigade. The remainder of the IRF is tailored into Force Enhancement Modules (FEM)s that add specific capabilities in the form of combat power, communications, military police, engineers, scouts, and tactical or strategic control assets. The FEMs can deploy separately or together, based on the mission, to provide a capable, tailorable and integrated force. Combat power ranges from the Medium Ready Company, equipped with M113 armored personnel carriers, to the Heavy Immediate Ready Company, equipped with M1A1 tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles. Key to the mobility of the IRF is its ability to deploy using tactical airlift assets already available in the European theater, belonging to U.S. Air Forces Europe. Every IRF FEM is C-130 deployable, with the exception of the HIRC, which requires heavy-lift capability in the form of C-17 or C-5A transport aircraf
Crisis Response Force
US Army, Alaska's 172nd Infantry Brigade was activated in 1998. The brigade's new role is to serve as US Pacific Command's Crisis Response Force. The CRF mission rotates every 90 days among the brigade's three battalions, including the 2nd Bn., 1st Inf., and the 1st Bn., 17th Inf. The CRF is committed to being en route to anywhere in the Pacific-Asia theater within 54 hours of notification. In response to a combat situation, the time is limited to 18 hours. The CRF, the only one of its kind in PACOM, results from the Army's efforts to meet changing world needs. The Army has had division ready brigades for years, but their focus has always been on sending an entire brigade to respond to a brigade-size situation, typically combat. Recent events in the Pacific region have proven the need for a smaller, separate response force. One example was when Chinese nationals tried to flee the mainland for Taiwan, Fuller said. A small contingent of U.S. forces transported them safely to Wake Island, in the Pacific. Pulling a battalion from the 25th Inf. Div. DRB in Hawaii, however, disrupted the division's 'ready brigade' status. PACOM's CRF focuses on responding to contingencies other than war. The unit will conduct peace operations to counter instability, responding to situations that require humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and noncombatant evacuations. The 172nd Inf. Bde. is well suited for the CRF mission for a number of reasons. From Alaska, for one, it can reach a lot of places in the world. Additionally, the 172nd is a separate organization, self-contained, with some 3,600 people assigned. A standard light in-fantry brigade has 1,800. It has an airborne task force and a unique complement of units. No other brigade in the Army has its own airborne infantry, field artillery and support battalions. Additionally, Alaska's many airfields and ports make the state an easy place to deploy from. The 172nd is the only active-component separate infantry brigade in the Army, with units assigned at Fort Richardson and Fort Wainwright, Alaska, about 360 miles apart.
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