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Force Packages

The US national strategy requires a multi-mission capable force of AC and RC units trained to serve as an effective part of the joint and combined force within whatever timelines are set for the unit. Core requirements are to be capable of fighting and winning major theater wars (MTW) in two distant theaters in overlapping time frames. Smaller-scale contingency (SSC) operations that encompass the full range of military operations short of MTW may be conducted to vindicate national interests.

Based on National Defense crisis response policy, the Army has developed the Strategic Mobility Program focusing on power projection and strategic agility. The Army position calls for a corps of five divisions that is tailorable; sustainable; and with airborne, vertical insertion capability to rapidly deploy anywhere in the world by C+ 75. (NOTE: A corps includes a cavalry unit, thus 5 1/ 3 divisions). The lead brigade must be on the ground by C+ 4, the lead division by C+ 12, two armored/ mechanized divisions from CONUS by C+ 30, and the full corps and COSCOM by C+ 75. The Army must close one light division by air and two by sea in 30 days.

The "magic numbers" established by the Bottom-Up Review [BUR] are five divisions for each major regional contingency. BUR purists, therefore, hold that the active Army of ten divisions is sufficient. The BUR also said, however, that the 15 National Guard E-Brigades would be used as a hedge against needing more than five divisions for a single MRC. According to some reports, the actual plans of the Army and the combatant commanders may call for as many as seven Army divisions or division equivalents for each MRC.

Force Package

The Army has prioritized combat forces according to expected deployment requirements in support of OPLANs and the need to be capable of responding to unforeseen crises. Based on current force structure and doctrine, FORSCOM designated echelons above division (EAD) and echelons above corps (EAC) combat support/combat service support (CS/CSS) forces required to support a five and one third combat division force. The Conventional Force Generation Model depicts relative deployment priority and illustrates relationships between combat and CS/CSS forces. The model also recognizes the CONUS support base required to mobilize and deploy the force. The Force Generation Model (FGM) provides a template for the Army and FORSCOM to use in making decisions on force integration, operational relationships, resource allocations, and training priorities. It also allows synchronization of The Army Plan (TAP) with deliberate operational plans (OPLAN), contingency requirements, and programming and budgeting priorities.

The Army Plan places combat forces and various support units into Force Packages (FP) designed to support the warfighting requirements of the combatant Commanders-in-Chief (CINC). A Force Package is a grouping of Army units into force packages based on the "first to fight" principle to ensure that programs and resources are consistent with the objectives of the NMS and the requirements articulated in the Defense Planning Guidance. These force packages are funded by the first-to-fight, first-to-resource methodology that prioritizes programming and resources. These force packages also drive the Department of the Army Master Priority List (DAMPL), the Army Acquisition Objective, and modernization plans.

Currently, there are four Force Packages (FP 1 to 4) and two associated Force Support Packages (FSP) 1 and 2. The Army National Guard (ARNG) and the United States Army Reserve provide CS/CSS units to the theater of operations through FSPs. The Force Packages are the Contingency Response Force (MCRF), the Rapid Regional Response Force (RRRF), the Reinforcing Force (RF), and the Strategic Reserve (SR).

  • Force Package 1 (FP 1) The Major Contingency Response Force (MCRF) is designed to meet initial Major Regional Contingency (MRC) requirements. Consequently, it is made up of four divisions and an ACR, which collectively provide broad operational capabilities, including rapid deployment and force entry. Because corps headquarters tend to focus on single theaters of war, there are two in the CRF. The XVIII Airborne Corps is focused on the Southwest Asia contingency, while III Corps is focused on Korea. Although Force Package 1 elements would deploy in response to the initial Major Regional Contingency, and thus could deploy to either theater, three of the four divisions resources under FP 1 are designated for Southwest Asia.
  • Force Package 2 (FP 2) The Rapid Regional Response Force (RRRF) emphasizes the Pacific theater, in that it includes the heavy division based in the Pacific, and the CONUS-based corps and divisional brigades which are focused on that region. The one division of the Rapid Regional Response Force is the fifth division of the five and one third combat division Major Theater War force [when reinforced with the Force Package 1 Major Contingency Response Force (MCRF) of four divisions].
  • Force Package 3 (FP 3) The Reinforcing Force (RF) consists of the remaining CONUS- based divisions and those forces which are deployed forward in Europe. It also includes the CONUS- based brigades of the European- based divisions, and the 15 ARNG Enhanced Separate Brigades. As its title implies, the RF is designed to provide a reinforcement capability to any theater of war.
  • Force Package 4 (FP 4) The Strategic Reserve (SR) is made up of the last remaining AC combat formations, the eight ARNG divisions and other ARNG combat units. These forces would be employed in the event of a prolonged general war or multiple regional conflicts.

Strategic Force Packages affect the development of the Department of the Army Master Priority List, Army Acquisition Objectives, modernization plans, and other planning and programming activities within the Army. The force packaging concept assigns major combat units, CS/CSS units, prepositioned equipment sets, and war reserve stocks to Force Package I, II, III, or IV. Three factors are considered for unit force packaging: the destination of units as early deployers for crisis response, urgency of their need in stated CINC requirements for operations other than crisis response, and their ability to contribute to the full range of operations.

The Army National Guard unit's readiness goals are synchronized with the Army's designation of Force Packages. There are four levels as defined in The Army Plan (TAP). The most basic determinant of what level a unit is assigned is their deployment date. Early deployers have higher readiness goals and receive a proportionately greater slice of resources. The percentage for OPTEMPO funding ranges between 25 percent and 90 percent (of requirements) for all deployable forces. Other resource areas have similar ranges. The Army funded all Force Package 1 through 3 units at 100 percent of validated requirements, and Force Package 4 units received 60 percent of validated requirements. This established resourcing methodology for Army National Guard units demands that the Army National Guard establish corresponding readiness goals. Priorities are revised as needed, based on changes in the Army National Guard's strategic force packaging, deliberate war plans, and short-term contingency requirements.

For instance, the TROJAN SPIRIT II, or TS II, is the linchpin system for providing information connectivity to the military intelligence (MI) battlefield operating system. The basis of issue is two TS IIs per Force Package 1 (FP1) division; two per corps; one per FP2 division, ACR, and separate brigade; and four per MI force projection brigade. The Quick Fix Combat Identification Material Program within the Army is responsible for fielding management of combat identification panels for Force Package One. These CONUS contingency units include: 1st Cavalry Division, 3rd Infantry Division [the re-flagged 24th ID], 10th Mountain Division [not always reported as an FP 1 unit], 82nd Airborne Division, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and the 3rd Armor Cavalry Regiment. The 120-mm (M120/M121) Mortar System provides an organic indirect-fire support capability to the maneuver unit commander. Initial fieldings of the towed version began in September 1991 at the 199th Infantry Brigade at Fort Lewis, WA, followed by fielding of the M1064 carrier-mounted system. The subsequent upgrade of force package I and II carriers to M1064A3 configuration has been completed.

The tip of the spear is filled with those units designated to deploy and fight immediately or within two months of preparation. The five front-line AC divisions include 2d Infantry Division (Korea), 1st Cavalry (Ft. Hood, Tex.), 3d Infantry Division (Ft. Stewart, GA), 82d Airborne (Ft. Bragg, NC), and 101st Air Assault (Ft. Campbell, KY).

Force Support Package

Combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS) are provided primarily by Reserve Component forces. The USAR's FSP units are primarily combat service support units.

  • Force Support Package 1 (FSP 1) includes those elements required for support to the Major Contingency Response Force of Force Package 1. The units designated to deploy and fight immediately or within two months of preparation include not only the five front-line AC divisions, but also selected high-priority RC organizations like the USAR's Force Support Package (FSP I). Force Support Package 1 form the CS/CSS to deploy and support a Major Contingency Response Force consisting 4 1/3 divisions, echelon above division (EAD) and echelon above corps (EAC) units for one Corps, and the support elements to open one theater. This includes those forces essential to support forcible entry operations and the Continental United States (CONUS) support base required for mobilization and deployment. The Corps would be augmented by Army National Guard units, such as the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade of the Arkansas National Guard, a unit which maintains a deployment status of Force Support Package One (FSP1). This places the unit among the first to go when "the balloon goes up." They are one of six National Guard field artillery brigades to maintain this status.
  • Force Support Package 2 (FSP 2) includes elements aligned against requirements for the Rapid Regional Response Force organized into FP 2. This second category includes selected units that can deploy soon or within a 90-day window of notification. This team includes the five second-line AC divisions and selected FSP II USAR units. The second-line divisions include 1st Armored Division (Germany), 1st Infantry Division (Germany), 4th Infantry Division (Ft. Carson, CO), 10th Mountain Division (Ft Drum, NY), and 25th Infantry Division (Ft. Shafter, HI). Force Support Package 2 supports the deployment of one additional CONUS division, EAD/EAC for a second Corps, remaining theater support elements for the initial theater, and essential theater opening elements for a second theater. Units designated for FSP 2 form the CS/CSS for one division of the Rapid Regional Response Force, which is the fifth division of the five and one third combat division force; the major subordinate commands for a second corps; remaining support elements for the initial theater; and essential elements to open a second theater.
  • Rapid Response Support Force (RRSF) includes the remaining RC structure which fills other CS/ CSS requirements for the Rapid Regional Response Force and the Reinforcing Force. These remaining Reserve CS/CSS units are aligned with strategic force packages based on latest arrival date in a theater of operations.

Not all RC units receive the same amount or type of training support. The RC unit's order for force generation--first-to-go in a deployment--coupled with its training needs determine the type and priority of support. Within Fifth Army, priority units include divisional roundout units (ROs), force support package (FSP) 1 and 2 units (primary feeder units into theaters one and two), units that will close into theater with the latest arrival dates less than or equal to 30 days (called LAD < 30 units), designated attack helicopter units (AH-64) and enhanced separate brigades (eSBs). The other "traditional" units are supported within the TSB's capability after supporting its priority units.

As the Army's primary source of CS/CSS, RC units are deeply imbedded in the FSP and are essential for execution of the strategy. Similarly, the ARNG enhanced brigades are the Army's principal RC ground combat force with the role to reinforce, back-fill, or augment AC combat formations. The ARNG divisions and strategic reserve brigades provide depth to the force generation model and perform important state missions. The ARNG divisional units could be called upon to help AC units deploy and/or support other RC units during their post-mobilization training.

OPLAN 1003
MTW East
OPLAN 5027
MTW West
North Korea
Area of ResponsibilityForce Packages
V CorpsXPRIMARYsecondaryX
82 AirborneXPRIMARYsecondaryX
101 AirborneXxPRIMARYsecondarysecondaryX
3 InfantryXxPRIMARYsecondarysecondaryX
1 CavalryXsecondaryPRIMARYX
25 InfantryXPRIMARYX
1 ArmorxPRIMARYsecondaryX
1 InfantryxPRIMARYsecondaryX
10 MountainXPRIMARYsecondaryX

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:35:54 ZULU