Immediate Ready Company (IRC) / Initial Ready Company (IRC)
The division ready brigades' ground maneuver battalions form the division ready force (DRF). 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 Immediate Ready Company (IRC) assigned to support the 82d Airborne is on 18 hour contingency alert.
At the time of Operation JUST CAUSE in December 1989, under XVIII Airborne Corps' Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise [EDRE] system the lead company, which is the Immediate Ready Company (the IRC), was on a "string" -- responsible for assembling all of its personnel and being completely ready to deploy within two hours. The Immediate Ready Company would be wheels up at eighteen hours, followed then by the other companies of the battalion Division Ready Force [DRF], a battalion-sized task force [DRF-9 pushes out DRF-1].
Soldiers from the 3d Infantry Division's Immediate Ready Company can deploy within 22 hours, and the brigade combat team within 72 hours. An Immediate Ready Company consisting of Abrams tanks and Bradley armored fighting vehicles from the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Ga., augments the 82nd Airborne Division. The IRC, capable of being deployed by the Air Force's C-17 Globemaster III, lends flexibility, speed and lethality to early entry forces such as the 82nd Airborne Division. Risk further decreased with the fielding of the Javelin weapon system to the division from April 1997 through November 1998, and the fielding of an Enhanced Fiber Optic Guided Missile Company in the future to the XVIII Airborne Corps.
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 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 aircraft.
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