In October of 1999, the Army Chief of Staff, General Eric K. Shinseki, provided the vision and leadership for the Army to embark on this revolutionary journey of Transformation. Together with the Administration and the U.S. Congress, the Army recognized the need to prepare itself to handle the demanding and varied missions in the future strategic environment.
Legacy Forces are the Army's Current Forces. These existing forces form the strategic hedge that provides the Army's essential capability in support of the National Command Authority and warfighting CINCs while we design and stand-up Interim and Objective Forces. The Army Transformation will sustain and re-capitalize Current Forces to guarantee maintenance of critical warfighting readiness. The Army will recapitalize selected current formations, in both Active and Reserve components, to enhance key armored and aviation systems, as well as enhance light force lethality and survivability.
An important element of the Legacy Force is the requirement for an offensive or counteroffensive capability for use in a major conflict. Assembling the ground force required for decisive counteroffensive operations anywhere in the world calls for a three-division corps, with an armored cavalry regiment. To meet this need, the Army is selectively modernizing and recapitalizing III Corps (designated as the Army's Counterattack Corps), which consists of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and three active duty heavy divisions: the 1st Cavalry Division, the 4th Infantry Division and the 3rd Infantry Division. Also included are those echelons above division (EAD) units assigned to III Corps, including Reserve Component units.
The Army is accepting risk in the recapitalization and modernization of the Legacy Force - the forces of today -- in order to fund the development and fielding of the Objective Force. The Army has chosen the cost-effective alternative of rebuilding or selectively upgrading those key systems that are critical to implementing the defense strategy today. This means that recapitalization investments are focused on 17 higher priority current systems. These systems include the M1 Abrams tank, M2 Bradley fighting vehicle, AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Black Hawk, and CH-47 Chinook.
The Interim and Objective Forces will increase the strategic options available to the President and the capabilities available to Joint Force Commanders.
The Interim Force fills a near-to-mid term capabilties gap identified by the combatant commanders. The rapid deployability, tactical mobility, enhanced situational awareness, and close combat capabilities of the Interim Force fill the capabilities gap. The Interim Force is optimized for operations in restrictive and urban terrain and, with augmentation, is capable of operations across the full spectrum. Organized into Interim Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs), the Interim Force will leverage the progress of more than a decade of advanced experimentation. Most importantly, the Interim Force is a combat ready deployable force.that will also allow the exploration of operational concepts for the Objective Force. We have announced six IBCTs with the first two brigades at Fort Lewis, Washington. The first brigade will attain its first incremental warfighting capability - an infantry company - in August of this year and its full operational capability in May 2003.
The Objective Force is the future Army. Our future Army will be a full spectrum force; organized, manned, equipped, and trained to be more strategically responsive, agile, deployable, versatile, lethal, survivable, and sustainable across the entire spectrum of military operations. The Objective Force will provide the Nation and the Joint Forces Commander security cooperation, crisis response, and sustained joint operations to swiftly and decisively defeat our adversaries.
The Army will achieve threshold Objective Force capabilities in Fiscal Year 2010 and transform three brigades per year beginning in Fiscal Year 2012. Consistent with the defense strategy, forward deployed and rapid reinforcing forces will be the first units to transform. Given the current schedule, in Fiscal Year 2015 the Army will have sufficient FCS Units of Action (equivalent of five divisions) fielded to achieve the goal of deploying five divisions in 30 days.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|