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Following the Persian Gulf War a Mobility Requirements Study (MRS) Bottom-Up Review was conducted (and subsequently updated) to study mobility requirements for the post-Cold War Army. The study concluded that the military could increase its deployability through expanded sealift, airlift, prepositioning and transportation infrastructure. The Army Strategic Mobility Program (ASMP), which was initiated to address the MRS, resulted in the Army developing a capability to provide a crisis response force of up to Corps size (5 and 1/3 divisions) from CONUS and OCONUS forward presence locations. The following mobility standards were established:

  • A light or airborne brigade-size force arrives in theater by C+4, with the remainder of the division to close by C+12. The force would be largely transported by air.
  • An afloat heavy combat brigade with support closes in theater and is ready to fight NLT C+15.
  • Two heavy divisions (sealifted) close in theater by C+30.
  • The remaining two divisions and Corps support command arrive in theater by C+75.

The Army designs its force structure to achieve the agility and versatility necessary to execute a variety of operations plans (OPLANs) and concept plans (CONPLANs), to include campaigns. All forces are considered contingency forces. Army units are configured to allow force expansion through designation as forward-presence, crisis-response, early reinforcement, follow-on reinforcement, and reconstitution forces.

Forward-presence units are those US active component forces and reserve forces assigned or deployed overseas in a specific theater. These forces display the resolve of the US in supporting its national interests around the world. They are the initial forces available to an OCONUS CINC to counter potential threats. The reduced size of the US Army dictates that forward presence units, including CS and CSS units, be trained and prepared to deploy to other regional areas in support of our national defense policies.

Crisis-response forces (CRFs) are AC and RC, CONUS-based units, but also include forward-presence units. They are trained and configured to deploy anywhere in the world, based on the unit's deployability posture. All AC units, including combat, CS, and CSS units, must be prepared to deploy and support a combatant unit that has a mission to respond to a crisis. Units conducting Combat Training Center (CTC) rotations and subsequent stand-downs must maintain the capability to deploy when required. Reserve component CS and CSS units must be prepared to support all deployment operations.

Early reinforcement forces (ERFs) consist primarily of AC divisions (CONUS-and OCONUS-based) and associated echelons above division (EAD) and EAC support elements (both AC and RC). RC round-out and round-up brigades are available to add combat power to AC divisions designated as ERFs. Additional reserve component CS and CSS units will provide support to ERFs. ERF units may be required to respond to a second major regional contingency in another theater.

Follow-on reinforcement forces (FRFs), primarily National Guard divisions, brigades, and associated EAD and EAC support elements, are trained and deployed for protracted operations. These forces include units that replace or augment forward-presence units that have deployed to other regions for protracted operations.

Reconstitution is the ability to maintain continuously, in sufficient measure, the capability to create additional forces beyond those in the active and reserve units retained in the base force. Reconstitution is also the process of creating additional forces to deter an emerging global threat from competing militarily with the United States, and, should such deterrence fail, to provide a global warfighting capability. Reconstitution forces may be comprised of regeneration assets, industrial/ technology base assets, and manpower assets.

Unlike the Desert Storm scenario where personnel moves were frozen, today's operational deployments are not conducted under the same set of rules. Soldiers who are on orders to move or leave the Army continue to move as scheduled. As such, they are considered non-deployable sixty to ninety days out to allow them to prepare for a permanent change of station or termination of service. Therefore, there is always a certain percentage of personnel in a transition process that are become non-deployable.

That percentage is even larger for longer operations like the Intrinsic Action deployments because there is a limited amount of funding available to conduct a replacement plan. Specifically, deploying units are forced to leave behind any soldier who is scheduled to depart any time during the given deployment - not just those due to leave 60 days out - because the costs are too high to return the soldier and replace them via civilian flights in the midst of a deployment. Additionally, a soldier needs 15 to 30 days to "clear" an installation, while Army regulations grant authority for as many as 30 days of leave during a change of station upon redeployment. This adds upwards of two months following redeployment that the soldier must be stabilized prior to his move. What this means is that a unit deploying on a four month mission can only bring those soldiers who have no change of station orders within six months of the departure date.

This percentage of soldiers unavailable for deployment grows even more when you consider those individuals who have orders to attend Department of the Army Schools. FORSCOM deployability criteria precludes any soldier from deployment who has a DA school date during a deployment density. This is for good reason. To deny them the opportunity to attend would not only hurt the Army as a whole, but the organization as well as adversely affect the individual soldier's chances for promotion. Thus, the population from which a unit may draw for deployment grows even smaller.

The increased pace of contingency operations and associated training clearly decreases time available for home station training on essential warfighting tasks. The units that are performing missions in support of smaller-scale contingencies are, upon redeployment, required to regain their ability to conduct their normal warfighting missions. This dramatically increases their personnel tempo (PERSTEMPO). The effects of smaller-scale contingencies, especially the continuing missions, are cumulative and erode the readiness in the force because the Army has to essentially commit three units -- one deployed for the mission, one just returned and engaged in post-deployment activities, and one committed to ramp-up training to assume the mission. Exacerbating this is the requirement for low-density, highly skilled MOSs to fill positions left vacant when our soldiers are deployed to these peacekeeping rotations. Simply put, soldiers at home are often asked to do the job of two or three soldiers who are forward deployed. This increase in workload is causing much of our PERSTEMPO problems. These factors erode some high intensity warfighting skills, decrease time available for units to train on essential tasks, and disrupt the normal training rhythm. The readiness impact has been noted in units undergoing training rotations at the CTCs.

Mortar Platoon Readiness Conditions

REDCON 1: All personnel alert and prepared for action. Vehicles are loaded, secured with engines running and weapons manned. Mortar out of action and vehicle ready to move upon notification.

REDCON 1.5: Same as above except Mortar is in action and wire is out (condition at stand to)

REDCON 2: All personnel alert, OP's and M8 retrieved, camouflage systems stowed, platoon ready to move within 20 minutes. Mortar is in action.

REDCON 3: Fifty percent of the unit stands down for chow, rest and maintenance. Remaining personnel man vehicles, OP's, weapons and monitor all nets. Platoon ready to move within 30 minutes. Mortar is in Action.

REDCON 4: Dismounted patrols, minimum personnel manning weapons, radios and vehicles. Platoon ready to move within 60 min. Mortar is in Action.

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