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Unit of Action

The Unit of Action is the unit that will eventually replaced the Current Force Brigade Unit of Action, once the Future Combat Systems [FCS] is fully deployed by 2014. The Unit of Action is the FCS-centric unit.

The number of brigades equipped with future combat systems technology was accelerated under a restructured Future Combat Systems plan announced 22 July 2004. The first FCS unit will be fielded in fiscal 2008, with 32 brigades so equipped by fiscal 2014. Under the old plan, the first unit was set for 2012. Deployment of the first fully modernized FCS Unit of Action, with only 2,500 soldiers, slipped by two years, to 2014. The Army's experimental unit, to stand up in 2008, will test the new technolog. The two extra years in the FCS schedule will give time to field all 18 planned systems by 2014, versus the 13 that would have been available by 2012.

The Army's Objective Force Unit of Action will be part of a joint team that is decisive in any operation, against any level threat, in any environment. As of late 2003 the Army planned to convert each division into four brigade Unit of Action. The plan was reminiscent of the Armys Pentomic reorganization of the 1950. The planned 1,800-man regiment-sized units are between one-third and one-half the size of a modern combat brigade.

This team must be strategically and operationally responsive, rapidly deployable, able to change patterns of operations faster than the enemy can respond, and adjust to enemy changes of operations faster than he can exploit them. The hallmarks of UA operations will be the significant ability to develop situations out of contact, come at the enemy in unexpected ways, use teaming with leader initiative, maneuver to positions of advantage with speed and agility, engage enemy forces beyond the range of their weapons, destroying them with enhanced fires, and assaulting at times and places of our choosing. Although not necessarily sequential, it is the combination of fires (precision volume) and maneuver, and the tactical assault that makes the enemy's problem so difficult. The cumulative effect of simultaneous, multi-dimensional operations will be to dominate an adversary, enabling friendly forces to destroy, dislocate and disintegrate him, and transition to the next engagement.

To accomplish the full spectrum of missions this nation calls upon its Army to perform - from homeland security, to humanitarian assistance to SSC or MCO -- the Army today draws from nine ground combat formations. These are Special Forces groups and the Ranger Regiment, airborne, light infantry, the Stryker brigade, heavy forces comprised of mechanized infantry, armor and armored cavalry, and air assault formations. These formations account for the entire range of threat and all conditions and variables in which these forces will be employed - from jungle to mountainous to urban to open, rolling terrains in all weather situations. Light forces are very responsive and strategically agile, but once employed lack combat power and lethality, survivability, tactical mobility, sustainability and the ability to generate a knowledge base to develop the situation, shape and isolate the battlefield. Heavy forces lack strategic responsiveness outside designated major theaters that have Army Preposition Stocks, have problems being employed in some austere environments, and require very large logistical footprints to sustain combat operations. The UA will account for the mission sets of these combat formations, with the exception of SF, Ranger, and airborne forces.

The Unit of Action normally fights under the command and control of a divisional Unit of Employment. The divisional UE fights battles; the Unit of Action orchestrates multiple engagements to win battles. The Unit of Employment employs Units of Action to achieve tactical decision. The Unit of Action integrates organic and supporting ISR, fires, and maneuver to close with and destroy the enemy.

The Unit of Action is not a fixed organization. It has the capability to command and control up to 6 maneuver battalions. It is also able to employ a range of supporting capabilities, from a Unit of Employment or the JTF, to perform a variety of missions; i.e., reinforcing fires, engineers, MPs, air defense, PSYOPS, Civil Affairs, etc.






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