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Army Provides Details on Plus-up Force Training

Feb 27, 2007

The United States Army provided details today, Feb. 27, of the training preparations and readiness for the five Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) and a division headquarters identified as part of the plus up of forces for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Army is meeting a challenging deployment schedule with many of its active component units approaching one year or less of dwell time at home station before rotating back into either Iraq or Afghanistan. This compressed deployment cycle has decreased unit preparation time available to reach the required readiness standards prior to deployment.

"The Army has superb leaders who want as much time as we can give them to train their units before deployment. The simple fact is that no unit will leave their home base without being properly trained," said Lt. Gen. James Lovelace, the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. "All units in the current rotation and future rotations will be trained to standard and will be properly prepared for their assigned mission."

"With the accelerated deployment schedule, we accept more risk, certainly," said Lovelace, "but the leadership in each of the identified units has deemed the risk acceptable after applying mitigating factors. We are not lowering our standards to rush Soldiers into the fight, and we continue to deploy the best trained forces, best equipped forces and best led forces in the world. To be sure, meeting this requirement is no easy task. Importantly, as we accelerate the preparation of these units for deployment, Soldiers and their families will have less time to spend together before they deploy. The Army recognizes and deeply appreciates the sacrifice that Soldiers and families make in the defense of our Nation."

The mitigating factors include emphasis on a series of key training events that units typically complete prior to deployment. These events include: individual and collective mission-focused training at home station; a battle command training program concentrating on counterinsurgency operations; a combat training center exercise; robust IED defeat training; and the full regimen of training that is always conducted in Kuwait before moving forward.

"If any commander faces circumstances that force him to change his unit assessment, the Army will provide the right resources at the right time to re-establish the right level of readiness. We owe it to the great Soldiers and their families who make up the finest fighting force in the world," said Lt. Gen. James Lovelace.

The Army has deployed more that 60 BCTs over the past four years in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. These recurring requirements have reinforced the Army's pre-deployment training regimen. All units undergo a set of training events to ensure they are prepared to succeed in their assigned missions. The deployment acceleration has not changed this requirement, nor the Army's training standards.

General Charles Campbell, commander of U. S. Forces Command, the headquarters responsible for the training and readiness of all Army combat units, said, "Since the beginning of operations in Southwest Asia, the Army has used a standard, progressive strategy to train units that are deploying to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure they are prepared to execute all assigned missions. The five Brigade Combat Teams deploying to meet the surge requirements are following this strategy. All units deploying to combat are trained and prepared to execute their wartime mission. Surge or no surge, FORSCOM will ensure we deploy trained and ready units."

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For more information, contact Lt. Col. Carl S. Ey at (703) 614-2487.

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