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CSA: 2011 budget should enable transformation completion

Jan 16, 2010

By J.D. Leipold

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 15, 2010) - The Army's six-year reorganization should be complete by the end of next fiscal year with the planned 2011 budget, said Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr.

Speaking before a full house of Association of the U.S. Army members at their monthly Institute of Land Warfare breakfast Thursday, Casey said he and the secretary of the Army had the 2011 budget "in the can" and they expect to submit it to Congress in about 30 days.

Casey said he feels good about the proposed 2011 budget and its ability to complete Army transformation.

"We will have converted all but a handful of the 300 brigades in the Army to modular organizations," he said. "We have actually stood down by way of example, over 200 tank companies, artillery batteries and air defense batteries, and we've stood up a corresponding number of special forces, civil affairs, psychological operations, military police and engineers."

Implementing Army force generation in a sustainable way is something the Army needs to do, he said, saying that the president's decision to draw down in Iraq gave the service a level of clarity in force requirements for the next several years that the Army has not had since the surge.

"Today, we have just a little under 100,000 Soldiers in Iraq," the chief said. "Eight months from now, we'll have less than 50,000... that's a huge impact. Our portion of the forces going into Afghanistan is just a little bit over 20,000."

Casey said the Army's primary objective would be to restore balance by way of rotational cycles which he said should "steady the ship" by 2011.

"I can see us getting to a point whereby 2011 we will meet our objectives of one year out, two years back for about 70 percent of the active force and those who don't make it will be in the 18-24 month dwell mode rather than the 12-month dwell mode," Casey said.

For the National Guard and Reserve, Casey said he sees the force at about 80 percent, with one year out, four years back. He expects all Active, Guard and Reserve Soldiers to meet their respective dwell/deploy cycles by 2012.

"Now, that's based on the plus-up in Afghanistan and the draw-down in Iraq... if something else happens, that's a different story," he added.

The chief also said maintaining focus on Soldiers, families and civilians was imperative to sustaining, preparing and transforming the Army. He said the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program tools designed to build resilience and enhance performance had more than 100,000 sign-ups since it kicked off in October. There's also an assessment tool for families that goes online today, he said, and there will be one for civilians in about three months.

Implementing the Army Family Covenant and finding solutions to Soldier suicides are also of paramount concern to the Army, Casey said.

"There are challenges, stresses and strains on the families left behind... that's very real," he said. "We'll continue our efforts to improve what we're doing for surviving family members. As we went around and talked with family members, it became clearer and clearer to us that they consider themselves part of the Army Family and more and more of them want to remain attached to that family, so we're putting in place assistance that will allow us to do that."

Looking at the Army's future, Casey said one of the first things the Army needs to do is establish an integrated Army management system for future operations. He said the Army needed to manage itself better by establishing the right business management structure. Secondly, he said the Army must use the enterprise in this management process to synchronize supporting

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