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Chapter 1

Redeployment in Force Projection



Redeployment involves the transfer of units, individuals, or supplies deployed in one area to another area, or to another location within the area, or to the zone of interior for the purpose of further employment, or to the continental United States (CONUS) or outside the continental United States (OCONUS) home/demobilization station for the purpose of further operational employment or demobilization. Army units redeploy in four phases--

  • Recovery and reconstitution and preredeployment activities.

  • Movement to and activities at ports of embarkation (POEs).

  • Movement to ports of debarkation (PODs).

  • Reception, staging, onward movement, and integration (RSO&I).

It is important to understand how redeployment fits in with the US force projection and theater distribution doctrine. Theater distribution enables US forces to request, receive, redirect, maintain, control, and retrograde resources within a single distribution system. It maximizes throughput and ensures continuous and timely visibility of units, personnel, and unit/sustainment. Many of the procedures used to deploy forces, draw pre-positioned stocks, complete the RSO&I process, and distribute assets within the theater apply to the redeployment process. The same elements that operate and manage the theater distribution system during deployment and sustainment of decisive operations perform similar roles during redeployment. The actual support structure required to provide support during decisive operations, postconflict operations, and redeployment vary significantly depending on the nature and scale of the operations, theater infrastructure, and other factors. However, Field Manual (FM) 100-10-1 discusses the principles involved in building a theater distribution system. FM 100-10 has additional information on Army support structures.

Force projection is a process that involves Total Army and joint resources. Joint doctrine discusses the scope of activities for projecting the force as including: mobilization, deployment, employment, sustainment, and redeployment. Army force projection operations have been frequently viewed in terms of stages. Through the labels of the stages have varied somewhat in various sources, they include:

  • Mobilization.

  • Pre-Deployment.

  • Deployment.

  • Entry Operations.

  • Decisive Operations.

  • Post-Conflict Operations.

  • Redeployment.

  • Demobilization.

These stages should not be viewed as distinct from or in conflict with the scope of activities identified in the joint doctrine. They are simply another construct through which to view the Army's participation in a joint force projection operation. Pre-deployment activities, which are rolled into deployment activities in the joint framework, are shown as a separate stage in Army doctrine, but as in joint doctrine they are discussed as inextricably linked to deployment. They will also be linked and covered in more detail in FM 55-65. Similarly, where joint doctrine uses "employment" to cover activities of all the Services, the Army has often found it useful to discuss employment in force projection operations in terms of entry, decisive, and post-conflict operations. Sustainment, though a crucial set of activities in both joint and Army doctrine, is not a stage in the Army framework because sustainment activities are performed throughout all aspects of a force projection operation. Finally, while demobilization is inherent in redeployment activities in the joint framework, Army doctrine has treated the two as distinct but closely related stages for discussion purposes.

The key point here is that regardless of which framework is more useful for purposes of discussing the process in a particular instance, the planning for and execution of these activities normally occurs in a continuous, overlapping, and iterative sequence for the duration of the mission.

Although many of the considerations for a redeployment correspond to those for a deployment, there are differences. During deployment, elements of a unit are configured for strategic movement with the ultimate goal of reassembling the elements into an effective force in the theater. During redeployment, unless the unit is redeploying to a new theater, the goal is to move forces home rather than building a force for theater operations. Therefore, redeployment preparation involves re-establishing unit integrity and accountability of personnel and equipment. In the reconstitution process, commanders re-establish the unit by undoing organizational changes made to the unit for operations in the theater. Units may or may not redeploy to home stations as pure units. Redeployments to new theaters may require organizational modifications, as in original deployments.



Post-conflict missions may affect the redeployment flow. The goal is to smoothly transition responsibility for operations to the host nation or designated agency. These operations secure strategic objectives. Army activities may include conducting civil operations, handling refugees, and clearing minefields. At the same time Army forces prepare for redeployment (or a potential resumption of decisive operations).



Forces redeploy out of the area as quickly as mission, enemy, terrain, troops, time available, and civilian considerations (METT-TC) allow upon the achievement of objectives. However, the joint force commander (JFC) may have follow-on operations or security concerns that require a well-planned sequence to the drawdown of forces. The JFC may order restoration operations to be completed prior to the redeployment of all forces.

The tactical commander must plan redeployment consistent with follow-on operational mission requirements. Redeploying units must adhere to JFC/Army Service component command (ASCC)/Army forces (ARFOR) commander-defined missions and conditions for redeployment.



Post-conflict operations include those actions necessary, following the completion of the primary mission, to establish conditions for the removal of military forces from the area of operation (AO). The JFC plans for post-conflict operations before redeployment operations begin. Certain actions must be completed and conditions must be established before forces can redeploy. The objective is to transition operations with minimum confusion to either the host nation (HN), an international body, or the United States (US) Department of State.

The type of post-conflict operations to be conducted will dictate the flow of forces during such operations. Some units may deploy into the AO while others are redeploying out of it. The tactical force commander may change several times as Army forces are reduced and their composition changes to permit the requirements of post-conflict operations to be met by units having diverse skills. These operations fall in two broad categories--

  • Actions to restore order and re-establish local governmental and support functions in the AO.

  • Operations to re-establish readiness levels for military forces.



Units need to maintain high states of readiness and security during the post-conflict stage. The desired end state is typically a more normal peacetime environment. However, National Command Authorities (NCA)- or Congress-imposed time limitations may require redeployment prior to achieving mission success or establishing desired conditions for redeployment. Such early withdrawal requires detailed tactical planning for the protection and orderly movement of forces while a threat remains. Cease-fire agreements or political negotiations may cause changes in redeployment plans. Planning considerations may include--

  • Time and distance required to separate belligerents.

  • Timetable to withdraw from the AO.

  • Remaining forces and disposition of pre-positioned stocks.

  • Reconstitution actions.



The JFC and the tactical commanders plan and execute operations for the decontamination, disposal, and destruction of war materiel; the removal and destruction of unexploded ordnance and other hazardous material (HAZMAT) and mine removal operations. Joint Publication (JP) 3-11 will discuss HAZMAT considerations. Appendix B of this manual provides key considerations. Army commanders may also have to conduct other post-conflict operations including--

  • Controlling prisoners.

  • Handling refugees.

  • Conducting civil affairs.

  • Providing humanitarian assistance.

The JFC must oversee the orderly transition of authority to US, international, interagency, or HN agencies. As the level of hostility lessens, the composition of forces changes. The commander prepares to provide medical support, emergency restoration of utilities, base camp disassembly and environmental restoration, support to needs of the indigenous population, and other humanitarian activities. Therefore, the JFC may have to change the balance of forces or change the missions of support forces already in theater as post-conflict operations progress. Finally, nation-assistance forces position themselves to complete the transition to peacetime operations.



The four phases of redeployment are--

  • Recovery and reconstitution and preredeployment activities.

  • Movement to and activities at POE.

  • Movement to POD.

  • RSO&I.

Commanders plan for these redeployment phases within the context of the overall situation in the theater. A description of each phase summarizes a typical redeployment operation.



After completion of military operations, redeploying forces move to designated assembly areas (AAs) or directly to redeployment assembly areas (RAAs). Redeployment operations at the AA are under the control and supervision of the ASCC/ARFOR commander and include actions necessary to prepare the unit for movement. Reconstitution activities begin in the theater before redeployment. They continue after the units' arrival at home stations. Reconstitution during redeployment may differ considerably from reconstitution in a tactical environment. That type of reconstitution involves the extraordinary actions that commanders plan and implement to restore units to a desired level of combat effectiveness commensurate with near-term mission requirements and available resources. Reconstitution during redeployment involves a broader range of activities that re-establish military capabilities of the entire force. However, both are based on the commander's intent and METT-TC.

The focus is on the reconstitution of forces to predeployment levels of readiness, the restoration of APS stockpiles, and the accountability of deployed equipment and supplies. These activities include rebuilding unit integrity and accounting for soldiers and equipment. Additional actions may include: cross-leveling personnel, equipment, and supplies; reorganizing; thoroughly decontaminating unit equipment; preparing unit equipment for movement; developing unit movement data; coordinating movement instructions; processing excess materiel; and accomplishing personnel actions. Many of the principles and responsibilities in FM 100-9 may be applied to the reconstitution activities conducted within the theater.



Upon receipt of movement instructions, forces may move to an RAA. The RAA is a relatively secure location where units continue preparatory movement actions. Units complete activities not completed at the AA. In addition, units wash major end items to satisfy US Customs and Department of Agriculture requirements; load containers; prepare equipment documentation; conduct US Customs inspections; finalize unit movement data; and plan rail loads, bus movements, barge movements, and convoys for movement to a POE or APS turn-in site.

Intratheater transportation assets may move units directly to marshaling areas at POEs or to an intermediate staging area en route to a designated POE. These movements are largely determined by the distance to be traveled, the size of the redeploying force, the level of reconstitution achieved, and theater capabilities. As discussed in later chapters, movement control teams (MCTs) control movement throughout the AO. Units that were issued APS normally return the equipment to Army Materiel Command (AMC) or Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG)/US Army Medical Materiel Agency (USAMMA) control prior to moving to POEs. Following movement instructions, units move to the POE where they process for strategic movement.

Several activities must be completed at the POE to process personnel and equipment for strategic lift (final US Customs inspections, equipment preparation, loading of containers, and passenger manifesting). After processing, and with acceptance by the departure airfield control group (DACG), port support activity (PSA), or POE processing agent, departing forces are loaded aboard strategic lift.



This phase begins with "wheels up" of the first loaded aircraft or passage of the last buoy at the seaport of embarkation (SPOE) for vessels. Lift may also be by rail. This phase ends with arrival at the POD.



This phase begins with arrival of forces at the POD. Forces that have arrived at a POD for employment in a new theater are normally moved to a staging area to reunite equipment and personnel. Units may draw new equipment and conduct training or briefings as required. (See FM 100-17-3 for more details concerning RSO&I.)

Since FM 100-17-3 principles apply to RSO&I at a new theater, this manual focuses discussion of this phase on redeployment to home or demobilization station for reintegration and/or out-processing.

Forces redeploying to CONUS/OCONUS home or demobilization stations move from the POD to designated staging and marshaling areas. Unit, gaining command, or supporting installation representatives inspect equipment in the staging/marshaling area and complete needed repairs. Equipment not meeting maintenance standards is repaired or moved by commercial or organic transportation to destination. The redeployment ends with arrival at destination and the return of equipment and personnel to normal operations or the conduct of demobilization operations.

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