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Chapter 2

Redeployment Planning


Commanders and staffs plan and execute redeployment to effectively meet requirements in the context of the entire mission. They use the Joint Operation Planning and Execution System (JOPES) as described in the JP 5-series and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Manual (CJCSM) 3122-series. They integrate redeployment planning into the joint force employment planning early in the process.

Several factors complicate redeployment planning. First, the unit must normally be reconstituted either to re-establish unit integrity for movement to home station or to meet combat effectiveness standards of the supported JFC if redeploying to a new theater. In addition, redeployment priorities must be fully integrated into plans for post-conflict operations. For example, forces for nation building or demining operations may be the last to return to home station. On the other hand, for a redeployment to a new theater, priorities may be driven by the requirement to reconstitute and strategically move forces needed by the supported JFC. Units redeploy as directed by the chain of command consistent with joint movement center (JMC) schedules.



The redeployment operations plan (OPLAN) conveys the commander's intent for redeployment, though much of the intent may also be covered in the command's redeployment policy. The OPLAN includes responsibilities, priorities, and guidance for recovery and reconstitution activities and for the effective movement of units, individuals, and materiel.

Considerations in building the redeployment OPLAN include the following--

  • Mission statement for residual forces.

  • Requirement to establish and maintain a response capability.

  • Occupation, nation-building, and humanitarian missions.

  • Re-establishment of APS.

  • Security of the force.

  • Multinational force and interagency considerations.

  • Availability of strategic lift.

  • Political pressure.

Two interrelated considerations which are crucial throughout post-conflict and redeployment operations are security and infrastructure limitations. Redeployments have large signatures as a result of the high level of activities at transit areas and extensive movements. In addition, the status of units after operations, and especially in preparation for redeployment to home station where the goal is not assembling an effective combat force for immediate operations, makes redeploying units vulnerable. The combination of large signatures and unit vulnerability makes security a significant issue throughout post-conflict and redeployment operations. Commanders ensure that redeployment flows of forces take into account the capability to protect forces at transit areas and during movement to the POE.

A related consideration is competition for use of terrain and key elements of the theater infrastructure such as ports, main supply routes (MSRs), and support facilities. Simultaneous activities may include reconstitution of units, replenishment/turn-in of APS, and activities at POEs. In many cases, elements performing these operations (as well as others conducting post-conflict operations) will be vying for the same areas or facilities. Typically, the theater support command (TSC) support operations staff with its distribution management center is a primary player in deconflicting utilization of the infrastructure among Army elements. Army commanders must be aware that other Services, multinational forces, agencies, and HN elements will also be seeking to use those same resources and node capabilities. Joint boards and centers such as the joint transportation board (JTB), joint movement center (JMC), and joint facilities utilization board reconcile component requests and interface with other forces and agencies. JP 4-0, JP 4-01, JP 4-01.3, and JP 4-04 discuss these elements. The desired end state and JFC's concept for reconstitution and redeployment determine the priorities for utilization.

Finally, redeployment operations benefit from earlier deployment planning and execution that establish theater command and control (C2) structures and combat service support (CSS) capabilities to support the deployed forces. This infrastructure varies depending on the size and purpose of the operation and the transportation capabilities in the AO. A TSC and other support organizations provide the needed resources for movement and support of equipment and personnel. FMs 100-10 and 100-16 discuss typical support organizations in a theater. FM 63-4 will discuss the TSC.



Personnel support functions are critical in redeployment operations. Concerns for the personnel community include assisting in managing the personnel flow at home station or to another theater, drawing down the personnel structure within the theater, and supporting the reconstitution phase of redeployment.

Personnel redeploy as units or individuals. Unit movements are the norm. Units include both Active Component and mobilized Reserve Component units. FM 12-6 details the various categories of individuals that may be redeployed. The ASCC G1 recommends to the ASCC the policy for routing individual soldiers and Army civilians and contractors who cannot redeploy with their units. They process through a replacement company for movement to their ultimate destinations.

FM 12-6 details the roles of personnel organizations in redeployment (including reconstitution), as well as considerations for drawing down the personnel structure in theater.


A force-projection strategy requires US armed forces to be capable of relocating forces already deployed in one theater to another theater. The Army must be able to plan and execute such movements. Forces and units of all sizes may have to move to and conduct operations in new theaters. The supported JFC for an initial deployment may become a supporting JFC for a new mission in a different theater. In such a case, a JFC may simultaneously perform functions associated with both a supported and supporting JFC. Though some planning considerations may vary as discussed below, the planning process is the same as used in all joint operations as outlined in joint publications and the CJCSM 3122-series. One key difference, as mentioned in Chapter 1, is that for a redeployment to a new theater, the force is organized to conduct operations in that theater. On the other hand, if the unit is redeploying to home station, it is likely to move in its original unit configuration.

Decisions to commit deployed units or forces for follow-on operations can be made at any point during employment or redeployment operations. A force-projection Army must be capable of relocating its forces whenever and wherever needed. This may call for reconstitution efforts during employment or redeployment operations to establish needed operational capabilities before employment in new theaters.

Redeployment movement plans and reconstitution efforts must reflect the priorities for the time-phased capabilities required by the supported JFC. The aim of the reconstitution activities is not only to prepare for strategic movement but to provide mission capable forces in the right sequence to meet the needs of the supported JFC. The commander responsible for the reconstitution must ensure that the units have attained the level of effectiveness required for the new mission. The responsible commander and supporting elements should consider all the activities and coordination requirements discussed in FM 100-9 in planning for reconstitution in such cases. Reconstitution is more than meeting personnel and equipment levels. It also involves ensuring that C2, unit cohesion, and morale meet required standards. Training is particularly critical. Troops must have all the training required to perform their mission in the new theater. This includes not only the operational training to perform the critical tasks associated with the unit's mission (often with many personnel replacements new to the unit), but also training in such areas as rules of engagement and cultural awareness. Training may occur before the unit moves to the POE, at an intermediate staging base, or as part of the RSO&I process in the new theater. Supporting and supported commanders must coordinate on the training required and the best place to perform it.

Units may need more, less, or different materiel for the new mission. Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA), coordinates with the ASCCs for both theaters as well as AMC and the OTSG to determine whether APS originally issued to the deployed force will be turned in or moved to the new theater. They also determine whether additional APS is the optimal solution to materiel requirements for the new theater. Units turn in excess materiel not required in the new theater.

Throughout the planning process, coordination between the supported and supporting JFCs is critical. Decisions on the allocation of critical strategic assets are made at the national strategic level.


Redeployment operations depend on many organizations and elements. They provide the planning and infrastructure to sustain and move redeploying forces. This section focuses on several key Army players-the ASCC/ARFOR commander and staff, the theater support command (including the logistics support element (LSE)), the redeploying unit, and the installation.

However, though this section focuses on the roles of these Army elements, other elements play key roles in redeployment. First, as previously discussed, the JFC and his staff develop the joint force redeployment OPLAN which the ASCC/ARFOR must support and execute its portion of. Also, Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC), as discussed in Chapter 4 and JP 4-01.5, plays a crucial role as the single port manager. In addition, several joint boards and centers have significant responsibilities in the redeployment process. The JTB establishes priorities in accordance with the JFC's intent and allocates common-user transportation resources. Given the level of movement activity and the competition for scarce movement assets, the JMC has a critical part in redeployment. As detailed in JP 4-0 and 4-01, it coordinates the employment of all transportation means. These include contracted, multinational, and host nation support assets. The joint facilities utilization board (JFUB) reconciles component requests for real estate, use of existing facilities, and inter-Service support. Again, with the competition for these assets previously mentioned, the JFUB plays a major role. So does the Director of Mobility Forces (DIRMOBFOR) provided by the US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM). The DIRMOBFOR is the theater's contingency air flow master for C-130s and strategic lift. He is responsible to the supported JFC and Air Force commander for effective use of theater common-use air mobility management. The Army's composite transportation group often provides the elements to act as the port operator, as described in Chapter 4. As mentioned previously in this chapter, Army personnel organizations also play crucial roles in managing personnel flows and participating in reconstitution operations.

In addition to all these organizations and elements, support to redeployment operations may come from multinational or HN organizations (FM 100-8) or contractors (FM 63-11). In most cases, the TSC coordinates for such support in conjunction with the JFC/ASCC/ARFOR staffs and joint boards and centers. The LSE manages the execution of the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) in support of redeployment. Responsibilities of several key Army organizations are discussed in more detail below.


Each unified and subordinate unified command has an Army service component command. The CINC's Army service component command consists of the ASCC and all those elements under his command. The ASCC's responsibilities are discussed in depth in JP 0-2 and FM 100-7.

In more generic terms, all joint forces include Army component commands because administrative and logistics support for joint forces are provided through Service component commands. Army forces may be assigned or attached to subordinate joint forces without the formal creation of an Army component of that joint force.

In this manual, the term "ASCC/ARFOR commander" refers to the commander of the Army component of a supported joint force, regardless of the nature of that joint force.


The ASCC/ARFOR commander and staff receive the JFC's redeployment guidance and plan the redeployment of Army forces, including their reconstitution. Redeployment operations must be conducted at a pace that does not disrupt the ability of the ARFOR and subordinate units to execute continuing missions. The ASCC is also responsible for satisfying training, administrative, and logistics requirements for Army forces. The ASCC/ARFOR commander determines the organization responsible for redeployment operations based on METT-TC. In mature theaters, he delegates much of the support for redeployment to the TSC. In less developed theaters, the TSC may provide task organized elements to provide necessary support and infrastructure.


The TSC normally plays a major role in Army force redeployment. Throughout force-projection operations, it centralizes control of combat service support (CSS) and some combat support (CS) functions and executes echelons above corps (EAC) support operations. As directed by the ASCC/ARFOR commander, these may include explosive ordnance disposal (EOD); nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) operations; military police (MP) support; and coordination of HN and contracted support. In addition to support to Army elements, the TSC may support other Services, multinational forces, Department of Defense (DOD) civilians, and contractors as directed by the JFC. FM 63-4 (to be published) has details on the TSC.

In coordination with the ASCC/ARFOR commander's staff, the TSC support operations staff modifies the theater distribution plan to meet the JFC's redeployment priorities. The plan synchronizes the assembling, reconstitution, and movement of resources to theater POEs. The movement control agency (MCA) coordinates movement requirements with availability of USTRANSCOM strategic lift assets. The MCA is also responsible for assisting units with their deployment equipment lists (DELs) when redeploying from theater. The TSC in coordination with any functional commands in the communications zone (COMMZ) coordinates and monitors field services, maintenance, customs, and, as the ASCC/ARFOR commander directs, personnel, medical, and engineer support during movement to and at POEs. Assisted by the LSE, the materiel management center (MMC) plays a critical role in reconstitution of units. The MMC ensures Class IV sustainment materiel and blocking, bracing, packaging, and tie-down materials are available for redeployment operations. Figure 2-1 depicts typical command relationships for a theater organization that includes a TSC.

Figure 2-1. Representative JFC Relationships

A key organization within the TSC is the LSE. The LSE is the single logistics force-projection composite organization responsible for executing the AMC logistics missions within a contingency theater of operations. The LSE is a modular, quick response deployable organization and is comprised of special teams from all of AMC's subordinate commands and separate reporting activities. These include teams from each of the AMC weapon systems commands, AMC depots, and the Army War Reserve Support Command (AWRSPTCMD). In a major theater war (MTW), the LSE is attached to or under the operational control (OPCON) of the TSC. The LSE commander is the commanding general, AMC, single command representative to the supported JFC, ASCC, and TSC. The LSE assists redeployment operations relative to its APS mission and to its depot maintenance, materiel readiness, and logistics assistance responsibilities. The LSE Forward provides the logistics assistance offices/logistics assistance representatives (LAOs/LARs); test, measurement, and diagnostic equipment (TMDE) support teams; and related special logistics assistance teams providing direct equipment support to units in preparation for redeployment. The COMMZ-based LSE provides redeployment operations support through its APS turn-in, excess materiel retrograde, and supply/maintenance operations. The LSE mission can include the transfer of accountability of APS from the using units back to the AMC accountable records. For a complete discussion of the functions and responsibilities of the LSE, refer to FM 63-11.


The unit can be any redeploying element from separate detachment to division. In this manual, the term "unit" refers to organizations below corps/division that are not functioning as the ARFOR. Specific responsibilities of the unit during redeployment are detailed throughout this manual.


The division support movement control team augments the division movement control capability. They are assigned to a corps, attached to a division, and provide technical expertise to transportation users in the division area. For more information concerning the division support MCT, refer to FM 55-10.


This organization is any US military post that has redeployment responsibilities. For foreign-based forces, it is the foreign home installation and area support group (ASG). Unless the installation is tasked to provide in-theater support for its redeploying units, it has no direct involvement until they have been notified of the redeployment. When redeployment operations commence, installations begin preparatory actions to receive units at the POD and move them to their home/demobilization stations.


As units redeploy from their AOs to POEs, they move through different areas. Redeployment planning results in a network of transit areas designed to efficiently move forces from their AO to their final destinations. As discussed in the next section, use of these areas may vary with the situation. In addition, a theater staging base may be required in some scenarios.


The AA is the area designated for a unit to assemble in after it has been relieved from its operational mission (see Figure 2-2 for a notional AA). In the AA, the unit commander consolidates equipment and personnel and assesses unit capabilities. The unit is not being employed, although a defensive posture may be necessary.

Figure 2-2. Notional Assembly Area

On order, a unit moves to an AA for reconstitution, rest, or initial preparation for redeployment. The AA should be away from the immediate employment area. Movement to, and within, the AA is under control of the tactical commander. If the unit has been relieved of its operational mission for the purpose of redeploying, the AA is where the unit begins to prepare for that movement. Units in the AA may reorganize, cross-level supplies, and prepare for movement to an RAA or directly to the port marshaling area depending on JFC/ASCC/ARFOR instructions. A unit that has sustained significant combat losses may undergo reconstitution in the AA when needed security and CSS can be focused there (see FM 100-9).


The RAA is the location where the focus of all operations is to prepare for movement to a POE (see Figure 2-3 for a notional RAA). The RAA is normally within the COMMZ. There may be several reasons for the establishment of an RAA:

  • When dispersion prevents efficient organization within the AA.

  • When the threat of attack is significant in the AA.

  • When the support infrastructure is insufficient in the AA to prepare for redeployment.

The RAA provides the necessary security and support infrastructure to begin reconstitution and other required operations.

Figure 2-3. Notional Redeployment Assembly Area


A marshaling area is the geographic location where a unit assembles, holds, and organizes supplies and equipment for onward movement. Marshaling operations, in preparation for movement, may be conducted within assembly areas (AA/RAA) where real estate or other considerations prevent the designation of separate marshaling areas. Marshaling areas as part of reception activities are areas near air and sea ports of debarkation (APOD/SPOD) where units' personnel and equipment are married up and configured for normal operation, and to-accompany-troops (TAT) items are issued for further deployment to the staging area. During redeployments, marshaling areas are near APOEs and SPOEs where units' personnel and equipment are separated and the equipment is configured for shipment.

The call forward area (CFA) and the sterile area are two functional designations related to POE operations. A CFA is a special-purpose area in close proximity to, or within, a POE operations area, from which personnel and equipment are called forward to load. In the CFA, equipment and personnel are processed and organized, by specific types, for sequential loading aboard lift assets.

Sterile areas are holding areas for personnel and equipment after they process through the CFA. Personnel and equipment moved to sterile areas have completed final customs and agricultural inspections and are isolated until loaded aboard lift assets. Early redeployment planning is essential in austere environments and undeveloped POEs to ensure that adequate sterile areas are identified or prepared to meet the needs of the redeploying force. Hard pavement or industrial matting in sterile areas helps prevent bottlenecks in POE operations.


A staging area is a locality established for the concentration of large troop units and transient personnel to prepare for movements over lines of communication (LOCs). Assembled units moving to a destination may pass through a staging area established to provide support en route. Staging areas can be designated to change modes of transportation. Staging areas are located at key locations en route, established installations or bases, or within POE operations areas. An en route staging area is sometimes designated a theater staging base (TSB) when a stopover point is used in the redeployment routing. A TSB is established for a longer duration and for more complex support functions. It may have major CSS facilities and be an important transshipment facility where large numbers of equipment and personnel are moved through en route to their destination. Support organizations, such as an ASG, establish and operate staging areas to facilitate movement of units, personnel, and equipment. Once established, they are parts of the support infrastructure.

A port staging area is located within the POE operations area. This is an area used to process and hold personnel and equipment while they prepare for loading aboard lift assets. For more details on transit areas, see FM 55-10.


The redeployment plan designates the routing for redeploying units. There are several potential routing scenarios. The redeployment plan may require units to move from AAs directly to marshaling areas for loading at a POE. The plan could also require movement in several legs from assembly areas through a TSB or en route support locations.

The routing of units to their final destination depends upon several factors:

  • Availability of strategic lift assets.

  • Availability of theater transportation facilities and their throughput capacities.

  • Potential for hostile action.

  • Distance and geography between the unit location when it concludes operations and the POE.

  • Force size.

  • Available time.

  • Follow-on destination/mission.

However, in most cases a well-planned redeployment moves forces through assembly areas, TSBs, and marshaling areas with sufficient en route support to allow tactical commanders to focus on performing the actual movement of equipment and personnel. Several routing scenarios are depicted in Figure 2-4 and described below.


Some operations do not require a movement away from the area of operations prior to redeployment. Units may begin redeployment movements to a POE directly from the AA. This occurs where conditions are stabilized, security against hostile action is not a factor, and railheads, airports, or seaports are available within the AO. If adequate security exists, these facilities can be used to establish APOE, SPOEs, and railheads used for redeployment. Units can be called forward for direct processing through the POE. The most efficient movement operation normally results when units are assembled and marshaled within the tactical AO, and then loaded at a nearby POE.

Figure 2-4. Redeployment Routing


Units may need to move from the AA and further to the rear to complete preparations for redeployment. When units have completed actions required in the AA, they receive movement instructions and move to an RAA. This movement may be required when force security cannot be provided in the AA, when units must turn equipment in at another location beyond the AA, or when support capabilities exist further to the rear. When the RAA is close enough to the designated POE, units may be sequenced directly from the RAA into the POE marshaling area.


Intermediate staging is normally used when transshipment to another mode of transportation is required between the area of operations and the POE. Units may need to move through a TSB to transit geographical features unsuitable to their initial mode of transportation (for example, road convoy to ships/air/rail/barge). This more complex movement normally requires a final staging area to give units a location to reassemble and conduct cleaning and inspection of equipment in preparation for sequencing into the POE.


Force tracking involves gathering and maintaining information on the location, status, and predicted movement of each element of a unit, including the unit's command element, personnel, and unit-related supplies and equipment, while in transit. During redeployment, force tracking is required to ensure unit readiness. As the force is reconstituted for strategic movement, its effectiveness changes, and commanders must have the ability to track those changes. To the extent possible, unit integrity should be maintained throughout the redeployment process, and commanders must be able to determine the exact location of unit personnel, equipment, and materiel in case the redeploying unit or units have to be diverted to another mission.

Global Transportation Network (GTN) and Global Combat Support System (GCSS) will provide the information systems and decision support tools critical to tracking forces during redeployment. End-to-end force tracking is a particular module of the Global Command and Control System (GCCS), which is discussed more in Appendix A. Theater distribution managers will have visibility of theater assets as discussed in FM 100-10-1. The information systems discussed in Appendix A enhance the ability to track the force.

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