I Corps Exercises
I Corps participates in joint exercise Cobra Gold in Thailand, and conducts a bilateral exercise in Japan every January. It also participates in two exercises in Korea; Foal Eagle and Ulchi Focus Lens. I Corps sent a unit to Exercise Rainbow Serpent in Australia. I Corps supported Joint Task Force 6 in Texas with engineer units on two occasions. It has provided engineer units to road construction projects in Alaska and New Mexico, and sent a military police company to provide force protection to other U.S. Army units in Panama for six months. I Corps provided soldiers for Operation Desert Victory, Exercise Northern Edge, Joint Task Forces in Honduras and El Salvador, United Nations observer missions in Africa, the U.S. Support Group in Haiti, and in support of the U.S. Customs Service.
In 1997, I Corps had serious problems in readiness. There was a crippling shortages in infantrymen, with as many as 19 of 54 rifle squads totally unmanned, and a lesser number partially manned. The shortage was in the MOS 11B10: skill level one, privates or riflemen. The shortage carried over to 11M, the Bradley or mechanized Infantryman to the extent that a number of Bradley Fighting Vehicles sat unmanned. Anti-tank sections in the light infantry were virtually non-existent. In the fall of 1998, the shortage of infantrymen had been fixed, but I Corps was predicting a shortfall of training dollars for 1999 such that the heavy maneuver brigade would be C3 or have significant readiness shortfalls by March or April. That picture was based on the bleak money forecasted for Fort Lewis in FY99.
Despite above 90% overall levels of fill, in 1999 units experienced shortfalls in low-density or specialty skill MOS's. (e.g., 63B Light-wheel vehicle mechanic, 80% aggregate; 95B Military Police, 86% aggregate; 31 series MOS Communications speciality, 83 % aggregate). Shortages of key sergeants or enlisted personnel in supply, maintenance, communications, or others, meant that these areas do not pull their own weight; rather they burden the unit with inefficiencies and take an inordinate amount of leader time and focus away from mainstream activities.
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