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Globally, Soldiers offer tangible reassurance to our allies, build trust and confidence, promote regional stability, encourage democratic institutions, and deter conflict. Nothing speaks to the values of America more than Soldiers on the ground providing comfort, aid, and stability at home and abroad. The Army, as part of a joint military team, provides a wide range of options to our leaders and commanders. As we have seen, in today's world we cannot win without the human dimension on the battleground. Whether it be gathering intelligence, challenging an adversary's ability to conceal and seek cover, or protecting innocent civilians, the American Soldier remains the ultimate precision weapon during combat operations, particularly when legitimate targets are interspersed among non-combatants. In the final analysis, it is the Soldier on the ground who demonstrates the resilience of American commitment and provides the needed flexibility to decisively defeat our adversaries.

Since October 2001, Army conventional and special operations forces, as part of the joint force, have participated in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in the Afghanistan theater of operations. The range of their capabilities was extensive. These highly trained Soldiers worked with local forces to forge a powerful alliance. They designated targets for air strikes, secured airfields, and performed reconnaissance and security missions that facilitated the safe introduction of follow-on forces. Supporting the war effort, they provide security to joint forces, critical facilities, and supply lines, and they receive and prepare both combat and humanitarian supplies for air delivery to Afghanistan. Currently, more than 12,000 Soldiers are deployedfrom Egypt to Pakistan, from Kenya to Kazakhstan. And although hostilities in Afghanistan are shifting focus, requirements for ground forces are growingthey are assuring regional stability in Afghanistan, directing humanitarian assistance and relief operations, securing detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and deploying to the Philippines.

At home, The Army continues its long tradition of support to homeland security. Even before 11 September 2001, The Army had 10 trained and certified Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams ready to assist civil authorities and had trained 28,000 civilian first responders in 105 cities. Since the attacks, we have mobilized over 25,000 Army National Guard (ARNG) and United States Army Reserve (USAR) Soldiers for federal service here and overseas. Nearly 11,000 Soldiers are on state-controlled duty securing airports, seaports, reservoirs, power plants, the Nation's capital region, and serving at "ground zero" in New York City alongside the United States (U.S) Army Corps of Engineers. To increase protection for our citizens and reduce vulnerability, we accelerated the safe destruction of the U.S. stockpile of lethal chemical agent and munitions while combating the proliferation of chemical weapons. And continuing a commitment to civil authorities, nearly 500 Soldiers worked Super Bowl XXXVI, and over 5,000 Soldiers are helping ensure the security of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

But, fighting the global war on terrorism in no way diminishes the requirements placed on The Army for support to missions and operations around the worldindeed, it expands it. While The Army remains engaged at home, it is prudently taking action for follow-on operations around the world, to include mobilizing some 2,000 ARNG Soldiers to augment our missions in the European theater. In fact, The Armyactive, ARNG, and USARhas over 124,000 Soldiers and 38,000 civilians stationed in 110 countries. Additionally, on any given day last year some 27,000 Soldiers were deployed to 60 countries for operations and training missions. And it is easy to forget that our Soldiers have been on the ground conducting peacekeeping missions in the Balkans for six years, in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for eleven years, and in the Sinai for nineteen years. Our Soldiers have been in Korea and Europe for over 50 years, assuring their peace and stability while, at the same time, providing the Nation with a rapid deployment capability to areas near those theaters of operations, as needed.


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