Soldiers are making enormous contributions and sacrifices while serving at the forefront of a long struggle of continuous, evolving conflict. Their presence has enabled historic elections in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is setting the conditions for democratic institutions to take hold. Our Soldiers are also preventing attacks on our Nation and responding to natural disasters at home and abroad, while sustaining the full range of America’s global commitments. At the same time, to be ready for the challenges we face today and tomorrow, we are accelerating our plan to transform and modernize.
We are executing The Army Plan to accomplish our mission and to realize our vision: to remain the preeminent landpower on Earth – the ultimate instrument of national resolve – that is both ready to meet and relevant to the challenges of the dangerous and complex 21st century security environment. Our plan consists of four overarching, interrelated strategies (Figure 1).
This fully integrated plan is driving change at an unprecedented pace. We are becoming a more powerful, more flexible, and more deployable force with a broad set of capabilities to deal with the full spectrum of challenges we will face. Our improvements will enable our Soldiers to sustain the full range of global commitments which extend beyond today’s current theaters of war. We are improving our ability to operate with joint and coalition partners and to perform nontraditional operations. We are also developing better ways to manage increasing demands for forces and relieve stress on Soldiers, their families, and civilian workers to sustain our All-Volunteer force.
Four key ideas underpin our planning:
- First, we remain committed to producing units that are ready for the challenges they will face and to overcoming years of underfunding prior to the events of 9-11. We have received unprecedented support to “buy back” much needed capability. We cannot, however, fool ourselves by maintaining large numbers of forces on paper that, in reality, lack the people, equipment, training, and support needed to accomplish the missions that they will be assigned. We are determined to support our Soldiers and their families with an improved quality of life that matches the high quality of service they perform for America.
- Second, we recognize that intellectual change precedes physical change. For this reason, we are developing qualities in our leaders, our people, and our forces to enable them to respond effectively to what they will face. We describe the leaders we are creating as “pentathletes,” whose versatility and athleticism – qualities that reflect the essence of our Army – will enable them to learn and adapt in ambiguous situations in a constantly evolving environment. We have undertaken a major review of how we train, educate, assign, and develop our military and civilian leaders to ensure that our Soldiers are well-led and well-supported as they deal with complexity and uncertainty for the foreseeable future.
- Third, reinforced by the American military experience of the 20th century, we believe that our Soldiers’ effectiveness depends upon a national commitment to recruit, train, and support them properly. This commitment must be underwritten by consistent investment in their equipment and infrastructure. We remain acutely aware of fiscal constraints; however, our duty to do what is right for our Soldiers, their families, and the Nation remains firm and unwavering.
- Fourth, we remember our position at the start of the long struggle in which we are engaged. After years of insufficient modernization investments, many of our units were underequipped and not immediately ready for deployment, especially in our reserve units. To meet Combatant Commanders’ wartime needs, we pooled equipment from across the force to equip those Soldiers deploying into harm’s way. This increased risk in other capabilities, as seen in the Army National Guard during our national response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. With help from the President, the Congress, and the Department of Defense through supplemental appropriations, we have addressed many of our equipment shortfalls. We still have much to accomplish to ensure force readiness and to mitigate risk.
To sustain the current mission, posture for future commitments, and maintain risk at acceptable wartime levels, the Army needs:
- Full funding of the Army request in the 2007 President’s Budget and special consideration, in light of wartime demands, for avoiding any reductions to the Army’s budget and program. In addition, supplemental funding is required for combat and contingency operations and to continue to reset, repair, recapitalize, and replace battle losses of equipment for several years beyond major deployments. Supplemental funding is needed to overcome the stress on equipment resulting from sustained combat operations in harsh environments. These resources will ensure that the Army is fully manned, trained, and equipped to achieve victory in the war on terrorism. These resources will also enable the Army to maintain the momentum of key programs, while accelerating transformation.
- Funding to increase Army capabilities and overall capacity as well as support for the legislative authorities and programs needed to assure access to our reserve components – who, by necessity, have become an operational vice a strategic reserve. We must achieve a proper balance of capabilities and skills among our active and reserve forces and continue to build high-quality units to increase capability and ease the strain on our deployed Soldiers.
- Support and funding to achieve critical recruiting and retention goals needed to grow operational forces. Meeting these goals for our active and reserve Soldiers sustains the quality and effectiveness of our All-Volunteer force.
- Funding for the Future Combat Systems (FCS) program – to enhance current force capabilities today with “spin outs” of available technology – and accelerate more than 300 other modernization programs. Our most critical investment program, FCS will be the Army’s first major modernization in over 30 years and will better prepare and protect Soldiers for current and future threats. These capabilities will directly benefit our active and reserve components, all U.S. ground forces, and our allies that support ground campaigns.
- Full funding to maintain momentum in building a rotational pool of 70 Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) and more than 200 modular Support Brigades and headquarters. Already well under way, our transformation to become a fully modular force is preparing our Soldiers to conduct sustained operations of the type we see today. In addition, our transformation is increasing the depth and breadth of our capabilities to prepare our Soldiers for tomorrow’s challenges, particularly as we evolve to maintain overseas presence with rotational units.
- Full funding for Army installations and support to execute a carefully synchronized plan to achieve a new global basing posture, while fulfilling the requirements of the National Military Strategy. This plan will make full use of the resources currently apportioned and projected to be recouped through consolidation and closings. Unanticipated costs associated with environmental remediation, renovation, construction, and other areas, may require additional resources in future years (a situation that will require continuous reevaluation). Full funding and continued support for Army installations and quality-of-life programs is required to sustain the All-Volunteer force, now being tested for the first time in a prolonged war.
- Support for funding and authorities for Army Business Transformation initiatives to achieve targeted efficiencies through management reform, Institutional Army adaptation, and reengineered business practices. These initiatives will free human and financial resources for more compelling operational needs and accelerate other aspects of our transformation.
A complete, detailed list of our Compelling Needs for 2007 is provided in Figure 2.
2007 will be a pivotal year for the Army. We will continue to conduct operations while transforming the force, its global infrastructure, and all of our supporting business processes. The resources provided to the Army in 2007 and beyond will enable the Army to maintain the momentum of key programs, while accelerating aspects of our transformation. Moreover, this funding will determine our ability to continue to accomplish our mission and to be postured to meet future commitments.