Executive Summary

Soldiers are serving today in one of the most dangerous periods in our history.  They are making enormous contributions and sacrifices at the forefront of the Global War on Terror.  Their “boots on the ground” have enabled historic elections in Afghanistan and Iraq and will be required for democratic institutions to take hold.  Operating as part of the Joint Team, our Soldiers are preventing attacks on the Nation, responding to natural disasters at home and abroad, helping to secure our borders, and underwriting our nation’s commitment to defend its interests. 

In light of the growing threats to the Nation posed by states and non-state movements and organizations, the environment in which our Soldiers will operate will remain extraordinarily dangerous for the foreseeable future.  Our mission within this environment will remain largely unchanged.  The Army, as a vital ground component of the Joint Team, will be required to conduct prompt, sustained combat and stability operations.  We will continue to provide the forces and capabilities to the Combatant Commanders needed to sustain the full range of U.S. global commitments in the face of growing challenges.

As U.S. ground forces have demonstrated so vividly since 9-11, the ability to operate in the “human dimension” – to directly confront, to defeat, or to otherwise influence our adversaries can only be provided by putting “boots on the ground.”  Ground forces will play a central role in countering the spread of radical ideologies, influencing people, and bringing order and stability to troubled areas worldwide.  This capability will become increasingly important for the Nation and its friends, allies, and coalition partners. 

To prepare our Soldiers for the challenges they will face today and tomorrow, and to sustain anticipated levels of demand for Army forces which far exceed deployments to current theaters of operation, we seek to accelerate critical aspects of our transformation. 

Recent decisions to expand the size of the Armed Forces – specifically our ground forces – reflect clear recognition on the part of the President, the Congress, and the Secretary of Defense of the dangers we face, the importance of our mission, and the increasing level of stress our Soldiers and families are weathering as a result of unprecedented levels of strategic demand over the past five years.

This recognition must be matched by commensurate levels of national commitment that result in timely, adequate, and predictable resourcing and support.  These resources are required to sustain the capacity to wage war and to transform – to build our force in a balanced, coordinated fashion, while providing adequately for the needs of our All-Volunteer Soldiers and their families, across our active and reserve components.

The purpose for our expansion is to build readiness for current and future challenges.  We know from our national experience  that this is a time consuming process – that depends not only on manning and equipping, but also on training and caring for our people.  Likewise, our capacity to grow military forces depends on our capacity to grow and maintain the infrastructure needed to train and sustain these forces.

As we move to expand the size of our force, we will adhere to the four key ideas which have guided our transformation in recent years:

With help from the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Congress – through base and supplemental appropriations – we have addressed many of our equipment shortfalls.  Supplemental appropriations, however, have not enabled the Army to “get well,” as they are intended to pay for the costs of war, principally through the purchase of consumable supplies and the replacement of battle losses.  Even with full resourcing, we would still have much to accomplish to mitigate risk as currently assessed by the Department of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Our need to build readiness to sustain the current mission, to remain relevant and ready to meet future challenges, and to maintain risk at acceptable wartime levels, translates into a set of core objectives which the Army must achieve:

Our transformation will be reinforced by an Army-wide readiness model to support expeditionary, rotational deployment.  This system is designed to:  improve the readiness of our non-deployed forces across all components; reduce stress on Soldiers, families, and equipment; improve predictability for employers of reserve component Soldiers; end the need to extend deployments to provide active component Soldiers at least one year at home before redeploying them; and manage the force to achieve our goal of one year deployed with two years at home station for these Soldiers. 

This system requires recurrent, assured, and predictable access to our reserve component units who – because of strategic decisions and operational necessity – have become a vital part of our deployable force pool.

Our capability to meet current force requirements and to grow our forces, depends on adhering to an extremely complex, intricate schedule to realign our entire global infrastructure of bases, depots, arsenals, and other facilities.  Our ability to remain on schedule depends on timely execution of a diverse range of military construction projects and supporting activities (e.g., environmental assessment studies and remediation projects).  Timely passage of military construction appropriations is needed to stay on schedule and to prevent the effects of delays from cascading into other areas of Army activity that put at risk our ability to accomplish our mission – to provide trained, ready forces to meet the Combatant Commanders’ needs.

The resources provided in 2007 and 2008, through base and supplemental appropriations, are needed to enable the Army to adhere to the schedule established by law, and to sustain our All-Volunteer Soldiers and their families, now bearing the stress of more than five years of war.

This remains a pivotal time for the Army.  We will continue worldwide operations to support the war on terror and to sustain the full range of our global commitments.  At the same time, we will maintain our focus on transforming the force, our global infrastructure, and our supporting business processes.  Four overarching, interrelated strategies form the core of our plan – which we call The Army Plan.  This plan is enabling us to accomplish our mission today and to realize our vision over time:  to remain the preeminent landpower on Earth – the ultimate instrument of national resolve – that is both relevant to, and ready for, the challenges of the dangerous, complex 21st Century security environment. 

Our strategies are summarized in Figure 1.  Our compelling needs – expressed in terms of the resources and support we require to execute these strategies -- are summarized in Figure 2.

These strategies are driving change at an unprecedented pace.  We are making enormous progress in “shifting the weight” of our intellectual and organizational focus from traditional challenges to be better prepared for irregular, disruptive, and catastrophic challenges. 

We are developing a broad set of capabilities to deal with, and quickly adapt to, the full spectrum of challenges we will face.  Our forces are becoming more powerful, more flexible, and more deployable.  We are improving our ability to operate with our joint and coalition partners.  We are also working, while at war, to relieve stress on our Soldiers, families, and Army Civilians to sustain the viability of our All-Volunteer force – which is perhaps our greatest strategic challenge. 

The resources and support provided to the Army in 2007, 2008, and beyond will enable us to maintain the momentum of key programs and to accelerate critical aspects of our transformation.  Moreover, this funding will determine our ability to continue to accomplish our mission, to complete the shifting of our weight, and to prepare our Soldiers to deal with the challenges they will face today and tomorrow.

 

 

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