Information Papers

Prepare Soldiers for Success in Current Operations

Prepare is defined as readying Soldiers, units, and equipment to succeed in the current strategic and operational environments—especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. We continue to adapt institutional, individual, and collective training to enable Soldiers to succeed in combat and prevail against highly adaptive and intelligent adversaries. We are equally committed to ensuring Soldiers have the best available equipment to both protect them and maintain a technological advantage over their adversaries.

The Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) process manages and prepares a campaign quality and expeditionary Army for worldwide deployment. It is continuously modified to improve its efficiency, effectiveness, and predictability for Soldiers and their Families.

Military successes in the Global War on Terror (GWOT) are tied to how well we train and equip or Soldiers. Our Soldiers will continue to receive the best training and the best available equipment to succeed in the current operational environments.

Train Soldiers and Units. To accomplish the Army mission, our goal is to train Soldiers and units to conduct the full spectrum of operations as part of Joint, interagency, and multinational teams. This spectrum ranges from engaging with partners in peacetime to conducting high-intensity combat operations. To prepare Soldiers, leaders, and units for current operations, we have adapted our training for counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To better prepare Soldiers for combat, we have also increased the rigor of training new enlisted Soldiers and commissioned-officer candidates. For example, basic training for new Soldiers has been extended from nine to ten weeks with a greater emphasis on combat-proven individual tasks, and, prior to commissioning, officer candidates must demonstrate expertise in combat proven individual tasks.

The Army continues to invest in greater language proficiency and an increased appreciation, understanding, and respect for other cultures. In the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, language and cultural proficiency have proven to accelerate the process of building rapport with the populace and local security forces. Continued emphasis on increasing Soldier proficiency through training and education in these two areas will lay the foundation for improving our ability to successfully operate among populations in urban areas throughout the world.

In addition to enhancing the individual training of Soldiers and leaders, we are improving how we build the readiness of our units. Our Combined Arms Training Strategy is designed to provide trained and ready forces to meet the Combatant Commanders’ operational requirements. This strategy features activities throughout the training domains (individual, unit, and institutional) with particular emphasis on individual and unit training.

To increase the readiness of units for the rigors inherent in an era of persistent conflict, we continue to improve our Combat Training Center (CTC) Program. The Army’s CTCs provide Brigade Combat Teams and similarly sized units with mission rehearsal exercises prior to their deployment to areas of operation overseas. The scenarios used to train Brigade Combat Teams are derived from lessons learned, reconnaissance by leaders and trainers to Iraq and Afghanistan, and input and guidance from senior commanders currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Battle Command Training Program augments the training of Brigade Combat Teams at the CTCs through advanced simulation exercises while also serving as the primary training vehicle to prepare division and higher staffs their assigned missions.

Equip Soldiers for Current Operations. We are committed to providing our Soldiers the very best equipment available. Our desire to protect our Soldiers and to maintain a technological advantage over our enemies drives this commitment. Over the past six years the needs of our Soldiers in combat have energized private industry and led to the development and fielding of equipment much more rapidly than in the past.

An example of this is found in the Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI) which accelerates the fielding of commercial, off-the-shelf technologies to deliver state-of-the-art equipment to our Soldiers in record time. Examples of RFI products include the Advanced Combat Helmet that improves comfort and protection and the improved first aid kit which allows for better treatment of excessive bleeding.

The Rapid Equipping Force (REF) also partners with industry, academia, and military leaders to support our Soldiers’ equipping needs. It provides commercial-off-the-shelf and government-off-the-shelf solutions to increase effectiveness and reduce risk. Examples of REF products include the Quiet Pro hearing conservation and communication device, which supports a significant reduction of hearing loss, and the Rapid Deployment Integrated Surveillance System which provides continuous surveillance to minimize Soldiers’ exposure to threats in operational environments.

Procurement programs in this year’s budget will take advantage of advanced technology precursor technologies from the Future Combat Systems (FCS) programs, and will produce tanks, helicopters, upgraded High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, and other weapons and equipment for immediate use in combat.

The Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) Process. The ability to promptly deploy combined arms forces worldwide into any operational environment makes us expeditionary. The ability to sustain operations as long as necessary to conclude them makes us campaign-capable. The process allows us to create the readiness necessary to fulfill our goal of being a campaign-quality, expeditionary Army is the ARFORGEN process.

The ARFORGEN process involves a structured progression that increases unit readiness, over time, resulting in recurring periods of availability of trained, ready, and cohesive units. By 2011, the process will be based on a six-year cycle in which units proceed through three “pools” to build readiness and meet operational requirements. Currently, the force is focused on preparing for counterinsurgency operations, and readiness is being consumed as quickly as it is created.

To sustain global commitments in an era of persistent conflict, we will transition units through the following three pools: Reset and Train (recovering from deployments, rebuilding and recapitalizing equipment and other activities), Ready (eligible for deployment and exercises), and Available (immediately available for world-wide deployment). Within the process, the Army will sequence the following activities for both the active and reserve components:

By 2011, ARFORGEN will also achieve the following objectives:

Generate a predictable number of Brigade Combat Teams and supporting organizations for deployment
Surge additional Brigade Combat Teams, augmented by supporting organizations
Reduce uncertainty for Soldiers, Families, and the communities that support them

In our continuous effort to improve the ARFORGEN process, we will conduct a Reset pilot in FY08 involving units from both the active and reserve components. The Reset model will identify and apply institutional adjustments that are necessary in the Army’s Generating Force to rebuild unit readiness for future deployments within the timelines established by the ARFORGEN model.

With the continued support of the Secretary of Defense, the President, and the Congress, the Army will continue to ensure Soldiers are prepared to win in the current strategic and operational environments.

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