Information Papers

Expeditionary Capabilities

What is it?
The new strategic context of persistent conflict renders obsolete the old Army paradigm of “tiered readiness.” Expeditionary capability is the ability to promptly deploy combined-arms forces worldwide into any operational environment and operate effectively on arrival. The Army now requires units that are trained, equipped, organized, and postured for such rapid global deployment in response to the full spectrum of conflict. To achieve this, the Army is developing modular forces and a process of Army Force Generation to provide combatant commanders and civil authorities with rapidly deployable, employable, and sustainable force packages tailored to specific mission requirements.

What has the Army done?
Strategic responsiveness is enhanced by improving the ability to deploy rapidly to austere fighting environments, conduct full-spectrum operations on arrival, and sustain operations until victorious. Specific initiatives include the following:

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army is repositioning its ground forces to meet a unit rotation model that is synchronized to Army Force Generation processes. These efforts include Army support of base realignment and closure and global force posture efforts. We will station forces in the United States based on the critical factors of training resources and power projection. In Europe and the Pacific, we will maintain smaller forward-presence forces while stationing more agile and expeditionary forces to respond to contingencies. In the Middle East and elsewhere, we will maintain a rotational presence while eliminating many of our permanent bases.

Why is this important to the Army?
Army general-purpose forces are proving to be the primary military instrument to create favorable and enduring security conditions in crisis regions. Nevertheless, strategic and operational requirements compel the Army to reconcile forward presence, durability, and adaptability with expeditionary agility and responsiveness. Not only must the Army sustain decisive operations for as long as necessary to allow for politically favorable resolution, Army forces must be prepared to adapt across the range of military operations and against adaptive adversaries. Modernization, modularity, and basing initiatives are creating adaptable Army expeditionary capabilities to support the National Security Strategy requirements.