Information Papers

Transform to Meet the Demands of the 21st Century

Transformation is defined as the continuous and holistic evolution of Army capabilities over time from the current to the future force. Transformation supports our ability to provide and sustain dominant, full spectrum landpower for Combatant Commanders. Transformation also improves our ability to support Soldiers, Families, and Civilians. The goal of transformation is to provide strategically responsive landpower that can achieve decisive outcomes across the spectrum of conflict from peacekeeping to war fighting, with an inherent ability to adapt to unpredictable changes in the context and character of the conflict and the ability to sustain operations for as long as necessary to achieve our Nation’s strategic objectives.

The six dimensions to Army transformation include:

Grow the Army. The size of the Army is insufficient to meet the challenges our Nation faces. We must grow the Army to ensure the supply of forces is sufficient to sustain current and anticipated strategic demands. To better meet these challenges and provide and sustain sufficient forces for the full range and duration of current operations and future contingencies, the Army will grow by 74,000 Soldiers over the next few years with a goal of 76 brigade combat teams by 2011. We will achieve this as quickly as possible to help build strategic depth and balance our force by increasing capacity and reducing the level of stress on the force. With this growth, we must ensure we have the proper resources to equip and train our new Soldiers and units.

Modernize the Army. We must continue to modernize our forces to provide our Soldiers with a decisive advantage. Modernization is the equipping dimension of transformation and applies to the current and the future force. It ensures that our Soldiers have the best equipment available, fielded as rapidly as possible to meet Combatant Commanders’ needs, thereby enabling us to remain the world’s dominant landpower. Our goal is an agile, globally responsive Army composed of modular units enhanced by modern networks, intelligence and surveillance sensors, precision weapons and munitions, and platforms that are lighter, more survivable and reliable, less logistics-dependent, and less manpower-intensive so we can operate more effectively across the spectrum of conflict with joint and coalition partners.

Modernization provides the materiel solutions to help ensure a current force capable of meeting near-term operational challenges and continuing development of a future force with the enhanced capabilities necessary to shape and respond to the complex security environment of the future. In this era of persistent conflict, continuous modernization is required to stay ahead of adaptive and innovative enemies.

Consistent investment in current and future readiness supports four elements of modernization:

The Rapid Equipping Force and the Rapid Fielding Initiative remain important means of better equipping and protecting our Soldiers engaged in the current fight. Additionally, the Army is continuing the vital work of upgrading critical systems and fleets of vehicles, including: armored systems, tactical wheeled vehicles, aviation, the Patriot missile, and communication and data networks.

At the forefront of Army transformation is the FCS program. Our top modernization priority, FCS will enable us to counter the 21st Century’s full range of threats and ensure Soldiers always have the tactical and operational advantage over our adversaries. FCS will extend the reach of Soldiers and leaders through new manned and unmanned air and ground vehicles that are interconnected by a robust network.

Enabling Soldiers and leaders, giving them every possible advantage in accomplishing their mission, is the reason for FCS. It is appropriate that Soldiers and leaders are playing critical roles in developing and evaluating FCS-related technologies as part of the Army Evaluation Task Force (AETF) established in 2007. The AETF demonstrates the Army’s commitment to FCS by dedicating a brigade-sized unit during a time of war, manned mainly by combat veterans, to evaluate FCS capabilities and develop complete packages of doctrine, organization, and training materials. The AETF allows the Army to integrate and field the enablers of technology and training superiority as capability packages and not just equipment.

Our investments in FCS are benefiting Soldiers now and will increase in the future as we “spin out” technologies as soon as practical. New light-weight armor known as “frag kits” and small unmanned aircraft and robots in Iraq today stem from FCS research. With “spin-outs” we are strengthening our current forces and working to stay ahead of adversaries who are constantly adapting their tactics and methods. The first of these spin-outs arrived at AETF in October 2007 as part of an extensive test and evaluation effort. Spin-out 1 provides Soldiers with better network connectivity, sensors for better protection and improved lethality, and new precision fire capabilities. These technologies will significantly increase the breadth and distance that Soldiers can influence and control.

The second and third spin-outs are on track for 2010 and 2012 include unmanned ground and air systems. These new technologies will protect Soldiers on high-risk missions in complex urban terrain-like buildings and tunnels. Persistent surveillance technologies will improve our ability to detect, track, designate, and engage fleeting targets with less harm to civilians or infrastructure. Our communications will extend over greater ranges than today and the FCS integrated, distributed network will help leaders to rapidly leverage intelligence to quickly make informed decisions and respond with precision across greater distances in urban terrain and in other complex environments. The first of 15 FCS brigades is scheduled to be fielded in FY15.

Capabilities provided by FCS will directly benefit all other U.S. ground forces, including the Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces. In short, FCS represents the essence of Army modernization by connecting, protecting, and projecting Soldiers. We will connect Soldiers with each other and the rest of the Joint Force with a robust network that ties units to platforms to individual Soldiers and enables situational awareness for each level of the fight. FCS provides protection for units and individual mounted and dismounted Soldiers across the spectrum of conflict. When engaged in conflicts like today in Iraq and Afghanistan, these same Soldiers can effectively protect non-combatants, improving the goodwill of the populace and thus improving security. Finally, FCS means we can more rapidly project Soldiers with advance manned vehicles across strategic distances, regionally, and locally, getting them where needed to provide a deterrent capability, to fight and win, or to engage in everything from security cooperation efforts to homeland security and civil support in response to disasters.

Change the Organization. The Army is implementing the most significant organizational change we have experienced since World War II. This critical dimension of transformation involves adapting the structure and design of the force for improved capabilities to meet current and future strategic and operational demands. Our goal is a more versatile, lethal, flexible, deployable, and sustainable force that better addresses the full range of complex challenges of the future. We are accomplishing this by converting our units into modular formations and rebalancing our force to better meet future demands.

The Army’s modular force conversion entails reorganizing the operational Army into modular theater armies, theater support structures, corps and division headquarters, brigade combat teams, and multifunctional and functional support brigades standardized for the active and reserve components. The Army is reorganizing from a division-based force to one based on modular brigades to achieve three primary goals: a greater number of available brigade combat teams to meet operational requirements; consistency in the organization of brigade-size combat support and combat service support formations; and redesign organizations for seamless integration into Joint Force, making them more effective across a range of military operations and enhancing their ability to contribute to Joint, interagency, and multinational efforts.

The Army’s overall transformation plan is on track to achieve a combined total of 76 modular brigade combat teams (48 in the active component and 28 in the Army National Guard) and approximately 227 support brigades. With the support of the Congress, in 2007 the Army completed the conversion of 44 brigades in the active and reserve components. This includes 16 brigade combat teams, 13 multifunctional brigades, and 15 functional brigades. Completing the process of converting to a modular force is critical to building the campaign-quality, expeditionary Army our Nation requires.

A key part of Army Transformation is transforming intelligence. This initiative is greatly expanding the full-spectrum capabilities of the modularized brigades. The Army is more than doubling the size of battalion intelligence staffs and tripling the intelligence capacity of brigade combat teams while creating new organizations with significant capabilities to develop actionable intelligence.

As the Army converts to improve its full-spectrum capabilities, its logistics capability is similarly transforming. In 2007 we deployed for the first time all elements of the end-to-end modular logistics capabilities into a theater of war, representing a multidimensional transformation of sustainment for an expeditionary Army at war. The activations and conversions of logistics units to modular support brigades and theater level commands and centers provide effective and efficient end to end joint and expeditionary logistics capabilities in support of a campaign quality Army for both Army and Joint Force commanders.

The second component of organizational change is rebalancing the force. We are moving away from the Cold War model that focused on mid- to-high intensity combat, and are ensuring our Soldiers and units have the right mix of skills based on the demands of the current and future environment. We can no longer afford to optimize by functional capability within components, such as having 72 percent of combat service support within the Army Reserve, we must balance capabilities so as not to place an undue burden on any one component of the force. Part of this rebalancing involves shifting high demand forces into the active component to reduce demand on the reserve components to a more sustainable level.

Change the Institution. Most of our effort in recent years has focused on transforming our operational force. We need institutional change to adapt processes, policies, and procedures in Army institutions to more effectively and efficiently support an expeditionary Army during an era of persistent conflict. Army transformation cannot be cemented until the institutional systems– personnel, education, training, health care, procurement and others—are adapted to meet the realities of our current and future environments. Our goal is to transform Army institutions to better support the ARFORGEN process to accomplish the full range of Army missions.

The Army’s business transformation initiative is a critical part of successfully implementing institutional change. The Army is continuing to aggressively transform its business methods and culture to apply the best practices in civilian industry. To this end, we have adopted Lean Six Sigma as a methodology of proven efficiency in achieving high levels of continuous, measurable improvement in business processes and functions. Additionally, we are working to establish an enterprise-wide cost management culture in which leaders better understand the full cost of the capabilities they provide and incorporate cost considerations in their planning and decision-making processes.

Institutional change also involves a continuing commitment to transform our installations’ capabilities and services to better meet the needs of an expeditionary Army, including full support of Soldiers, Families, and Civilians. Army installations are being transformed to support a number of initiatives and programs, including:

Transform the Reserve Components. We must continue to transition the Reserve Components from a strategic reserve to an operational reserve, employed cyclically to add depth to the active force. Over the past six years the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve have been critical to the Army’s success as fully integrated and essential parts of the forces that have been conducting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time, Reserve Components have conducted other missions across the spectrum of operations, both at home and abroad. To regain balance while continuing to meet the operational demands of an era of persistent conflict, the Army must regain strategic depth through the continued transformation of the Reserve Components. Our goal is Reserve Components that are predictably accessible, manned, equipped, trained, and organized to serve as an effective part of the Joint Force within the framework of ARFORGEN, while preserving the concept of service as a “Citizen Soldier.”

Develop Agile and Adaptive Leaders. The final dimension of Army transformation is the requirement to develop agile and adaptive leaders. The Army must prepare leaders to competently and confidently conduct operations in an era of persistent conflict as part of a joint, multinational, interagency effort. The Army’s new leader development program is designed to “grow” Army leaders for the 21st century who are multi-skilled and better prepared to operate in a complex, constantly changing, and challenging environment. To achieve this, we are transforming the way we prepare our noncommissioned officers, warrant officers, officers, and Civilian leaders. We are developing education systems and opportunities that will develop our leaders’ critical and creative thinking skills, cultural awareness, and intellectual agility.

The evolving international security environment since Sept. 11, 2001 and the corresponding changes to the national security and defense strategies make it imperative we accelerate Army transformation in order to improve the capabilities of Soldiers across the spectrum of conflict. This transformation is essential to the Army’s ability to regain balance.

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