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Active Component / Reserve Component (AC/RC) Rebalance

What is it?
The AC/RC Rebalance Initiative is an incremental, ongoing, and evolving process designed to accelerate the transformation of a post-Cold War Army into a force capable of effectively addressing fighting requirements in the new strategic environment. 

The Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) has emphasized reducing the impact on the RC structure. Therefore this initiative has become an integral part of force management in aligning resources across all three components. The Army is also addressing the imbalance of its key force multiplier capabilities by creating a balanced AC/RC structure in organizations that deploy and sustain the force. This includes the ability to expand certain activities through commercial contracting to ease over reliance on RC assets, provide surge ability for contingency operations, and maintain routine peacetime operations at strategic nodes and power generation platforms.

What has the Army done?
The major tenets of the rebalance initiative include:

  • Increasing capabilities to relieve stress on units with persistent shortfalls.
  • Eliminating demand for RC forces during the initial phase of an operational deployment.
  • Rebalancing structure to maximize readiness and rotational availability while preserving homeland defense and homeland security capabilities.

The Army began addressing AC/RC Rebalance in the Program Objective Memorandum (POM) 2004-2009 with adjustments of approximately 25,000 spaces to restructure the force in a post-9/11 security posture. Following the SECDEF’s guidance in July 2003, the Army rebalanced an additional 10,000 spaces of structure to reduce RC mobilization and reliance on RC capabilities in the initial phase of an operational deployment. Concurrent implementation of the Chief of Staff of the Army focus areas affected change in more than 90,000 spaces of structure to include the elimination of AC units at authorized levels of organization at less than 100 percent; the reduction of persistent shortfall units in the AC; and elimination of excess structure, and establishment of individual accounts in the RC. For FY03-11 the Army had programmed for more than 125,000 spaces of change. In FY06, the Army incorporated Office of the Secretary of Defense Guidance on reporting skill set rebalance and the elimination of excess structure in the RC. By the close of FY07, the Army had completed the rebalance on more than 53,564 spaces of structure.

What continued efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?
With the rebalancing efforts that resulted from decisions made in Quadrennial Defense Review 2006 and the Grow the Army Plan, the Army has moved into a new phase of the AC/RC Rebalance Initiative. In FY08-13, the Army is programmed to rebalance an additional 88,712 spaces bringing the Army total to 142,276 spaces.

In the Total Army Analysis cycle supporting POM 2010-2015, the force structure balance will continue to adjust to address force capabilities required by the Army Force Generation process, to support the SECDEFs mobilization and rotation policy, to relieve stress on persistent shortfalls, and to eliminate the reliance on RC capabilities in the initial days of an operational deployment.

Why is this important to the Army?
As the Army continues to transform the RC into an operational reserve, this initiative will ensure capabilities are balanced in accordance with SECDEF guidance while meeting combatant commander requirements.

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