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Campaign-Capable Force

What is it?
A Campaign-Capable Expeditionary Force is versatile, expeditionary, agile, lethal, sustainable, and interoperable. It possesses both expeditionary and campaign capabilities. Army Field Manual (FM) 3-0, Operations, defines expeditionary capability as, "the ability to promptly deploy combined arms forces worldwide into any operational environment and operate effectively upon arrival." In addition, FM 3-0 defines campaign capable as, "the ability to sustain operations as long as necessary to conclude operations successfully." A Campaign-Capable Expeditionary Force responds rapidly to the requirements of the Joint commander and moves quickly, commencing operations immediately upon arrival in a given theater of operation and possesses enough sustainment capability to see through operations until the termination of the conflict.

What has the Army done?
Our Army – Active, Guard, and Reserve – is the leader in providing the Combatant Commanders with required capabilities and is fully engaged in Iraq, Afghanistan, defending the homeland, and providing support to civil authorities during domestic emergencies. Simultaneously, our Army continues to transform to improve the capabilities of Soldiers and the Joint Force to meet the challenges of the new security environment characterized by continuous full spectrum operations (offense, defense, and stability or civil support) in persistent conflict against complex, adaptive enemies at home or abroad. The Army has taken the following steps to transform to a Campaign-Capable Expeditionary Force since September 11, 2001:

  • Establishing common organizational designs for Heavy, Infantry, and Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), functional, multifunctional support brigades, and operational headquarters. These common designs facilitate Joint and combined planning and the rotation of forces to sustain operations. In 2003, the Army had 33 maneuver brigades. Since then, the Army has converted 29 to BCTs, activated 9 BCTs, and is in the process of converting 2 BCTs, with 3 brigades still configured under legacy design, for a total of 43 BCTs today. Four more BCTs were planned to be activated by the end of 2012 as part of the Grow the Army plan bringing the total number of Active Component (AC) BCTs to 48. Because of recent budget decisions to maintain the AC at 45 BCTs, the final growth may be used to build other force capabilities. The Army is in the process of determining which of the 48 previously planned AC BCTs will ensure the optimal mix for the final 45 AC BCTs to enable the Army to provide a forces to the Joint commander while sustaining the All-Volunteer Force.
  • Instituting the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) process, a cyclical readiness process that provides a steady flow of trained and ready units to combatant commanders and civil authorities. The ARFORGEN transitions the Army from a tiered readiness concept to a cyclical readiness concept while simultaneously providing a sustainable force to the Joint commander and greater predictability for units and Soldiers.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army will continue to execute modular conversion and implement ARFORGEN to build forces capable of operating effectively with Joint, interagency, and multinational partners. In September 2007, the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) approved the Chief of Staff of the Army initiative to accelerate by the end of FY10 the end strength growth of the Active Component to 547,400 and ARNG to 358,200 while accelerating the growth of the additional BCTs in the Active Component to complete BCT growth and begin to restore balance in the force by September 30, 2011. Additionally, the U.S. Army Reserve is working an initiative to accelerate growth to 206,000 by FY10.

The plan, revised by the FY10 budget decisions, builds toward a total of 73 BCTs and approximately 227 support brigades with enabling combat support and combat service support structures to improve the balance of forces across all three components and better meet the Global Force Demand in an era of persistent conflict. This decision to expand the size of the Army reflects the clear recognition by the President, the SECDEF, and the Congress of the importance of Joint ground forces to meet strategic requirements and the need to reduce stress on Soldiers and Families related to the increasing and enduring operational demands.

Why is this important to the Army?
Having a Campaign-Capable Expeditionary Force is vital to meeting the demands of today�s environment of persistent conflict. For the foreseeable future, the Army will be required to sustain some level of continuous operations in that environment. The preeminent challenge is to balance expeditionary agility and responsiveness with the endurance and adaptability needed to complete a campaign successfully, no matter what form it takes. To do this, and to maintain the capability to win decisively in any future challenge, the Army must have the strategic depth and staying power to conduct sustained operations on land for as long as the Nation requires.

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