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Equipping the Reserve Components (RC)

What is it?
The Department of Defense Directive (DoDD) 1200.17 directed that the RC become an 'operational reserve' instead of the 'strategic reserve' mission it currently fills. An operational reserve provides assured and predictable activations that contribute to the Army's full spectrum operations. The RC is equipped in accordance to an Army-wide, integrated equipping strategy that ensures that Active Component (AC) and RC units are equipped to the same level of organization (modular) and modernization to fulfill expected missions.

What is the Army doing?
The Army has implemented an Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) process to meet the challenges of persistent global conflict and the need for rapidly rotating units and capabilities. This change moves the Army's equipping strategy from a "tiered readiness" paradigm to a new strategy of "cyclic readiness" providing increased readiness over time through a unit's preparation for deployment. Upon return, units experience reduced readiness as the unit "resets" after its deployment. Under ARFORGEN goals, the RC rotates units for a one-year mobilization with four years in reset and/or preparation. Many units, both AC and RC, are currently rotating on cycles shorter than these ARFORGEN goals.

The goal is to equip the RC at a level that keeps it ready for the Title 32 homeland defense/homeland security (HLD/HLS) and Defense Support to Civilian Authorities (DSCA) missions. The equipment required for these missions is a sub-set of a unit's full equipment requirement, and the Army strives to ensure RC units have sufficient quantities of equipment available to be effective in support of their DSCA and HLD/HLS missions or mitigates shortfalls through contingency planning and mutual support agreements. For other organizational equipment not related to Title 32 responsibilities, units may begin their four-year preparation period at low levels of equipment fill, but for the next three years they will build capability so that the unit is equipped effectively to train assigned Soldiers prior to mobilization. The Army then coordinates for pre-deployment training equipment and theater provided equipment (upon arrival in theater) to ensure that the unit has everything it needs to train post-mobilization and that it is fully equipped and ready to meet its mission requirements once deployed.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army will continue to ensure that the RC deploys with the equipment it needs for the mission it is assigned. Additionally, the Army is working closely with the RC to provide more predictability and consistency in equipment fielding. The Chief of Staff of the Army's initiative, Operationalize the Reserve Component, will integrate the RC and AC further and provide additional guidance and metrics on how best to equip the RC.

Why is this important to the Army?
The Army must maintain a trained and fully equipped operational reserve to add depth, flexibility, and more options to combatant commanders. Equipping the RC in accordance with ARFORGEN process, and as part of the Army Total Force equipping strategy, ensures success across the full spectrum of missions.

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