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Redeployment Process

What is it?
Redeployment is defined as the transfer of forces and materiel to support another Joint Force Commander's operational requirements, or the return of personnel, equipment, and materiel to home/demobilization stations for reintegration/out-processing. Redeployment operations have four phases:

  • Redeployment Planning
  • Pre-Redeployment Activities
  • Movement
  • Joint Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration (see Joint Publication 3-35)

Historically, redeployments have been considered "administrative movements" with no emphasis on aggregating unit cargo or expeditiously returning the cargo. Therefore, units often had their equipment returned on multiple ships (20 or more) or received their equipment 120 to 150 days after returning to their home station. However, due to dwell times averaging 12 months or less between deployments, the Army shortened unit redeployment timelines in order to meet Army Force Generation Process and RESET requirements.

What has the Army done?
The Army has influenced the Joint redeployment process in two key areas. The first is updating old and creating new Joint and Army doctrine and policy to operationalize the redeployment process and stress its importance in sustaining combat operations. The second is convincing the United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) and the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) to take a thorough look at their business processes and determine ways to reduce redeployment timelines; particularly the time it takes from the seaport of embarkation to the destination (e.g., depot, home station, or mobilization station).

Joint and Army doctrine now addresses redeployments as operational (as opposed to administrative) movements that are critical in "re-establishing Joint Force readiness" that must be planned and managed as intensively as deployments. Specific examples include: Joint Publication 3-35, Deployment and Redeployment Operations, dated May 7, 2007, Draft Army Regulation 525-30, Deployment and Redeployment Operations, and the Defense Transportation Regulation, Part 3, Mobility, Chapter 305 Redeployment dated August 17, 2007.

In 2008, the Army influenced USCENTCOM and USTRANSCOM to conduct redeployments as operational movements, reduce timelines, and establish firm metrics. Brigade Combat Team (BCT) sealift timelines are now programmed to take less than 58 days for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and 65 days for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The OEF timelines were reduced to a relatively low cost by increasing ship speed and reducing the time it takes to return equipment from "port to fort". For example, the sailing time from Fujairah, United Arab Emirates to the East coast of the United States has been reduced from 32 days to 26 days by increasing the average sailing speed from15 to 18 knots. Furthermore, USTRANSCOM compressed the discharge and movement of unit equipment from the seaport of debarkation to home station from 14 to 8 days. Subsequently, the Army G-4 standardized BCT redeployments from OEF by way of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). The TTPs provide continuity and will help deployed BCTs clearly identify "who does what, when, and where" so that the process remains the same from one rotation to the next.

What continued efforts does Army have planned for the future?

The Army requires redeployment equipment to be returned to depot or home installation in 50 days or less. This represents an 8 to 15 day decrease in current metrics. The USTRANSCOM and USCENTCOM are now looking at ways to reduce OIF timelines by looking at similar efficiencies as discovered when examining the OEF redeployment process. From June to August 2008, USCENTCOM and USTRANSCOM conducted a proof of principle to redeploy a Stryker BCT from Iraq in 50 days or less. Remarkably, the entire movement took 42 days - exceeding the current standard by 16 days. Subsequently, on October 3, 2008, the Department of the Army G4, USTRANSCOM, and CENTCOM staff officers conducted an after action review and analysis of this movement. As a result, CENTCOM validated, and USTRANSCOM confirmed, the feasibility of a 50 day redeployment for two additional BCTs redeploying in January 2009. On December 8, 2008, the USTRANSCOM staff was scheduled to brief their commander on the Army's 50 day initiative, and recommend approval of the concept as "a goal" for future BCT redeployments. If their analysis indicates a 50 day sealift timeline is not feasible, they will provide an amended "projected closure date" and attempt to come as close to 50 days as possible. The Army staff will continue its efforts to improve redeployment doctrine and policy and institutionalize the ethos that redeployment operations are as critical as deployment.

Why is this important to the Army?
Current redeployment metrics allow BCTs approximately 9 months to conduct collective training between consecutive deployments. This time allows units to meet minimal standards for preparing for counterinsurgency operations. Collective training for full spectrum operations requires approximately 12 months of training (9 months for counter insurgency trainng and 3 months for major combat operations training). In order to allow units the time to train for full spectrum operations, equipment must be returned to depot or home installation for RESET, inventory, and individual training no later than 50 days after its sealift available load date.

POC: LTC Mike Cashner (703) 614-5066

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