Foreword | Executive Summary | 1.America's Army | 2.A Changed Army | 3.Resources | 4.Balancing Priorities | 5.Into the 21st Century | Acronyms

Chapter 2. A Changed Army

America's Army has changed significantly to meet the challenges of our uncertain world. An understanding of the evolving international environment, the national security strategy, and the capabilities required for full spectrum dominance have guided the Army's transformation from a Cold War, forward-deployed force to a capabilities-based, power projection force based largely in the United States. The Army has reduced its size, redistributed its forces, closed and realigned bases, reorganized its equipment pre-positioned overseas, and improved active and reserve component integration to become leaner, more versatile, and more deployable.

Today's power projection Army is capable of responding rapidly to threats against U.S. interests anywhere in the world. It is a highly professional force, trained and ready to serve the nation in a challenging time at home and abroad. The Army has accomplished much in the past seven years, but challenges still remain as we integrate emerging technologies with quality people to build an even more lethal, survivable, and powerful force.

A Power Projection Army

America's national security strategy of engagement and enlargement requires a power projection Army. Executing missions across the full spectrum of military operations calls for a strategically mobile Army that can be rapidly deployed to any decisive point, that has sufficient forces to establish control of the environment, and that can be sustained for an indefinite period of time. Seventy-five percent of the Army is based in the United States, with the remainder forward-stationed around the world to promote stability and demonstrate commitment to friends and allies. The nation relies on the Army, in concert with air and maritime forces, to project military power from the United States and its forward bases.

Power Projection Capabilities

Credible power projection capabilities complement forward-stationed forces as a deterrent to potential adversaries. These capabilities allow the joint commander to establish control of the land in a wide range of environments for as long as it takes to accomplish the mission. The Army has greatly improved its power projection capabilities in the past seven years. Our modernization program continues these improvements as we build our 21st century force.

To defeat an enemy, Army forces must be able to conduct decisive operations throughout the depth of the battlefield. Directly linked to decisive operations, the Army also must be able to shape the battlefield and set the conditions for success. Both to defeat an enemy and to deter potential conflicts, the Army must be able to protect the force from external threats. To maneuver and strike effectively, ground commanders must be masters of information, in the sense of both protecting information about their own forces and gaining information on enemy forces and the battlefield. In other words, Army forces must be able to gain information dominance. Finally, to support the achievement of national policy objectives around the world, the Army must be able to project and sustain combat power.

Strategic Mobility

Strategic mobility is the key to the Army's ability to project power. Each of the services has made great strides in implementing the specific recommendations of the congressionally mandated Mobility Requirements Study. The Army's goal is to project the following forces rapidly to anywhere in the world: a light brigade in four days; a light division in 12 days; a heavy brigade afloat in 15 days; two heavy divisions in 30 days; and a five-division contingency corps in 75 days. To achieve these power projection goals, the Army relies on a critical triad of pre-positioned unit equipment, strategic sealift, and strategic airlift.

The Army has significantly improved its war reserve program, reorganizing and redistributing 17 theater and three continental U.S. reserve accounts into five regional stockpiles supporting multiple regional commanders-in-chief. These stockpiles are located in the United States, Europe, Southwest Asia, the Pacific, and pre-positioned afloat. The Army has structured its 16-ship preposition fleet to deliver heavy forces early in a crisis.

The Mobility Requirements Study validated the need to modernize airlift capability. Accordingly, the Air Force's C-17 program is a key element of the strategic mobility triad. The C-17 aircraft allows strategic access to airfields worldwide, carries outsized equipment, and enables faster force closure. The Army fully supports current plans to procure a fleet of 120 C-17s by 2004.

The Mobility Requirements Study also identified a need for 19 large medium-speed roll-on roll-off vessels (LMSRs) to be added to the Navy's fast sealift fleet by 2001. Of the 19, three have been converted from existing container ships and already delivered to the Navy (USNS SHUGHART, USNS GORDON, and USNS YANO), another two will be converted from existing ships, and 14 will be newly constructed. Eight of the 19 LMSRs will carry a substantial portion of the Army's pre-positioned afloat package; the remaining 11 will be strategically berthed for surge deployments of heavy forces. The Mobility Requirements Study also recommended that the inventory of Ready Reserve Force roll-on roll-off ships (RO/ROs) be increased from the current 31 to 36. These ships are essential to ensure sufficient forces are available in the early stages of crisis response. These ships are essential to ensure sufficient forces are available in the early stages of crisis response.

Power Projection Installations

Installations support and facilitate virtually every deployment. A predominately U.S.-based Army requires modern rail systems, airfield and port operations, and installation storage facilities to ensure that forces can be deployed rapidly to anywhere in the world. The Army is therefore improving its deployment infrastructure and converting its installations into world-class power projection platforms.

The Army has identified and set priorities for revamping key installations, depots, and ports throughout the nation. Infrastructure improvements include upgrades to rail lines and airfields, enhancements to warehouses and deployment facilities, and advanced communications to improve the information infrastructure. The resulting increase in efficiency will allow the Army to manage distribution from factory to foxhole. Along these lines, the Charleston Naval Weapons Station facilities in South Carolina are being expanded to support the Army's Pre-positioned Afloat fleet and West Coast containerized ammunition port facilities are being upgraded. Finally, 16,000 containers and 1,090 railroad cars are being purchased to improve deployment capabilities. To date, 590 railroad cars have been procured for pre-positioning at installations and ammunition plants and depots.

A Total Force

Today's Army is truly America's Army -- a Total Force of active Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, and civilian employees. The drawdown, reduced force structure, and increased operational commitments both at home and abroad have reinforced the need for a high level of integration between the active and reserve components.

A Smaller Army

America's Army has dramatically reduced in size since the personnel drawdown began in FY89. The Total Force has been reduced by 620,000, making today's Army smaller than at any time since before World War II. America now maintains the eighth largest army in the world, but what it lacks in quantity is made up in quality, which was carefully preserved throughout the drawdown.

The active Army completed its drawdown to the Bottom-Up Review goal of 495,000 in FY96. The Army National Guard will complete its drawdown to an endstrength of 367,000 by the end of FY97, and the Army Reserve will stabilize at 208,000 in FY98. The Army's civilian endstrength will stabilize at 236,000 in FY01.

Throughout the drawdown, the Army has committed itself to caring for transitioning soldiers and civilian employees and their families. Most personnel reductions have been voluntary, made possible by programs provided by Congress and the Defense Department. These programs offered monetary incentives to soldiers who elected to curtail their military careers and allowed others to retire after 15 years of service rather than the normal 20 years. Programs offering incentives and early retirement opportunities to civilian employees allowed the Army to minimize the number of involuntary separations among them as well.

Balanced Forces

The Army's force structure and mix of heavy, light, and Special Operations Forces reflect changes in the strategic environment. The Army's size has decreased from 28 divisions (18 active and 10 National Guard) to 18 divisions (10 active and 8 National Guard).

The Army's force mix provides the nation with the ability to respond rapidly to crises worldwide with forces tailored for each mission. Integrated training at Army training centers and the education of leaders in our school system ensure that the Army's mix of forces can work in concert. The size and composition of each element are based on assessments of potential threats and the capabilities required to meet them. These assessments are tempered by considerations of affordability and risk.

Active and Reserve Component Integration

Today's smaller Army requires increased operational and personnel integration of the active and reserve components. Active Army contingency forces, along with overseas presence forces, offer the National Command Authority a variety of capabilities with which to tailor a rapidly deployable crisis response force. The reserve components provide essential capabilities not found in the active force; they also play an increasingly important role in peacetime engagements, such as peacekeeping, humanitarian work and civil assistance operations, while continuing to respond to domestic emergencies. Reserve component support was essential during Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia, which mobilized almost 8,000 National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers. The majority -- 3,143 soldiers -- augmented or backfilled units in Germany, while the 2,345 deployed to Bosnia and conducted public affairs, firefighting, fire support, aviation, logistics, maintenance, civil affairs, and psychological operations.

The Army has undertaken several steps in recent years to improve integration between the active and reserve components. In October 1996, for example, an active Army officer assumed command of an Army National Guard field artillery battalion under a pilot program to increase personnel integration. Also, under Title XI of the FY93 National Defense Authorization Act, the Army is increasing the number of active Army officers and noncommissioned officers assigned to the reserve component from FY93's 2,000 to 5,000 by the end of FY97. These officers will help early-deploying reserve component units remain trained and ready.

To improve unit and individual skills, 15 enhanced brigades from the Army National Guard will be trained in association with active Army combat units. These enhanced brigades will receive resources sufficient to enable them to begin deployment to a crisis within 90 days of mobilization.

In response to a long-standing shortfall in combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS) assets, the Army conducted the Army National Guard Division Redesign Study (ADRS) to determine how best to use Guard divisions to alleviate these shortfalls. The ADRS recommended converting a portion of the Guard's combat structure to a CS and CSS structure. This will reduce the shortfall by more than 47,000 spaces and enable the Army to better meet its warfighting support requirements. In addition, the Army will study and test a proposal to form two new divisions by merging six of the enhanced brigades -- three per division -- with an active component division headquarters. The recommendation to do the study is endorsed by senior Army leaders, the National Guard Bureau, and the States' Adjutants General.

The Army Reserve has also made several force structure changes to improve the overall Army's power projection capability. For example, newly established Garrison Support Units (GSUs) backfill installation base operations activities vacated by active Army units deployed to contingency operations. Three GSUs mobilized and supported Operation Joint Endeavor. In addition, the Army Reserve has reorganized port/terminal units, military intelligence units, medical augmentation hospitals, and movement control units, among others. These units enhance the ability to project power and are designed to be ready on the first day of a contingency.

In addition, several initiatives to further integrate the active and reserve components are being examined by the Army during the Quadrennial Defense Review. These include increasing mission sharing for peacetime missions and functions, such as base operations, Reserve Officer Training Corps, recruiting, training, contracting, and transportation; increasing the reserve components' role in rotational deployments, such as in the Sinai and Macedonia; and transferring some active component missions to the reserve component, such as National Missile Defense.

The Civilian Work Force

Highly qualified and motivated Army civilians are an essential element of the Total Force. They contribute significantly to readiness and mission accomplishment both at home and abroad by providing continuity of operations and critical expertise not readily available within the uniformed military force in areas such as engineering, real estate, logistics, transportation, port operations, communications, computers, safety, and recreation. In addition, civilians hold the majority of positions in acquisition management, research and development, base operations, and logistics. Because the Army depends heavily on its civilian employees to provide the continuity and expertise so vital in today's highly technical environment, it is critical that they be provided an effective personnel system that supports personal growth and advancement, simplifies recruitment, and pays salaries and wages comparable to those outside government. The Army remains committed to continuing the investment made in building a trained and ready civilian work force.

The Army has made substantial progress in establishing doctrine, policies, and procedures to enable commanders to identify, train, and deploy Emergency Essential civilians as part of the Total Force. These Army Emergency Essential civilians support a variety of contingency operations: for example, more than 120 Army civilians were deployed to Kuwait in 1994 and another 35 in 1996 to support soldiers deterring Iraqi aggression. More than 500 civilians were deployed to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Endeavor.

Reduced Infrastructure

Transforming America's Army into a smaller, power projection force based largely in the United States has caused significant changes in installations. Personnel reductions and the return of some forces from overseas permitted the realignment and closure of a number of bases, and required the conversion of those remaining into power projection platforms capable of rapidly deploying forces to crises worldwide.

Base Realignment and Closures

The Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) process has comprised a major part of the Army's reshaping efforts during the past decade. The Army has closed 89 bases in the United States and is in the final phase of closing 662 overseas bases. BRAC has caused short-term turbulence but, in the long term, will result in more efficient infrastructure.

FY97 marks the eighth year of a 13-year implementation effort and the point at which BRAC savings will finally exceed its costs. The Army is investing $5.2 billion in BRAC to realize $1 billion in recurring annual savings from reduced operating costs at fewer installations.

The realignment of the Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Maryland and the closure of Fort Devens in Massachusetts, which lowered its flag in 1996, concluded the successful BRAC 1991 program. The closure of Vint Hill Farms Station in Virginia, the Army's only base elimination in BRAC 1993, will be complete by the end of FY97. Work continues on the 29 closures and 11 realignments approved by the BRAC 1995 commission. This year, the Army plans to complete the St. Louis-based Aviation and Troop Command closure and begin the construction at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, necessary to relocate the Military Police and Chemical Schools from Fort McClellan, Alabama.

Extensive base closures overseas are indicative of the Army's fundamental strategic shift from a forward-deployed force to a power projection force. Although their elimination does not receive the same level of public attention as base closures in the United States, seven of every 10 overseas sites are being closed -- the Army will retain only those overseas installations essential to supporting forward presence.

Closing and realigning bases saves money that otherwise would go into unneeded overhead and makes valuable assets available for productive use in the private sector. Savings from BRAC will permit a leaner Army to move into the 21st century unburdened by excess infrastructure and its costs.

Arms Control

The Army's role in arms control has increased significantly since the end of the Cold War. The Army has disposed of its nuclear weapons, is destroying its chemical weapons, and provides policy analysis on all Presidential Review Directives on nonproliferation, ballistic missile defenses, chemical and biological weapons control, and export controls. In addition, the Army will no longer employ non-self-destructing anti-personnel land mines except along the Korean demilitarized zone.

Chemical Demilitarization

A major arms control challenge is the destruction of the United States' unitary chemical weapons. The Army continues to successfully destroy these weapons at its full-scale prototype facility at Johnston Atoll in the Pacific. In August 1996, operations began at the first disposal facility constructed in the continental United States, at Tooele, Utah. A contract to construct another disposal facility at Anniston, Alabama, was awarded in February 1996, with a "limited notice to proceed" provision. The Army also plans to construct facilities to destroy chemical weapons stocks at the six remaining storage sites. Current plans are to begin construction of the disposal facilities at Umatilla, Oregon, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas, during FY97. In addition to the ongoing incineration program, tests are being conducted on five alternative technologies for potential use at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and Newport, Indiana, where chemical agents are stored in bulk only.

The Army also continues to identify and safely dispose of non-stockpile chemical materials, such as recovered chemical munitions, chemical agent identification sets, and miscellaneous chemical weapons. Destruction of binary weapons will commence during FY97, and the dismantling of chemical production facilities in FY99.

U.S. Anti-Personnel Landmine Policy

On May 16, 1996, the President announced a new U.S. Anti-Personnel Landmine Policy. Under this policy, the United States will unilaterally stop using non-self-destructing anti-personnel landmines (NSD APLs) except in training soldiers engaged in demining and countermine operations and to defend the United States and its allies from armed aggression across the Korean demilitarized zone. The Defense Department will expand its humanitarian demining program, develop improved mine detection and clearing technology, and undertake a program to end reliance on APL. The Army is integrating this new policy into its doctrine and training, and is developing a comprehensive program to demilitarize the excess NSD APL stored by all the services by the end of 1999. These excess mines will be placed in inactive stockpile status until demilitarized.

Anti-personnel landmines are an integral part of Army warfighting doctrine and a key combat multiplier. The Army uses APLs to shape the battlefield, protect anti-armor mines, enable economy of force, and reduce U.S. casualties. This legitimate use of APLs does not contribute to post-combat civilian casualties, which result from the indiscriminate use of NSD APLs.

The United States is pursuing an international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of all APLs. Until an agreement takes effect, the United States reserves the option to use self-destructing APLs -- subject to the restrictions the nation accepted in the Convention on Conventional Weapons -- to safeguard American lives and hasten the end of fighting.

The Army is a key player in the Defense Department's humanitarian demining program, providing mine awareness and "train-the-trainer" support to nations with severe landmine problems. A Demining Policy Expansion Plan, published in August 1996 by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, identifies a number of initiatives that will expand current demining operations. These initiatives include creating an interagency plan to coordinate resources and removing legislative impediments to efficient humanitarian demining support. The expansion plan preserves current policy forbidding American soldiers from being put directly at risk in demining operations.


America's Army has changed significantly since the end of the Cold War. It is now a smaller and more versatile force capable of responding rapidly to crises as diverse as regional wars, lesser conflicts, and peace operations. It is a highly trained Total Force serving the nation at home and abroad. The Army has successfully undergone unprecedented change while simultaneously increasing operational deployments. Constraints on defense resources, however, make it ever more challenging to balance readiness, modernization, endstrength, and quality of life programs.

Foreword | Executive Summary | 1.America's Army | 2.A Changed Army | 3.Resources | 4.Balancing Priorities | 5.Into the 21st Century | Acronyms

last updated: 19970317