Forces Command reveals ARFORGEN plan
January 29, 2009
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Army News Service, Jan. 29, 2009) -- Operationalizing the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, along with upcoming goals for Army Force Generation, were among topics Gen. Charles C. Campbell discussed at the 2009 Senior Commanders Conference in Little Rock, Ark., Jan. 25.
Echoing the words of Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Campbell said the Army is "out of balance" in relation to deployment demand, and plans are in place to restore that balance by 2011.
Currently, the demand for Soldiers on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan exceeds the number of troops who have had enough time to "reset," or "dwell," explained Campbell, the commander of U.S. Army Forces Command. With 160,000 Soldiers planned to be deployed in 2009, a growing number of American families will be affected by how much time their Soldier spends at home.
According to the Army Force Generation cycle, active-duty units should have at least two years in between deployments, while Reserve and Guard units should have four years of down-time. However, that amount of dwell time is not currently being achieved due to operational requirements.
"If we are able to grow the Army, and demand decreases, we will be able to achieve the desirable dwell ratio," Campbell said of the ARFORGEN goal.
Campbell explained that while deployments for Soldiers are currently frequent and demand structure is shifting from Iraq to Afghanistan, enlistment numbers are up, which should alleviate demand in the future. In fiscal year 2008, 170,000 new enlistees were inducted into the Army - the equivalent of the entire U.S. Marine Corps. In the coming years, Army leaders predict 21 additional brigades of Soldiers will be added to the Army's fighting force.
Campbell said his message to Soldiers in the year ahead is one of thanks.
"Thank you for choosing to honor your obligations as American citizens by joining the military," he said.
As the commander of the Army's largest organization, Campbell is responsible for the oversight, manning, training, and equipping of 750,000 active-duty, Reserve, and National Guard Soldiers when mobilized for combat operations. Campbell said he is mindful of the importance of Soldiers having time to spend with their families, and also properly training them before sending them overseas.
"The Army is doing everything within its power to ensure Soldiers are properly trained, equipped, and lead," Campbell said. "We won't put them in harm's way unless this is done."
Campbell also stressed the importance of the partnership between the active component, the Guard, and the Reserve.
"It was very important that I had the opportunity to address the senior leaders of the Guard and thank them for their service," Campbell said. "We asked the Guard and Reserve to contribute significant amounts of troops in fiscal year 2009, and we want to illicit a continued partnership."
Campbell said that about 60,000 Guard members are expected to pass through mobilization sites in 2009, and that the Guard's assistance has allowed the Army to honor its covenant with the American people.
(Sgt. Alexandra Hemmerly-Brown serves with FORSCOM Public Affairs.)