FORSCOMAca,!E+commander reveals plans for 2009
February 5, 2009
Upcoming goals for Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) and operationalizing the Army National Guard and Reserve were among topics Gen. Charles C. Campbell discussed at the 2009 Senior Commanders Conference held Jan. 25 in Little Rock, Ark.
Campbell, commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, said the Army is "out of balance" in relation to deployment demand, and plans are in place to restore that balance by 2011.
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," Campbell explained. With 160,000 Soldiers scheduled for deployment this year, a growing number of American families will be affected by how much time their Soldier spends at home.
According to the ARFORGEN cycle, active duty units should have at least two years between deployments, while Reserve and Guard units should have four years of downtime; however, that dwell time is not 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 Soldiers' deployments are frequent and demand structure is shifting from Iraq to Afghanistan, enlistment number are up, which should alleviate the high 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 overseeing, manning, training and equipping 750,000 active duty, Reserve and National Guard Soldiers when they are mobilized for combat operations. Campbell said he is mindful of the importance of Soldiers having time to spend with their Families, and properly training them before sending them overseas.
"The Army is doing everything within its power to ensure Soldiers are properly trained, equipped and led," 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, Guard and 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 approximately 60,000 Guardsmen are expected to pass through mobilization sites in 2009, and the Guard's assistance has allowed the Army to honor its covenant with the American people.