The war against terror and subsequent deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq necessitated that we had to look at the Army National Guard and the Reserve as an operational force.
Gen. Richard A. Cody
Army Vice Chief of Staff
The Guard and reserves' role today is truly a transformation compared their use as a strategic reserve during the Cold War.
Arnold L. Punaro
Chairman, Commission on the National Guard and Reserves
2006 Game Plan -Operational Force Vice Strategic Reserve
During the Cold War, the National Military Strategy envisioned an extended mobilization period that would provide time to train and equip our reserve component forces. By default, our reserve component was a strategic reserve requiring extensive mobilization to raise their capability and capacity to an appropriate level. In that era, we permitted a considerable imbalance to exist between our active component and reserve component, equipping the reserve component to a level less than their active counterpart. As a result, our reserve component forces were not immediately ready for deployment in 2001.
Based on the experience of 9/11, and lessons learned from homeland defense operations, hurricane recovery operations and ongoing combat operations, we shifted our reserve component from a strategic reserve to an operational force. Our Army Reserve and our Army National Guard are now an integral part of our operational force. We are prioritizing resources to ensure that we expedite distribution of critical, dual use equipment to our Army National Guard to meet their State and Homeland Defense/Homeland Security missions. Additionally, reduced deployments of reserve component units, combined with continued supplemental funding for Reset, will allow us to complete their modular conversion and improve their equipment readiness.
This transition requires us to transform and modernize the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve in a manner similar to our active component units. To sustain this transition, we have to:
- Fully man, train, and equip them to be operationally ready;
- Organize them to be identical to their active counterparts to enable seamless integration into our force mix; and,
- Provide more predictability through ARFORGEN to leverage their readiness and availability for deployment.
See the 2006 Game Plan for more information.