Accomplishing the Mission Today: Sustaining Global Commitments
The Army's first priority is to sustain its increasing global commitments that extend across the full range of military missions, well beyond those associated with the Global War on Terror. Today, our Current Force is engaged, across the range of military operations, in ways we could never have forecasted before September 11, 2001, operating at a very high pace that will likely continue for some time.
The Army is providing forces and capabilities for Operation Iraqi Freedom, for Operation Enduring Freedom and for other global requirements. The Army continues to deter aggression and keep peace on the Korean Peninsula, on the Sinai Peninsula, in the Balkans and elsewhere around the world. In addition, the Army supports numerous humanitarian assistance missions and supports organizations such as Joint Task Force Bravo in Central America to counter illicit narcotics trafficking.
Today, approximately 640,000 Soldiers are serving on active duty. 315,000 Soldiers are deployed or forward stationed in more than 120 countries to support operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other theaters of war and deter aggression, while securing the homeland. These Soldiers are from all components: Active (155,000), Army National Guard (113,000) and Army Reserve (47,000). Soldiers participate in homeland security activities and support civil authorities for many different missions within the United States. A large Army civilian workforce (over 250,000), reinforced by contractors, supports our Army — to mobilize, deploy and sustain the operational forces — both at home and abroad.
Soldiers from the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve are making a vital contribution. 150,000 Soldiers are mobilized and performing a diverse range of missions worldwide. In addition to their duties overseas, Soldiers from both the Guard and the Reserve supported civil authorities during disaster relief operations, such as those which occurred in Florida following four major hurricanes.
On any given day, the Army National Guard has more than 10,000 Soldiers on duty to protect key assets across the Nation, including Air Force bases. More than 24,000 Soldiers provided security for both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions and the Group of Eight Summit. National Guard Soldiers are also promoting stability in Iraq and in the Balkans, while performing complex, vital tasks such as U.S. Northern Command's ballistic missile defense mission. Guard Soldiers, operating in an unprecedented role, are organizing and training a multicomponent brigade in Colorado and a battalion in Alaska to execute the newly assigned mission.
The Army Reserve, in addition to providing vital support for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, is providing a wide range of response capabilities in the event of an attack on the homeland. This support includes almost 200 emergency preparedness liaison officers that interact with local communities. The Reserve has also fielded and trained 75 chemical decontamination platoons with more than 2,400 Soldiers for mass casualty operations and more than 250 fully equipped hazardous material technicians to train with local first responders.