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Expeditionary Capabilities

What is it?
The new strategic context of persistent conflict renders obsolete the old Army paradigm of "tiered readiness." Expeditionary capability is the ability to promptly deploy combined-arms forces worldwide into any operational environment and operate effectively on arrival. The Army now requires units that are trained, equipped, organized, and postured for such rapid global deployment in response to the full spectrum of conflict. This capability requires an expeditionary mindset-confident and competent enough to quickly adapt and function effectively in any environment. To achieve this, the Army is developing modular forces and a Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) process to provide combatant commanders (COCOMs) and civil authorities with rapidly deployable, employable, and sustainable force packages tailored to specific mission requirements.

What has the Army done?
The Army has enhanced strategic responsiveness by improving the ability to deploy rapidly to austere fighting environments, conduct full-spectrum operations on arrival, and sustain operations until victorious. Specific initiatives include the following:

  • Implementing a holistic ARFORGEN process to provide COCOMs and civil authorities with rapidly deployable and employable Army forces.
  • Building modular capabilities that improve theater force reception and tailored logistics support for each mission.
  • Identifying and improving infrastructure at critical power projection installations to support mobilization, demobilization, and rapid deployment

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army is repositioning its ground forces to meet a unit rotation model that is synchronized with ARFORGEN processes. These efforts include Army support of Base Realignment and Closure and Global Force Posture efforts. We will station forces in the United States based on the critical factors of training resources and power projection. In Europe and the Pacific, we will maintain smaller forward-presence forces while stationing more agile and expeditionary forces to respond to contingencies. In the Middle East and elsewhere, we will maintain a rotational presence while eliminating many of our permanent bases.

Why is this important to the Army?
Army forces are proving to be the primary military instrument to create favorable and enduring security conditions in crisis regions. Nevertheless, strategic and operational requirements compel the Army to reconcile forward presence, durability, and adaptability with expeditionary agility and responsiveness. Not only must the Army sustain decisive operations for as long as necessary to allow for politically favorable resolution, Army forces must be prepared to adapt an expeditionary mindset across the range of military operations and against adaptive adversaries. Modernization, modularity, and basing initiatives are creating adaptable Army expeditionary capabilities to support the National Security Strategy requirements.

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