First Army serves as U.S. Forces Command's (FORSCOM) coordinating authority for the implementation of the Army's Total Force Policy (ATFP), supporting the execution of tough, realistic multicomponent collective training. First Army has skilled observer coach/trainers that form an extensive network across the nation--the First Army area of operations--focused on executing training support and multicomponent coordination to support RC readiness in accordance with the ATFP and congressional directives.
A Bold Shift to Enable Reserve Component Success
First Army, headquartered at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is a multicomponent-sourced organization composed of 3,299 active component Title XI personnel, 393 Army Reserve and Nation Guard AGRs, and 513 Department of the Army Civilians and 3,982 Army Reserve Troop Program Unit Soldiers to provide pre-mobilization training support to RC units and meet mobilization requirements. Reserve Component Soldiers and leaders account for more than half of our trainers and staff ensuring "we are who we train."
Currently, First Army's two subordinate divisions, 16 training support brigades and 103 training and support battalions, geographically dispersed across the continental United States, enable First Army's capacity to support RC training at multiple locations while remaining scalable to surge in support of mobilization and contingency operations. However, our current structure is primarily designed to provide training support for combat arms formations at the expense of support for functional and multifunctional units such as logistics, military police, transportation, engineers and medical.
As the Army undergoes changes to meet resource and readiness requirements, so must First Army by implementing a historic restructuring effort to enable more comprehensive training support at the point of need. When implemented, this restructuring initiative will improve our ability to provide training support across the RC while achieving directed downsizing requirements. We will undergo unprecedented changes during the next two years to revamp our organizational footprint, military occupational skills structure, and exercise support capability in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness to support RC readiness. First Army will continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with Army National Guard and Army Reserve leadership to shift our focus to pre-mobilization training support while maintaining capability to provide post-mobilization training and validation for deploying RC formations.
Through multiple Bold Shift initiatives, First Army will refocus capabilities to advise, assist and train the RC during pre-mobilization; reduce structure and preserve operational capability; restructure divisional headquarters and training support brigades while retaining our ability to enable RC unit required readiness; retain necessary structure and expertise to ensure support for mobilization and unit post-mobilization training; and ensure we remain capable of fulfilling First Army's mandated mission to enable RC readiness and reduce required post-mobilization training time, in accordance with the 1993 National Defense Authorization Act.
In order to accomplish our Bold Shift initiatives, First Army will convert its 16 operations and training support brigades, during the next two years, into six Combined Arms Training Brigades and three Multifunctional Training Brigades. These nine brigades will consist of 49 AC Training Support Battalions including one Aviation Training Support Battalion, two Air Defense Training Support Battalions, and one Medical Training Task Force. During this restructuring effort, First Army will disestablish seven brigade headquarters; return 15 battalions to the Army Reserve; consolidate from 43 to 36 Army Reserve Training Support Battalions; and consolidate our Army Reserve Logistics Support Battalions from 18 to 10.
The end state structure provides a 32 percent increase in training support capability and capacity at the point of need while creating a 47 percent increase in combat support/combat service support capability, achieving balance in our ability to support RC multifunctional unit training readiness. First Army is committed to remaining a multicomponent-sourced organization and strengthening relationships with the Army National Guard and Army Reserve leadership.
Since 9/11, First Army mobilized trained, deployed, re-deployed and demobilized more than 1.2 million RC Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and civilian interagency personnel in support of multiple contingency operations at home and abroad. However, due to a sharp decrease in contingency mobilization requirements, as of April 1, 2014, First Army has scaled mobilization operations from nine to three active Mobilization Force Generation Installations (MFGIs) at Forts Dix, Hood, and Bliss. Rotational Force Pool -- Deploying RC units will remain our number one priority with more than 32,000 Soldiers mobilized in Fiscal Year 2014 and a projection of 10,000-15,000 Soldiers mobilizing in FY 2015. First Army will continue to assess mobilization and demobilization demands to determine the number of MFGIs required to meet the projected mobilization requirement of approximately 10,000-15,000 personnel per year while maintaining the ability to surge operations to support a potential mobilization requirement of up to 45,000 personnel each year.
What First Army Provides to the Reserve Component
First Army's restructure is not just a change in organization; it represents a shift in focus towards pre-mobilization training support. As U.S. Forces Command's designated coordinating authority for the implementation of Army Total Force Policy, First Army partners with Army Reserve and Army National Guard leadership to advise, assist and train RC formations to achieve Department of the Army directed readiness requirements during pre- and post-mobilization training.
First Army provides an operations group-type capability, skilled in exercise design, scenario development and training support throughout the Army Force Generation cycle up to and including unit Culminating Training Events (CTEs). First Army commanders leverage training support enablers (e.g., combat arms unit opposing force; multiple integrated laser engagement system (MILES); training aids, devices, simulations and simulators) to achieve realistic and demanding training to enhance RC training readiness in a decisive action training environment.
Key to this effort are First Army's professional and operationally experienced Observer Coach/Trainers (OC/Ts) from platoon to brigade level. Tailored OC/T packages provide training support for major RC collective training exercises (e.g., Combat Training Center rotations (CTCs), Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX), Exportable Combat Training Capability Exercise (XCTC), Warrior Exercise (WAREX), Mission Command Training Program, Warfighter Exercise (MCTP-WFX) at regional training centers and home stations throughout CONUS. Critical to the this training support effort is First Army's Training Support Synchronization Working Group (TSSWG) held two to three times a year. The TSSWG focuses on sourcing and scheduling multicomponent integration of CTEs to support the Army Total Force Policy and sets conditions for FORSCOM's follow-on ARFORGEN Synchronization and Resourcing Conference (ASRC).
First Army has the capacity to support more than 17 RC major pre-mobilization CTEs annually. During FY 2014, First Army provided training support to seven Army National Guard XCTCs, three USAR WAREXs, three USAR CSTXs, multiple CTC rotations, and numerous MCTP-WFXs.
As an example of scalable and tailored training support at the point of need, First Army OC/Ts provided critical pre-mobilization training support earlier this year to numerous RC units at their home station such as a recent ARNG engineer headquarters element preparing to participate in an AC division MCTP-WFX. Doctrine-focused training, advising and assistance provided by First Army OC/Ts during extended weekend battle assemblies at the unit's home station enabled the engineer headquarters to refine and improve its mission command processes and procedures. Training focused on executing the operations process, refining tactical operations and executing mission command of subordinate forces in a Joint Operations Area integrating their Army Battle Command Systems (ABCS) while exercising and refining staff and command post standard operating procedures.
Individual Deployment Support
Last year, U.S. Forces Command designated First Army as the executing agent for the Continental United States Replacement Center (CRC) and Non-Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (Non-LOGCAP) contractor deployment operations. First Army's Division West, headquartered at Fort Hood, Texas, assumed mission command of the CRC transition operation in FY 2013 to relocate and consolidate the CRC at Fort Benning, Georgia and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deployment Center at Winchester, Virginia to Fort Bliss, Texas.
Non-unit related personnel from all military branches, components, and Department of the Army/Department of Defense civilians are received, processed and validated at the Fort Bliss CRC for deployment to, and redeployment from, theaters of operation worldwide. The CRC provides command and control, administrative and logistical support, theater specific individual readiness training and onward movement operations for deploying and redeploying personnel.
Additionally, First Army's Division East, headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, assumed mission command of the Non-LOGCAP deployment operation at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. The Non-LOGCAP activity also provides command and control, administrative and logistical support, theater specific individual readiness training and onward movement operations for Army Corps of Engineer and other Army contractors.
The consolidation of the three deployment centers--Fort Benning, Georgia; Winchester, Virginia; and Fort Bliss, Texas--into a single CRC based at Fort Bliss helps meet Army long-term fiscal responsibility goals while placing mission command of individual deployment operations for all personnel from all services and agencies under the control of First Army. 44,000 deploying and redeploying personnel processed through the CRC at Fort Bliss this year and more than 27,000 are projected to process through in FY 2015.
First Army is the only full-time certified and professional multicomponent collective training integrator in the United States Army, organized with AC and RC certified skilled trainers at the point of need in support of the Army's Total Force Policy.
Scalable and adaptive, First Army has a unique capacity to partner with RC leaders to meet collective training readiness requirements, shoulder-to-shoulder through planning, preparation and execution during both pre- and post-mobilization training.
In accordance with congressional requirements, First Army remains committed to fiscal responsibility and stewardship throughout our restructure and consolidation by reducing costs and building efficiencies to meet current and emerging requirements. In short, First Army's contributions are critical to the Army's Total Force commitment to our nation.
Training for Today's Requirements and Tomorrow's Contingencies