WASHINGTON — The Army is developing a new framework to help integrate and synchronize the force to meet regional requirements, all while providing predictability during training and modernization efforts, leaders said Wednesday.
Projected to roll out in fiscal year 2022, the Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model, or ReARMM, will transform the Army into a multi-domain capable force ready for competition, crisis, conflict, and change, said Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, Army deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7.
The development of the ReARMM concept began after the release of the National Defense Strategy in 2018, as the Army transitioned from counter-insurgency operations to great power competition with near-peer adversaries, Flynn said during this year's Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition.
The shift is not new for the Army since it has taken on a major transformation every 40 years for the past century, said Conrad Crane, chief of analysis and research with the Army War College heritage and education center.
The first significant change came in the 1940s during World War II, Crane said, referencing a recent study titled “The Force Management Challenge: Balancing Modernization and Readiness.” During the war, the Army fielded the M1 Garand rifle, the M4 Sherman tank, and developed new armored divisions to support efforts abroad.
The "Big Five" strategy then came in the 1980s with the Apache AH-64 and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, M1 Abrams tank, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and Patriot missile defense system.
"Both [the 1940s and 80s] were enabled by a significant amount of innovative thinking," Crane said. "These opportunities for mass modernization always put considerable strain on the development of corresponding training, doctrine and organizations."
The Army's current modernization efforts must extend beyond the Army's "31 plus three" signature programs supported by Army Futures Command's cross-functional teams and other organizations, Flynn said.
As the Army integrated the Big Five, for example, leaders recognized their capabilities extended beyond the training ranges and required significant changes to each system's support infrastructure, Crane said. Previous modernization efforts also caused training and manning deficiencies, as the Army reorganized units while concurrently providing support to old and new capabilities.
"ReARMM also allows us to adapt to national defense planning and guidance" and meet joint-force demands, Flynn said. It will also provide needed change to doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities, and policy, known as DOTMLPF-P.
ReARMM is evolutionary, not revolutionary, and includes the previous best practices and lessons learned, Flynn added.
While many aspects of ReARMM are still under consideration, Soldiers may soon see several improvements as the Army shifts to a multi-domain capable force.
Over the next fiscal year, Army leaders will continue to adjust the program through stress tests and rehearsals as they target a fiscal year 2022 launch, Flynn said.
The Army is working toward a predictable and sustainable model, which will create regular cycles for training, modernization, and mission requirements, said Brig. Gen. Peter Benchoff, director of force management for G-3/5/7. A full rotation could span over 18 months for select units, with each cycle lasting close to six months.
The program will also account for necessary updates to tactics, techniques and procedures, or TTPs, as well as Army doctrine to ensure the seamless transition to new capabilities, Flynn said. Further, some military occupational specialties will need to change as units evolve, which could impact training and education, leadership and command organization.
ReARMM will align forces and equipment to support regional requirements. By doing so, the Army can focus on regionally-based training objectives and ensure that the "right equipment" is always available across its prepositioned stocks, he added.
Deployed units will move with speed as they "fall in" on the equipment, identical to what they have at their home station, Flynn said.
Part of the modernization process will require the deposition or disposal of current equipment, said Lt. Gen. Donnie Walker Jr., Army Materiel Command's deputy commander.
It can take a unit approximately 12 to 18 months to shift equipment out of their inventory. The ReARMM process looks to reduce the transfer window to less than six months.
"To meet the needs of the Army, AMC will work in conjunction with Army Forces Command to create the Modernization Displacement and Repair Site initiative," Walker said. "We believe the MDRS will improve efficiencies, speed up divestiture operations, and allow for an increase in new equipment fielding across the Army."
A proof of concept MDRS location stood up at Fort Hood, Texas, this month. Leaders intend to achieve full operational capability by December.
Under the new program, units can drop off their legacy equipment in its current condition to an MDRS, Walker said.
Once received, MDRS personnel will prepare the equipment for reissue by returning it to a quality standard, or opt for disposal through the Defense Logistics Agency.
"In most cases, we believe about 75% of the equipment will either go to disposition services, or it will be put back to our depots and refurbished," he said, adding the supporting unit will fund the labor and parts to refurbish any equipment.