By Mr. Anthony C Obryant (Benning)September 24, 2009
FORT BENNING, GA - Gen. Charles Campbell, Commander General of U.S. Army Forces Command, discussed the two "great epiphanies" of the Army after the Iraq War during day two of the Infantry Warfighting Conference.
First, the Army came to the realization that they needed a way to replace the forces that had been generated and deployed for OIF1.
"The previous process the Army used to generate forces was a more linear system," said Campbell. "Because of the requirement to repetitively deploy formations, because of a supply and demand mismatch, and because we were changing our structure to a more mobile brigade-centric Army, we developed a rotational Army Force Generation model or ARFORGEN."
First instituted in 2006, FORSCOM has continued to refine the ARFORGEN process. This process involves moving units through a cyclical process of three categories or pools - train and reset, ready pool and available pool - based on when they are expected to be available for deployment. This allows the Army to be agile and respond to changing demands for forces.
"You all live this model. You deploy, then redeploy and reset for a period of time and then get prepared to deploy again," said Campbell.
Although some strategic decisions will need to be made for force structure in Afghanistan, FORSCOM expects to deploy roughly 52 brigades next year.
The complex process incorporates several large Army systems such as manning and equipping with other Army initiatives like re-stationing units from Europe, modularizing the force and growing the Army by approximately 65 thousand Soldiers or 18 brigades.
Campbell asked the Soldiers in attendance how many planned on being in the Army during the summer of 2011.
"There are not many people in the Army that have executed a MILCON program of this size and magnitude and that is this ambitious. Ten billion dollars and a host of projects are unfolding all across our Army's footprint, not the least of which is here at Fort Benning."
Eight major commands, including Forces Command, Army Materiel Command, Training and Doctrine Command, Installation Management Command and Human Resources Command are going to "lift" and "shift" during fiscal year 2011, and all will do so without a loss in capabilities to provide coherent command and control.
The "second great epiphany" for the Army was "operationalizing the National Guard and Reserves" or changing roles from a strategic reserve to integrated components of an operation.
"Without question we have relied on our National Guard and Reserves during this persistent conflict, and they have stood up and delivered," Campbell said. "More than 75 thousand citizen Soldiers are mobilized on any given day."
Campbell ended his presentation with quote from scripture, saying, "Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up."
He encouraged the Soldiers in the audience to stay focused on their mission in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world, because he said it allows people from other nations to see hope where there was once only despair.