“We still have two tough years ahead” in putting the Army back in balance, the Army chief of staff told almost 400 attendees at the January Association of the United States Army Institute of Land Warfare breakfast in suburban Washington.
Gen. George W. Casey Jr. described balance as meeting the Army’s end strength goals and meeting its targeted growth of the active force by 2010.
“We have to increase the time soldiers spend at home,” he said in his Jan. 14 address. “One to one [one year deployed and one year back home] was OK at the start,” but repeated deployments are taking a toll.
In addition, more time at home allows for more training in areas other the counterinsurgency warfare.
Casey said with two years at home soldiers and units could spend a rotation at a combat training center and also conduct a mission rehearsal exercise before deploying again. It also would give the Army time to equip the unit.
Calling it “a large accomplishment,” Casey said, “We’re going to complete modular organization” of the Army in seven years.
Also by 2011, “we will complete our re-stationing” under base realignment and closure and returning soldiers, their families and civilians from Europe and Korea.
Casey said those moves will affect about 380,000 soldiers, family members and Department of the Army civilians.
Over the same time, the Army will have implemented its force generation model. The model calls for the active force to be available for a year-long deployment and then spend two years at home.
For the reserve components, they would be available for a year-long deployment and would then spend four or five years at home. “We are just coming to grips with an Army that operates on this model. It affects recruiting, training.”
Adding, “We have to get our force [trained and ready] for full spectrum operations.”
For the future, Casey sees the Army as a service that is versatile, expeditionary, agile, lethal, sustainable and interoperable in an era of persistent conflict.
To see the complete transcript of Gen Casey's remarks, click here.