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What will soldiers do in “available phase” when deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq end? 

10/11/2011 1:00 PM 

Maj. Gen. Peter Bayer, Jr.

As the drawdowns in Afghanistan and Iraq continue, the question of what to do with soldiers and units who fall into the 12-month available phase of the Army Force Generation Model but are not scheduled to deploy is coming increasingly to the fore.

They could be sent on large-scale training exercises to different countries for a few months or sent on special missions that combatant commanders have put on back burners.

Maj. Gen. Peter Bayer Jr., director of strategy for the deputy chief of staff G-3/5/7, said, “Money for this comes out of base funds. …We have to make sure we look out far enough to make sure the funds are there.”

“We are looking to get new authorization for these missions,” but “ultimately, it will be a political decision,” Karl Schneider, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs, said. “It is important to show that it works and do it responsibly.”