| The chief of staff of the Army expects 2010 to be “a particularly interesting year” as the service nears completion of its move to modular formations and rebalancing the force and lays the foundation for its future.
Speaking Jan. 14 at the Association of the United States Army’s Institute of Land Warfare Breakfast in suburban Washington, Gen. George W. Casey Jr. said, “This is a fundamentally different Army” from the Army of 2002-2003.
With President Barack Obama’s decisions to increase American forces in Afghanistan and to drawdown American forces in Iraq, he said, “We have a level of clarity in force [demands] that we haven’t had” in recent years.
Casey added the active Army has grown by almost 20,000 soldiers in the past few years and will grow by 17,000 more in the next two years. The Army has “almost 100,000 more soldiers since 2004.”
U.S, Army Chief of Staff,
GEN George W. Casey, Jr.
He said, “As we gradually build dwell,” because of the lower demands for forces and increased size of the active Army, “we will steady the ship” and move into the rotational cycle of the Army Force Generation Model.
“We’re about 90 days away from knowing what the force pools will look like in 11, 12, 13.” The force pools are soldiers and units in reset having just returned from a deployment, soldiers and units in training for possible deployment and soldiers and units available for possible deployment.
Brig. Gen. Ronald Bouchard, deputy chief of staff for information operations at U.S. Army Forces Command told attendees at a symposium sponsored by the Northern Virginia Chapter of AFCEA that the force generation model “is a significantly different way of deploying forces” because it is rotational and not linear.
Over the course of this year, he said the Army expects to deploy 38 Brigade Combat Teams, reset 31 others, create two new BCTs and stand up nine more modular formations.
In the coming year, the Army will deploy 42 Brigade Combat Teams, reset 31 others, create six new BCTs and stand up 20 more modular formations.
Casey said, “We’re starting to come to grips with the third and fourth order of effects of modularity” – from family support to training to property accountability to the leader development backlog in the office and noncommissioned officer education system.
In addition, Casey said with the deployment cycle being one year out and one year back many soldiers “are not familiar with operating in a garrison environment.”
He expects that 70 percent of the active force will be in a one year available for deployment and two years in dwell in Fiscal Year 2011 and 80 percent of the reserve components to be in a one year available for deployment with four years in dwell.
With the budget due out in early February, he said he was quite satisfied with it and it will allow the Army to continue to prepare soldiers for both theaters.
“We have to maintain our force by sustaining our soldiers, our families, our civilians.” Casey said the Army will expand its Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program to families and civilians over the coming fiscal year, “press hard on implementing the Army Family Covenant” and do more with survivors who want to remain close to the Army.
“We have to manage ourselves better” by putting the right business management practices in place and fix the requirements process.
In addition to reducing the backlog in the professional military education systems, Casey said the coming year will see “more significant efforts on the civilian side.”
Lastly, he expects the year to be a time to look at refining the Army for the 21st century. “We need to do the intellectual work” on the active/reserve mix, special forces and their enablers, organizations themselves and a “unity of effort” on building the network.
Booz Allen Hamilton, an AUSA sustaining member company, sponsored the ILW breakfast.