Capability Set Production and Fielding: Enhancing the U.S. Army's Combat Effectiveness
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2012)
This Torchberer Issue Paper presents the problem that servicemembers have faced in recent years of inadequate connectivity on the battlefield. Although advances in technology are constantly improving methods of communication, these are not always available to servicemembers who, as a result, face interoperability issues that interfere with unified land operations and cause delays in their ability to access the full range of information about their areas of operations. That is about to change. Starting in October 2012, the Army will being to equip deploying brigade combat teams with Capability Set (CS) 13, the Army’s first integrated package of radios, satellite systems, software applications, smartphone-like devices and other network components.
Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program: Building Communities of Readiness
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2012)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper elucidates efforts being made by the Department of Defense to help members of the National Guard and the Reserve successfully navigate the long process of reintegration after deployment. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 established the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP) to formalize and support initiatives across the reserve component in nationwide deployment-cycle training and support programs to ease transitions for servicemembers and their families.
U.S. Army Operational Testing and Evaluation: Laying the Foundation for the Army of 2020
(Torchbearer National Security Report, October 2012)
This Torchbearer National Security Report outlines the success and significance of the Agile Capabilities Life Cycle, its associated Network Integration Evaluations process and the Capability Set Management construct. All of these—through tests and evaluations by which servicemembers can give constructive feedback on the operations of technologies and equipment—allow the Army to modernize its information systems. Such a network can also enable the necessary distribution of information and help to provide for overmatch against adversaries. Important in the further development of these network tools are continued participation and feedback from current Soldiers, efforts to maintain an understanding of the perspective of industry partners providing necessary materials and, most vital, continued reliable sources of funding.
A New Equipping Strategy: Modernizing the U.S. Army of 2020
(Torchbearer National Security Report, June 2012)
This Torchbearer National Security Report discusses many of the Army’s modernization priorities as it looks to the third decade of the 21st century. To provide U.S. combatant commanders with land forces that have the capability, capacity and diversity to succeed in this environment, the Army must continuously assess and adjudicate three foundational imperatives: endstrength/force structure, readiness and modernization. The Army must balance these three elements to prevent conflict, shape the environment and win decisively. To develop the right force design and mix to execute these imperatives, an equipping strategy for the Army of 2020 must acquire and modernize equipment in ways that provide the best force for the nation within the resources available. The Army’s acquisition and modernization approach acknowledges the healthy tension of balancing short-term (zero to two years), mid-term (two to eight years) and long-term (more than eight years) equipping challenges to support a strategic ground force that is superior, credible and rapidly deployable.
Modernizing LandWarNet: Empowering America's Army
(Torchbearer National Security Report, May 2012)
This Torchbearer National Security Report examines the ways in which LandWarNet will improve the Army’s current network, which is fragmented into many smaller networks that have a variety of standards, systems and pathways. LandWarNet addresses this complex issue by instituting a single, standards-based network. The Army’s strategy for end-to-end network modernization has five high-level objectives: operationalize LandWarNet; dramatically improve cybersecurity posture; improve operational effectiveness while realizing efficiencies; enable joint interoperability and collaboration with mission partners; and recruit and retain an agile workforce to support an expeditionary Army.
U.S. Army Space Capabilities: Enabling the Force of Decisive Action
(Torchbearer National Security Report, May 2012)
This Torchbearer National Security Report discusses how the Army is inextricably linked to space-based capabilities, which are involved with all aspects of the “prevent, shape and win” framework that guides the Army, both in current conflicts and in its future vision. As the Department of Defense’s new strategic guidance highlights, the Army will be part of a joint force that is smaller and leaner but more agile, flexible and technologically enabled. To mitigate complex operational risks and assure landpower dominance now and in the future, the Army relies on a technological backbone built on space-based capabilities and force structure. Preserving and expanding these capabilities will be required to keep the Army the force of decisive action
First Army: Training for Today's Requirements and Tomorrow's Contingencies
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, April 2012)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines First Army’s role in helping ensure the readiness of the total Army to advise and assist in training all Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers in the continental United States during premobilization periods to meet combatant commanders’ requirements worldwide. The most significant challenge for today’s operational reserve is to sustain readiness to provide combatant commanders with adaptive units that are capable across the full range of military operations. Much of First Army’s priority of effort since 9/11 has been to conduct mobilization and demobilization operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn, training more than 750,000 personnel in support of these and other named contingency operations.
Third Army: Empowering Theater Responsiveness by Synchronizing Operational Maneuver
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, March 2012)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines the expertise and experience exhibited by Third Army, which could very well be the model for other service component commands as well as U.S. allies. Third Army, USF-I and the joint team conducted a successful operation to retrograde and reposture a significant amount of forces and immense stocks of equipment from Iraq. Third Army—as an Army Service Component Command—has been and will remain vital to the U.S. Army’s ability to conduct its Title 10 responsibilities to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations on land. Applying, maturing and translating the lessons learned from the past decade will be a vital effort as the Army prepares for its role as part of Joint Force 2020 in an increasingly uncertain and complex strategic environment.
Breaking the Faith
(Torchbearer Alert, February 2012)
This Torchbearer Alert summarizes the Defense Department’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposals to increase health care fees and reconsider the structure of the military retirement system. For many military retirees under age 65, annual fees for TRICARE Prime would triple or quadruple by 2017; TRICARE Standard and Extra would also implement new enrollment fees and increase the size of families’ deductibles. For military retirees over age 65, the administration proposes hefty new annual enrollment fees for TRICARE-for-Life. Copays for pharmaceuticals would also increase substantially. Further, the administration proposes the creation of a commission to recommend cost-effective changes to the military retirement system. This commission would have authority similar to the BRAC process, effectively limiting elected officials’ involvement. The paper emphasizes that these ideas would do very little to alleviate the nation’s fiscal crisis; however, they would severely impact the well-being of those who have already risked and sacrificed more than their fair share, and they could have serious consequences for force readiness.
AUSA + 1st Session, 112th Congress = Some Good News
(Torchbearer Special Report, January 2012)
This Torchbearer Special Report briefly describes the major objectives AUSA supported in the first session of Congress and what actions were taken for each. In passing the 2011 Budget Control Act, Congress acknowledged the national budget shortfalls while also attempting to maintain the military’s readiness in uncertain times and an ongoing war in Afghanistan. This publication examines the112th Congress’s successes and failures in authorizing some important proposals supported by AUSA.