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Monday, May 02, 2016

The Army is ready to launch an experiment in Total Force integration by combining selected Regular Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve units into cohesive teams.

Called Associated Units, the pilot project creates regular, guard and reserve teams to train and rebuild their readiness together in a move Army leaders believe will generate more combat power in the reserve components and increase overall capabilities.

The program will launch this summer.

It is a very visible sign of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley’s efforts to make soldiers feel and live the "One Army" concept.

This is just the first idea to be implemented, Army officials said, with other initiatives under study.

The final report of the National Commission on the Future of the Army raised the idea of integrating active and reserve component forces, suggesting multicomponent units would help reduce parochialism and tension while improving readiness and capabilities.

The aviation pilot program was one of the commission’s recommendations.

The Associated Units plan is designed to integrate formations that would train together, including rotations to combat training centers, so soldiers could develop closer relations and common standards.

The result, officials hope, is creating teams that can deploy together and fight without hiccups.

Army officials describe this as having the potential to provide more combat-ready formations to combatant commanders at a time when demands are increasing.

Integrating Army Guard and Army Reserve units into the operational deployment structure is needed to be able to sustain current operations and still be prepared for contingencies, Army officials said.

"The Army is preparing to test the Associated Units pilot as a means to generate reserve force combat power and increase combat readiness for the One Army concept, by creating Associated Unit formations from selected units across components," the Army said in a statement.

To do this, reserve component units in the pilot project would have up to 15 additional training days a year to give them more time to work alongside their Regular Army teammates.

Twenty-seven units are involved in the initial pilot: 13 Regular Army, 12 Army Guard and two Army Reserve.

Here are the teams:

36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard, will be associated with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, La.

86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Vermont Army National Guard, will be associated with the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

81st Armored Brigade Combat Team, Washington Army National Guard, will be associated with the 7th Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

48th Infantry Brigade, Georgia Army National Guard, will be associated with the 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

Task Force 1-28 Infantry, Fort Benning, Ga., will be associated with the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Georgia Army National Guard.

100th Battalion, 442 Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army Reserve, will be associated with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

1st Battalion, 143 Infantry Regiment, Texas Army National Guard, will be associated with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.

1st Battalion, 151 Infantry Regiment, Indiana Army National Guard, will be associated with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

5th Engineer Battalion, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., will be associated with the 35th Engineer Brigade, Missouri Army National Guard.

840th Engineer Company, Texas Army National Guard, will be associated with the 36th Engineer Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.

824th Quartermaster Company, a N.C.-based Army Reserve unit, will be associated with the 82nd Sustainment Brigade, Fort Bragg, N.C.

249th Transportation Company, Texas Army National Guard, and 1245th Transportation Company, Oklahoma Army National Guard, will be associated with the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas

1176th Transportation Company, Tennessee Army National Guard, will be associated with the 101st Sustainment Brigade, Fort Campbell, Ky.

2123rd Transportation Company, Kentucky Army National Guard, will be associated with the 101st Sustainment Brigade, Fort Campbell, Ky.