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New ‘Sustainable Readiness Model’ Coming Soon

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Army remains on course to begin fielding a new system next year for maintaining combat readiness, top service officials recently told the House Armed Services Committee.

What has been dubbed the sustainable readiness model is the successor to the decade-old force generation model, in which brigade combat teams constantly moved through a stable, predictable cycle of training, deployment and post-deployment reset.

The force generation model has kept about one-third of the active Army’s combat power poised for deployment, but it has been severely stressed by the relentless mission demands of Iraq and Afghanistan and budget-driven force structure cuts over the past 15 years.

The sustainable readiness model seeks to broaden the portion of the Total Army that can be tapped for operational deployments by bringing more National Guard and Reserve combat units into the mix.

“It's on track to be implemented,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley told House lawmakers, adding that the new model envisions a “selective increase” in training days for reserve component units, with an eye toward ultimately increasing deployment of those units to Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

The new model’s primary goal is to reduce the readiness “peaks and valleys” that have been common over the past decade and maintain a broader pool of available, deployable combat power, both for ongoing missions and new contingencies.

In a joint written statement to House lawmakers, Milley and acting Secretary of the Army Patrick J. Murphy said the sustainable readiness model “will not only meet combatant commander demands, but will sustain unit readiness in anticipation of the next mission. This process synchronizes manning, equipping, training and mission assignments in such a way to minimize readiness loss and accelerate restoration of leader and unit proficiency.”

Even within current budget projections, Milley and Murphy said they expect the new model will allow the service to achieve “two-thirds combat readiness for global contingencies by 2023” across the Total Army.

“But we will do everything possible to accelerate our progress to mitigate the window of strategic risk,” they said.