Torchbearer National Security Reports
Torchbearer National Security Reports are comprehensive and designed to focus attention and action on the critical defense issues facing our nation as it enters the 21st century. These messages are sent to the military and civilian leadership of the United States Army and the Department of Defense, selected segments of the American public, members of Congress, key congressional staff, industry and the administration.
Torchbearer Issue Papers
Torchbearer Issue Papers are discussion papers on key strategic issues relevant to the U.S. Army and its role in national defense. These messages are sent to the military and civilian leadership of the United States Army and the Department of Defense, selected segments of the American public, members of Congress, key congressional staff, industry and the administration.
Torchbearer Alerts are informational papers highlighting time-sensitive issues of importance to the Army and providing instructions on how to be a strong voice for action with elected officials. These messages are sent to the military and civilian leadership of the United States Army and the Department of Defense, selected segments of the American public, members of Congress, key congressional staff, industry and the administration.
To order Torchbearer Campaign publications free of charge, send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 800-336-4570, ext. 4630. Please provide your name, address, daytime phone number, the title of the publication and, if you are a member of AUSA, your member number. For more information, call 800-336-4570, ext. 2627.
Recent Torchbearer Publications
The Mad Scientist Initiative
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, May 2016)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper begins with a brief discussion of the myriad and growing threats facing our nation today: diverse current and potential adversaries, fiscal constraints and continually increasing avenues of danger as technology develops. Mad Scientist, organized by the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, provides a continuous dialogue with academia, industry and government on the innovations needed for the future operational environment. The Army organizes regular conferences that tap into a broad range of expertise about future trends in technology and the human dimension, resulting in key findings and recommendations that are then incorporated into Army concepts, documents and assessments to ensure superiority over potential adversaries. The driving principle behind this initiative is that thinking through the unfamiliar and the unlikely results in agile and adaptive solutions for a broad range of future contingencies. As the Army faces unparalleled complexities in the future operating environment, initiatives such as Mad Scientist—supported by the timely and predictable funding necessary to their success—can ensure not only the future readiness of the Army but also the future readiness of the entire joint force.
Sustaining the All-Volunteer Force: A Readiness Multiplier
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, April 2016)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper postulates that demand for Army forces is high and requires commensurate levels of readiness. Budget reforms threaten to undermine quality of life compensation—in Soldier pay and retirement, in health care, in Basic Allowance for Housing, in Military Construction and in support for the commissaries—to such a degree that the viability of an AVF in the future is called into question. Readiness requires recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest—fit and resilient men and women of character—to volunteer and serve. The quality of life of Soldiers and those who support them is inextricably linked to readiness; ultimately, these reforms, aimed at maintaining readiness in the short term, have the potential to mortgage the military’s future readiness.
★ ★ ★ 2015 ★ ★ ★
AUSA + 1st Session, 114th Congress = Some Good News
(Torchbearer Special Report, December 2015)
This Torchbearer Special Report, in listing a number of AUSA’s particular accomplishments with Congress, demonstrates overall the role that AUSA plays in representing every American Soldier and the dedicated civilians of the Department of the Army. AUSA is a voice for America’s Army, fostering public support of the Army’s role in national security. There is still much work to be done, given today’s volatile national security environment that necessitates a focus on maintaining the readiness of the current force, development of the future force, sustainment of the all-volunteer force and enhancement of existing partnerships among industry, academia and the media. Nevertheless AUSA is pleased to outline the work that has recently been accomplished in working toward all of these goals.
Strategically Responsive Logistics: A Game-Changer
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2015)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes the unpredictable current operating environment of increasingly capable enemies who employ conventional and hybrid strategies to threaten U.S. vital interests. More and more, Army formations must have the capability to operate immediately, rapidly and accurately upon arrival into theater, something that cannot be done unless decisions are based on accurate and reliable logistics data. To meet this need, the Army is revolutionizing its logistics system through integration of legacy property, supply and maintenance functions into a single system: Global Combat Support System–Army (GCSS-A). At endstate, all warehouses, supply rooms, motorpools and property-book offices throughout the Total Army—active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve—will have the new system. GCSS-Army will enhance not only materiel readiness for the Army but also the readiness of the entire joint force.
The U.S. Army in Europe: Strategic Landpower in Action
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2015)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper begins by focusing on how Russia’s recent actions in Crimea and Ukraine have challenged the resolve of the European Union and NATO. In addition, terrorist attacks in Europe together with significant increases in numbers of refugees from Africa and the Middle East have created extreme conditions of volatility and instability. Moreover, traditional allies in Europe continue to face significant economic and demographic burdens that exert downward pressure on defense budgets. Therefore, strengthening military capabilities and building security capacity necessary for regional stability require sustained and focused engagement. That is precisely what U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR)—as the Army service component command to U.S. European Command—is executing under the framework of its Strong Europe initiative. And in doing so, it is supporting both U.S. and allied interests on the European Continent. The U.S. Army’s presence in Europe in more vital now than it has been since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Rapid Equipping and the U.S. Army's Quick-Reaction Capability
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2015)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes how early experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq made it clear that quick-reaction capabilities were needed to complement the standard procurement system with faster and less expensive materiel solutions. As a result, the Rapid Equipping Force (REF) was established to quickly procure and deliver nonstandard, situation-specific solutions that mitigate urgent capability shortfalls. The REF maintains a critical communications loop with the requirements, product producer and end-user communities that helps develop the next iteration of off-the-shelf technologies. Through quick-reaction capabilities, delivered by initiatives such as REF, the Army is adhering to the fundamental tenets of adaptability, innovation and institutional agility contained in its Operating Concept.
Enabling Reserve Component Readiness to Ensure National Security
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, September 2015)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper outlines the growing challenges facing today’s Army: the evolving operational environments, changing global commitments, ongoing funding issues and future force reductions that all require the Army to creatively plan and develop new paradigms to sustain high readiness levels in the Total Army. To maintain this total-force focus, the Army has retained a three-star command devoted to supporting and assisting army National Guard and Army reserve commanders to achieve readiness and reduce postmoblization training time. First Army is a multicomponent-sourced command with the critical mission of partnering with all conventional reserve component units throughout the continental United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It provides advice, assistance and training support to reserve component commanders and Soldiers to build collective readiness through multi-echelon, integrated training at home station and combat training center venues. First Army establishes partnerships with reserve component unit leadership to achieve directed readiness requirements. This enables the Army—via U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM)—to provide combatant commanders with trained and ready forces in support of worldwide requirements. The Army of the 21st century requires agile and flexible forces that are fully integrated in such a way as to leverage and sustain the unique capabilities of both components—active and reserve—in training and in wartime execution. Trained and ready forces across all components are an imperative in this volatile, unpredictable national security environment.
The U.S. Army's Expeditionary Mission Command Capability: Winning in a Complex World
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, September 2015)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper states the imperative that the Army maintain strategic and operational flexibility to deter and operate in multiple regions simultaneously. Demand for Army capabilities and presence continues to increase across combatant commands in response to emerging contingencies. Expeditionary maneuver becomes the norm as most of the Army is based in the United States (e.g., there are only two brigade combat teams forward stationed). Strategic responsiveness—units ready to deploy, transition to operations rapidly, function over wide areas, import a smaller logistics footprint—is an imperative. Whether the primary mission is combat, humanitarian assistance, counterinsurgency or other, Soldiers and leaders need a robust and varied set of capabilities, especially mission command. The core medium of expeditionary mission command is the network. The Army’s current plan will create a robust, versatile network through redesign and modernization efforts. Stretching from Army installations, to training facilities around the world, to the operational theater and the Soldier on point, the envisioned network supplies the infrastructure, systems, applications and tools necessary for all Army activities (training, missions and daily business). Putting the best expeditionary mission command capabilities in the hands of Soldiers and partners requires timely and predictable investment: significant funding for basic science and technology; more advanced research and development; acquisitions; and sustainment.
Installations: The Bedrock of America's Army
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, June 2015)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes four roles that installations play in ensuring Army readiness: solidifying the Army’s relationship with the civilian world through public and private partnerships; providing the infrastructure and technology to support force projection; undertaking initiatives that promote more resilient and efficient uses of energy; and providing services that ensure a high quality of life for Soldiers, families, DA civilians, veterans and survivors. With the global threats and unprecedented fiscal uncertainty the nation is currently facing, the Army must be able to deter adversaries and signal commitment to allies and partners. This cannot happen without installations that are capable of learning, adapting and innovating to provide unit and individual readiness. To build the installation of the future in this complex environment, Congress must provide full funding in a timely and predictable manner.
The U.S. Army in Motion in the Pacific
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, April 2015)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes the complex and uncertain strategic operating environment that America’s Army faces. To meet new challenges with success, senior Army leadership has added two new concepts as core competencies that emphasize the Army’s role in providing options to joint force commanders across a range of operations: first, setting the theater, i.e., establishing a presence with the purpose of increasing capabilities and capacities, and second, shaping security environments, i.e., working to further partner and allied relationships and foster understanding and cooperation. While developing these concepts, leadership has begun investing Army resources in the Indo–Asia–Pacific region. They are emphasizing a whole-of-government focus on the security and prosperity of that region, assigning a four-star general to the area and increasing the force assigned and available to the theater by approximately 40 percent. The Army now has an opportunity—through an innovation called Pacific Pathways—to put its new concepts into practice.
AUSA + 2nd Session, 113th Congress = Some Good News
(Torchbearer Special Report, January 2015)
While noting a number of the positive measures that Congress has taken, such as authorizing educational funding for military children and funding for a number of readiness and modernization programs, “AUSA + 2nd Session, 113th Congress = Some Good News” also outlines several areas in the Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Authorization Act in which Congress failed to address significant challenges. Among other concerns, the report mentions that servicemembers received a pay raise of only 1 percent—less than the rate of inflation—for the second straight year. Most significant, Congress did nothing to prevent the impending sequestration cuts scheduled to begin in 2016. Congress must take action to support the Army’s effort to balance endstrength, modernization, readiness, training, operational activities and Soldier and family program funding.
Force 2025 and Beyond: The U.S. Army's Holistic Modernization Strategy
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, January 2015)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes today’s security environment as complex and defined by unpredictability and the increasing momentum of human interaction. As technology proliferates, enemies will have greater access to weapons of mass destruction and sophisticated technical capabilities. The key to success is two-fold: leader development and maintenance of technological overmatch capabilities against likely antagonists. Regrettably, the Army is at risk of losing its present technological advantage unless its Science and Technology Enterprise receives focused strategic investments in technologies and the technical work force.
★ ★ ★ 2014 ★ ★ ★
Strategic Landpower in NATO: Vital for U.S. Security
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2014)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper outlines the purpose of NATO—namely, to safeguard the freedom and security of the 28 nations that are a part of the Alliance. LANDCOM is the newest single service command of the Alliance’s military arm. LANDCOM’s assigned personnel are regionally engaged across Europe, guided by three priorities to enhance strategic landpower: land forces operational capability, headquarters operational readiness and/or land advocacy. This enables Allies to provide a critical hedge against the unpredictable future that Europe is now facing, resultant from the recent Russian seizure of Crimea. Europe will continue to require a strong commitment from the United States, including responsive, adaptive and regionally engaged forces to maintain security and stability.
The U.S. Army in Korea: Strategic Landpower at the Forward Edge of Freedom
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, August 2014)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper begins with a discussion of the unpredictability and danger of the North Korean regime. As long as it continues to operate as it does, the vital interests of South Korea and the stability of the Asia-Pacific region as a whole will be constantly threatened. Since 1950, the United States’ alliance with South Korea has been in transformation to meet the mutual security interests of both nations. The relationship continues to grow and evolve, standing as a critical deterrent to the dynamic North Korean threat, supporting regional engagement with partners and enhancing responsiveness to contingencies through rotational deployments and multinational training exercises. Eighth Army is an integral part of USFK, constituting the largest military contribution to the alliance and providing the majority of American servicemembers stationed in South Korea.
Soldier for Life
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, June 2014)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes the quality of the American Army, an all-volunteer force whose premier status is due to the sacrifice of the Soldiers—the centerpiece of the Army. Given the scope of their sacrifice, Soldiers have a reasonable right to expect that adequate resources will be available to help them make their eventual transition from military to civilian life. Soldier for Life (SFL), a program established by the Army, works to provide opportunities for Soldiers who are in transition. SFL does not provide new services to transitioning Soldiers; it synchronizes the existing resources, making them more accessible to the individual Soldier, retired Soldier, veteran and family member. Without efforts such as this, the quality of America’s all-volunteer Army could suffer; it is a quality underpinned by the faith and trust of these servicemembers that their country will honor their commitment, selfless service and sacrifice by helping them to succeed in transitioning to civilian life.
U.S. Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense Capabilities: Enabling Joint Force 2020 and Beyond
(Torchbearer National Secuirty Report, May 2014)
This Torchbearer National Security Report remarks on the ease with which American adversaries can command air and missile weapons in their endeavors against the United States. As these weapons are both relatively inexpensive and widely available, they can be employed to significantly limit coalition freedom of action and cannot be easily countered. Historically, U.S. IAMD forces have been critical in the protection of deployed forces and preservation of coalition unity. Considering the rapidly evolving threat environment and the numerous trends that pose a challenge to assured access and freedom of action for the joint force now and in the future, it is helpful to look back at the progress already achieved by IAMD forces—a reflection that should also serve as an instigation for continued IAMD development.
Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness: Building Resilience, Enhancing Performance
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, March 2014)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper reflects briefly on the missions that the Army has accomplished over the past 12 years. Looking ahead to the post-drawndown period and the certainty that the nation will face future conflicts, Soldiers, their families and Army civilians must remain competent, strong of character and committed to the Army profession. Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) is an Army program designed to ensure that members of the Army community continue to thrive in their professional and personal lives. Taking a holistic approach to personal wellness—combining emotional, social, spiritual, family and physical elements to build overall resilience and enhance performance—CSF2 will continue to be a pillar of Army culture and a cornerstone of the campaign to sustain the all-volunteer force in the future.
Defending the Homeland: The Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Response Enterprise
(Torchbearer National Security Report, February 2014)
This Torchbearer National Security Report discusses in detail active component, National Guard and Reserve contributions to and forces responsible for homeland defense. Currently, the joint force has a much greater capability to respond to a catastrophic event in the homeland than it did just a decade ago. However, there are several areas, as the report outlines, in which further improvements remain to be made. Fiscal challenges are compromising the ability to provide adequate manpower. Other challenges include equipment standardization and compatibility and shortfalls in areas such as ground transportation, maintenance, fuel distribution and supply support. Given the immensity of the responsibility that the United States has to her citizens, it is vital that these challenges be resolved. In the event of a catastrophic domestic CBRN event, it is imperative that the forces comprising the Response Enterprise be properly structured, manned, trained and resourced to conduct their mission efficiently and effectively.
AUSA + 1st Session, 113th Congress = Some Good News
(Torchbearer Special Report, February 2014)
While noting a number of the positive measures that Congress has taken, such as averting nearly half of the anticipated sequestration cuts for this fiscal year (FY) and protecting critical elements of the military compensation package, this Torchbearer Special Report also outlines several areas in the FY 2014 Defense Authorization Act in which Congress failed to address significant challenges. Among other concerns, the report mentions that servicemembers received a pay raise of only 1 percent—less than the rate of inflation—and working-age retirees saw their annual cost-of-living-adjustment reduced by a percentage point, costing them more than $5 billion over the next 10 years (beginning 2015). It also brings attention to the shortfall of more than $30 billion facing the Department of Defense in FY 2014 and the $79 billion in readiness and modernization shortfalls facing the Army over the next five years. Congress must support the Army’s effort to balance endstrength, modernization and readiness—especially in the next five years as the sharp, sudden impact of sequestration cuts creates short-term vulnerabilities.
★ ★ ★ 2013 ★ ★ ★
The Army's Organic Industrial Base: Providing Readiness Today, Preparing for Challenges Tomorrow
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, December 2013)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper briefly outlines the crucial role that AOIB has had in the past in ensuring Army readiness, as it provides materiel and equipment—from small arms, explosives and cannon tubes to trucks and tanks. As the Army shifts focus from wartime production to sustainment operations, it must ensure that critical capabilities are preserved in a way that will allow rapid expansion when needed during peacetime. The AOIB must sustain those capabilities to remain effective and able to meet future requirements. Indeed, ensuring that it is able to do so supports the principles set out by the Chief of Staff, Army, in his third Strategic Priority—A Ready and Modern Army.
A Crisis in Military Housing: Basic Allowance for Housing Under Attack
(Torchbearer Alert, October 2013)
This Torchbearer Alert demonstrates the irrationality and injustice of placing the nation’s financial burdens on the shoulders of Soldiers. The quality of housing has improved in recent years under new programs and initiatives; the nation owes it to her servicemembers and their families, who have already given so much, to ensure that they continue to be provided with good homes. If sequestration is allowed to stand as it is, this provision will no longer be a certainty. In addition to the responsibility owed to current Soldiers, it is important to remember that in an all-volunteer force there must be adequate incentives to attract, retain and fairly compensate new recruits. Providing quality military housing is a necessary and profitable investment.
U.S. Army South: Fostering Peace and Security in South America, Central America and the Caribbean
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2013)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the challenging conditions and security issues of this region, such as unequal wealth distribution, corruption, transnational organized crime and natural disasters. For over a century, the Army has demonstrated its commitment to building relationships with the partners in this region. The return on the nation’s small investment in this relationship has been substantial. U.S. efforts have prevented open conflict, but there are nonetheless persistent tensions that remain because of the challenging conditions and security issues. Focused regional security cooperation is paramount to confronting security challenges before they mature into direct threats. As the Army shifts its focus after protracted wars in the Middle East, it is vital to remember that U.S. security depends on the Army’s ability—an ability that results from the support of joint, interagency and intergovernmental organizations—to continue supporting national security objectives in South America, Central America and the Caribbean through proactive engagement and enduring partnership. Timely and predictable funding together with leveraging half-century-old enduring relationships between the U.S. Army and its partner nations’ militaries are keys to fostering peace and security in this region.
Addition Through Subtraction: Empowering the Soldier by Lightening the Load
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2013)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper calls attention to how the Army is working to mitigate one of the side effects of the advances in communication technology for Soldier and squad—additional batteries that add weight and consume more space in combat loads. The Soldier Power portfolio is an ongoing acquisition success story that leverages research and development partnerships, lessons learned and evaluation and testing at the Network Integration Exercises. In this complex and dynamic global security environment, coupled with an uncertain fiscal environment, it is critical that the Army continues to invest wisely in innovation and technologies that will help the nation’s Soldiers.
The Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex: Winning the Future Fight
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, August 2013)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC), the Defense Department’s largest training venue in Alaska. The JPARC integrates all domains—land, air, sea, space and cyber—to provide unparalleled opportunities to bring disparate capabilities into a coordinated and comprehensive environment. Alaska sits at the center of gravity for the entire Asia–Pacific region, enabling the U.S. military to project strategic landpower—Army, Marines and special operations forces—across the theater that became a major focal point of U.S. defense policy with the January 2012 release of the Obama administration’s “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense.” Enabling large-scale joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational training not available elsewhere, the JPARC’s size and location allow for realistic deployment and employment of joint forces to meet tactical and operational requirements and for the exercise of existing war plans for the defense of the Asia–Pacific theater of operations.
Strategic Mobility: Enabling Global Responsiveness for America's Force of Decisive Action
(Torchbearer National Security Report, July 2013)
This Torchbearer National Security Report explores the future of the strategic responsiveness/mobility challenge. It discusses the necessity of strategic landpower, the status of the nation’s existing fleet of strategic-lift platforms and the human dimension of readiness to conduct any mission along the spectrum of conflict. It describes how Army doctrine and joint thinking have already been developed to cope with the volatile nature of this century’s diverse security challenges and explains how the Army is working to bridge existing mobility capability gaps. Finally, it details some of the transformative efforts that are necessary to enable the joint force to fulfill the nation’s high expectations in accordance with the latest defense strategic guidance.
Déjà Vu: Servicemembers' earnings are under attack—again
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, June 2013)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses some of the ways that these budget cuts are harming the livelihoods of those individuals who have volunteered to make a career of their service to the nation. In the world of healthcare, military retirees are currently facing a serious financial setback, as Congress is considering authorizing massive fee increases for TRICARE users. Servicemember pay is also under attack; the proposed 1 percent pay raise for military personnel in 2014 would be the lowest raise since 1958. This is only one of a number of ways that monetary compensation might become increasingly less attractive for potential volunteers. In addition to proposed fee hikes in TRICARE and negative impacts on Servicemember pay, the Defense Commissary Agency is also facing massive budget cut requirements that will force it to close stores and lay off employees, many of whom are military spouses. Unless effective efforts are made to stop and reverse these trends, a life of military service will become increasingly unattractive; there will be fewer incentives for potential volunteers to choose such a life, and the security of our nation will decline with the strength and efficacy of our Army.
The U.S. Army in the Pacific: Assuring Security and Stability
(Torchbearer National Security Report, April 2013)
This Torchbearer National Security Report discusses how the Army’s trained and ready forces in the Asia–Pacific region contribute to the joint force by preventing conflict, shaping the environment and winning decisively if necessary, assuring security and stability. As World War II ended, U.S. Army leadership proved to be the cornerstone of renewed peace and prosperity in the Pacific. Today, the region has reemerged as one of the world’s most militarily significant and challenging. The 2012 U.S. defense strategic guidance therefore directed that the joint force rebalance its efforts toward the Asia–Pacific and reinvest in its continued security. The Army must receive balanced support to continue providing invaluable resources to and enabling many contingency response options for the joint force.
AUSA + 2nd Session, 112th Congress = Some Very Good News
(Torchbearer Special Report, January 2013)
While noting a number of the positive measures that Congress took in this regard, such as providing sufficient personnel for the Army to respond to the demands of the nation’s security and authorizing a military pay raise that keeps pace with inflation, this Torchbearer Special Report also outlines a few areas in which Congress failed to include some important proposals in the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization Act. Among other concerns, the Flyer stresses that more consideration must to be afforded to the needs of veterans, sufficient funding must be provided for adequate modernization initiatives of equipment and more progress is needed to provide military families with affordable and quality housing. Congress must support the Army’s effort to balance endstrength, modernization and readiness.
★ ★ ★ 2012 ★ ★ ★
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.