By 2028, in Multi-Domain Operations (MDO)— as part of the Joint force, Army Strategy is to counter a near-peer adversary which is capable of competition in all domains. In 2019, the planning was for large-scale ground combat operations (LSCO) at echelons above the brigade combat team.
Before General Schoomaker's tenure, the Army was organized around large, mostly mechanized divisions, of around 15,000 soldiers each, with the aim of being able to fight two major theatres simultaneously. Under the new plan, the Army would be organized around modular brigades of 3,000–4,000 soldiers each, with the aim of being able to deploy continuously in different parts of the world, and effectively organizing the Army closer to the way it fights. An additional 30,000 soldiers were recruited as a short-term measure to assist in the structural changes, although a permanent end-strength change was not expected because of fears of future funding cuts, forcing the Army to pay for the additional personnel from procurement and readiness accounts. Up to 60% of the defense budget is spent on personnel and an extra 10,000 soldiers would cost US$1.4 billion annually.
On November 22 and 23, 2002, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs held the "Belfer Center Conference on Military Transformation". It brought together present and former defense officials and military commanders for the stated purpose of assessing the Department of Defense's progress in achieving a "transformation" of U.S. military capabilities. The conference was held at the Belfer Center at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. The United States Army War College and the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Security Series were co-sponsors. In some respects this could be said to have been the birthplace of Transformation as a formal paradigm.
In 2004, the United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), which commands most active Army and Army Reserve forces based in the Continental United States, was tasked with supervising the modular transformation of its subordinate structure.
In March 2004, a contract was awarded to Anteon Corporation (now part of General Dynamics) to provide Modularity Coordination Cells (MCC) to each transforming corps, division and brigade within FORSCOM. Each MCC contained a team of functional area specialists who provided direct, ground-level support to the unit. The MCCs were coordinated by the Anteon office in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2007 a new deployment scheme known as Grow the Army was adopted that enabled the Army to carry out continuous operations.
The plan was modified several times including an expansion of troop numbers in 2007 and changes to the number of modular brigades.
On 25 June 2013, plans were announced to disband 13 modular brigade combat teams (BCTs) and expand the remaining brigades with an extra maneuver battalion, extra fires batteries, and an engineer battalion.
In 2016 the Army force generation process ARFORGEN was sidelined because it relied mostly on the Active Army, in favor of the total force policy, which includes the Reserve and National Guard; in the new model, the total force could have fallen to 980,000 by 2018, subject to DoD's Defense Strategic Guidance to the Joint Staff.:note especially pp.1–3 By 15 June 2017, the Department of the Army approved an increase in the Active Army's end-strength from 475,000 to 476,000. The total Army end-strength increases to 1.018 million.
Planning process, evolution, and transformation
The commander-in-chief directs the planning process, through guidance to the Army by the Secretary of Defense. Every year, Army Posture Statements by the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army summarize their assessment[ReadyArmy 1]:minute 1:15:00/1:22:58 of the Army's ability to respond to world events, and also to transform for the future. In support of transformation for the future, TRADOC, upon the advice of the Army's stakeholders, has assembled 20 warfighting challenges. These challenges are under evaluation during annual Army warfighting assessments, such as AWA 17.1, held in October 2016. AWA 17.1 is an assessment by 5,000 US Soldiers, Special Operations Forces, Airmen, and Marines, as well as by British, Australian, Canadian, Danish, and Italian troops. For example, "reach-back" is among the capabilities being assessed; when under attack in an unexpected location, a Soldier on the move might use WIN-T. At the halt, a light Transportable Tactical Command Communications (T2C2 Lite) system:p.356 could reach back to a mobile command post, to communicate the unexpected situation to higher echelons,
a building block in multi-domain operations.
Implementation and current status
Grow the Army was a transformation and re-stationing initiative of the United States Army which began in 2007 and was scheduled to be completed by fiscal year 2013. The initiative was designed to grow the army by almost 75,000 soldiers, while realigning a large portion of the force in Europe to the continental United States in compliance with the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure suggestions. This grew the force from 42 Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) and 75 modular support brigades in 2007 to 45 Brigade Combat Teams and 83 modular support brigades by 2013.
On 25 June 2013, US Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno announced plans to disband 13 brigade combat teams and reduce troop strengths by 80,000 soldiers. While the number of BCTs will be reduced, the size of remaining BCTs will increase, on average, to about 4,500 soldiers. That will be accomplished, in many cases, by moving existing battalions and other assets from existing BCTs into other brigades. Two brigade combat teams in Germany had already been deactivated and a further 10 brigade combat teams slated for deactivation were announced by General Odierno on 25 June. (An additional brigade combat team was announced for deactivation 6 November 2014.) At the same time the maneuver battalions from the disbanded brigades will be used to augment armored and infantry brigade combat teams with a third maneuver battalion and expanded brigades fires capabilities by adding a third battery to the existing fires battalions. Furthermore, all brigade combat teams—armored, infantry and Stryker—will gain a Brigade Engineer Battalion, with "gap-crossing" and route-clearance capability.
On 6 November 2014, it was reported that the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, currently stationed in South Korea, was to be deactivated in June 2015 and be replaced by a succession of U.S.-based brigade combat teams, which are to be rotated in and out, at the same nine-month tempo as practiced by the Army from 2001–2014.
Eleven brigades were inactivated by 2015. The remaining brigades as of 2015 are listed below. On 16 March 2016, the Deputy Commanding General (DCG) of FORSCOM announced that the brigades would now also train to move their equipment to their new surge location as well as to train for the requirements of their next deployment.
By 2018, Secretary of the Army Mark Esper noted that even though the large deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan had ceased, at any given time, three of the Armored Brigade Combat Teams are deployed to EUCOM, CENTCOM, and INDOPACOM, respectively, while two Infantry Brigade Combat Teams are deployed to Iraq, and Afghanistan, respectively.
[At any given time,] there are more than 100,000 Soldiers deployed around the world —Secretary of the Army Mark Esper
In 2019 the Secretary of the Army asserted that the planning efforts, including Futures Command, the SFABs, and the Decisive Action readiness training of the BCTs are preparing the Army for competition with both near-peer and regional powers. The Army and Marine Corps have issued "clear explanations and guidance for the 429 articles of the Geneva Conventions".
The Budget Control Act could potentially restrict funds by 2020. By the 2024-2025 time frame, the fiscal year development plan (FYDP) will have reallocated $10 billion more into development of the top 6 modernization priorities, taking those funds from legacy spending budgets.
Reorganization plans by unit type
The Army has now been organized around modular brigades of 3,000–4,000 soldiers each, with the aim of being able to deploy continuously in different parts of the world, and effectively organizing the Army closer to the way it fights. The fact that this modernization is now in place has been acknowledged by the renaming of the 'Brigade Modernization Command' to the "U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command," on 16 February 2017.
Modular combat brigades are self-contained combined arms formations. They are standardized formations across the active and reserve components, meaning an Armored BCT at Fort Hood is the same as one at Fort Stewart.[Note 1]
Reconnaissance plays a large role in the new organizational designs. The Army felt the acquisition of the target was the weak link in the chain of finding, fixing, closing with, and destroying the enemy. The Army felt that it had already sufficient lethal platforms to take out the enemy and thus the number of reconnaissance units in each brigade was increased.[Note 2] The brigades sometimes depend on joint fires from the Air Force and Navy to accomplish their mission. As a result, the amount of field artillery has been reduced in the brigade design.
The three types of BCTs are Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs), Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs) (includes Light, Air Assault and Airborne units), and Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs).
Armored Brigade structure
Armored Brigade Combat Teams, or ABCTs consist of 4,743 troops. This includes the third maneuver battalion as laid out in 2013. The changes announced by the U.S. army on 25 June 2013, include adding a third maneuver battalion to the brigade, a second engineer company to a new Brigade Engineer Battalion, a third battery to the FA battalion, and reducing the size of each battery from 8 to 6 guns. These changes will also increase the number of troops in the affected battalions and also increase the total troops in the brigade. Since the brigade has more organic units, the command structure includes a deputy commander (in addition to the traditional executive officer) and a larger staff capable of working with civil affairs, special operations, psychological operations, air defense, and aviation units. An Armored BCT consists of:
the brigade headquarters and headquarters company (HHC): 43 officers, 17 warrant officers, 125 enlisted personnel – total: 185 soldiers.
the Brigade Engineer Battalion (BEB) (formerly Brigade Special Troops Battalion (BSTB)), consisted of a headquarters company, signal company, military intelligence company with a TUAV platoon and two combat engineer companies (A and B company). The former BSTB fielded 28 officers, 6 warrant officers, 470 enlisted personnel – total: 504 soldiers. Each of the combat engineer company fields 13× M2A2 ODS-E, 1× M113A3, 3× M1150 ABV, 1× M9 ACE, and 2× M104 AVLB.
a Cavalry (formerly Armed Reconnaissance) Squadron, consisting of a headquarters troop (HHT) and three reconnaissance troops and one armored troop. The HHT fields 2× M3A3 cavalry fighting vehicles and 3× M7A3 fire support vehicles, while each reconnaissance troop fields 7× M3A3 cavalry fighting vehicles. The squadron fields 35 officers and 385 enlisted personnel – total: 424 soldiers.
three identical combined arms battalions, flagged as a battalion of an infantry, armored or cavalry regiment. Each battalion consists of a headquarters and headquarters company, two tank companies and two mechanized infantry companies. The battalions field 48 officers and 580 enlisted personnel each – total: 628 soldiers. The HHC fields 1× M1A2main battle tank, 1× M2A3 infantry fighting vehicle, 3× M3A3 cavalry fighting vehicles, 4× M7A3 fire support vehicles and 4× M1064 mortar carriers with M120 120 mm mortars. Each of the two tank companies fields 14× M1A2main battle tanks, while each mechanized infantry company fields 14× M2A3 infantry fighting vehicles. In 2016, the ABCT's combined arms battalions adopted a triangle structure, of two armored battalions (of two armored companies plus a single mechanized infantry company) plus a mechanized infantry battalion (of two mechanized companies and one armored company). This resulted in the reduction of two mechanized infantry companies; the deleted armored company was reflagged as a troop to the Cavalry Squadron.
a Field Artillery battalion, consisting of a headquarters battery, two cannon batteries with 8× M109A6self-propelled 155 mm howitzers each (the changes announced by the U.S. Army on 25 June 2013, include adding a third battery to the FA battalion, and reducing the size of each battery from 8 to 6 guns; these changes also increase the number of troops in the affected battalions and also increase the total troops in the Brigade), and a target acquisition platoon. 24 officers, 2 warrant officers, 296 enlisted personnel – total: 322 soldiers.
a brigade support battalion (BSB), consisting of a headquarters, medical, distribution and maintenance company, plus six forward support companies, each of which support one of the three combined arms battalions, the cavalry squadron, the engineer battalion and the field artillery battalion. 61 officers, 14 warrant officers, 1,019 enlisted personnel – total: 1,094 soldiers.
Infantry Brigade structure
Infantry Brigade Combat Team, or IBCTs, comprised around 3,300 soldiers, in the pre-2013 design, which did not include the 3rd maneuver battalion. The 2013 end-strength is now 4,413 Soldiers:
Special Troops Battalion (now Brigade Engineer Battalion)
Stryker Brigade Combat Team or SBCTs comprised about 3,900 soldiers, making it the largest of the three combat brigade constructs in the 2006 design, and over 4,500 Soldiers in the 2013 reform.
Its design includes:
Cavalry Squadron (with three 14-vehicle, two-120 mm mortar reconnaissance troops plus a surveillance troop with UAVs and NBC detection capability)
(3) Stryker infantry battalions (each with three rifle companies with 12 infantry-carrying vehicles, 3 mobile gun platforms, 2 120 mm mortars, and around 100 infantry dismounts each, plus an HHC with scout, mortar and medical platoons and a sniper section.)
Engineer Company (folded into the Brigade Engineer Battalion) [An additional engineer company was added to the battalion in the 2013 reform]
Signal Company (folded into the Brigade Engineer Battalion)
Military Intelligence Company (with UAV platoon) (folded into the Brigade Engineer Battalion)
Anti-tank company (9 TOW-equipped Stryker vehicles) (folded into the Brigade Engineer Battalion)
Field Artillery Battalion (three 6-gun 155 mm Howitzer batteries, target acquisition platoon, and a joint fires cell)
Brigade Support Battalion (headquarters, medical, maintenance, and distribution companies)
Modular support brigades
Combat support brigades
Heavy Combat Aviation Brigade Structure
Full Spectrum Combat Aviation Brigade Structure
Similar modularity will exist for support units which fall into five types: Aviation, Fires (artillery), Battlefield Surveillance (intelligence), Maneuver Enhancement (engineers, signal, military police, chemical, and rear-area support), and Sustainment (logistics, medical, transportation, maintenance, etc.). In the past, artillery, combat support, and logistics support only resided at the division level and brigades were assigned those units only on a temporary basis when brigades transformed into "brigade combat teams" for particular deployments.
Combat Aviation Brigades are multi-functional, offering a combination of attack helicopters (i.e., Apache), reconnaissance helicopters (i.e., Kiowa), medium-lift helicopters (i.e., Blackhawks), heavy-lift helicopters (i.e., Chinooks), and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) capability. Aviation will not be organic to combat brigades. It will continue to reside at the division-level due to resource constraints.
Heavy divisions (of which there are six) will have 48 Apaches, 38 Blackhawks, 12 Chinooks, and 12 Medevac helicopters in their aviation brigade. These are divided into two aviation attack battalions, an assault lift battalion, a general aviation support battalion. An aviation support battalion will have headquarters, refuelling/resupply, repair/maintenance, and communications companies. Light divisions will have aviation brigades with 60 armed reconnaissance helicopters and no Apaches, with the remaining structure the same. The remaining divisions will have aviation brigades with 30 armed reconnaissance helicopters and 24 Apaches, with the remaining structure the same. Ten Army Apache helicopter units will convert to heavy attack reconnaissance squadrons, with 12 RQ-7B Shadow drones apiece. The helicopters to fill out these large, combined-arms division-level aviation brigades comes from aviation units that used to reside at the corps-level.
Fires Brigade Structure
Field Artillery Brigades (formerly known as "Fire Brigades" prior to 2014) provide traditional artillery fire (Paladin Howitzer, M270 MLRS, HIMARS) as well as information operations and non-lethal effects capabilities. After the 2013 reform, the expertise formerly embodied in the pre-2007 Division Artillery (DIVARTY) was formally re-instituted in the Division Artillery Brigades of 2015. The operational Fires battalions will now report to this new formulation of DIVARTY, for training and operational Fires standards, as well as to the BCT.
Air Defense: The Army will no longer provide an organic air defense artillery (ADA) battalion to its divisions. Nine of the ten active component (AC) divisional ADA battalions and two of the eight reserve (ARNG) divisional ADA battalions will deactivate. The remaining AC divisional ADA battalion along with six ARNG divisional ADA battalions will be pooled at the Unit of Employment to provide on-call air and missile defense (AMD) protection. The pool of Army AMD resources will address operational requirements in a tailorable and timely manner without stripping assigned AMD capability from other missions. Maneuver short-range air defense (MSHORAD) with laser cannon prototypes are fielding by 2020.
Maneuver Enhancement Brigades are designed to be self-contained, and will command units such as chemical, military police, civil affairs units, and tactical units such as a maneuver infantry battalion. These formations are designed to be joint so that they can operate with coalition, or joint forces such as the Marine Corps, or can span the gap between modular combat brigades and other modular support brigades.[Note 3]
Combat Sustainment Brigade Structure
Sustainment Brigades provide echelon-above-brigade-level logistics. On its rotation to South Korea, 3rd ABCT, 1st Armored Division deployed its supply support activity (SSA) common authorized stockage list (CASL) as well. The CASL allows the ABCT to draw additional stocks beyond its pipeline of materiel from GCSS-A. The DoD-level Global Combat Support System includes an Army-level tool (GCSS-A), which runs on tablet computers with bar code readers which 92-A specialists use to enter and track materiel requests, as the materiel makes its way through the supply chain to the brigades. This additional information can then be used by GCSS-A to trigger resupply for Army pre-positioned stocks, typically by sea.
Battlefield Surveillance Brigade Structure
The former Battlefield Surveillance Brigades, now denoted Military Intelligence Brigades (Expeditionary), will offer additional UAVs and long-term surveillance detachments. Each of the three active duty brigades is attached to an Army Corps.
Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABs) are brigades whose mission is to train, advise, and assist (TAA) the armed forces of other coalition partners. The SFAB are neither bound by conventional decisive operations nor counter-insurgency operations. Operationally, a 500-soldier SFAB would free-up a 4500-soldier BCT from a TAA mission.
On 23 June 2016 General Mark Milley revealed plans for train/advise/assist Brigades, consisting of seasoned officers and NCOs with a full chain of command,:Minute 18:40/1:00:45 but no junior Soldiers. In the event of a national emergency the end-strengths of the SFABs could be augmented with new soldiers from basic training and advanced individual training.
An SFAB was projected to consist of 500 senior officers and NCOs, which, the Army says, could act as a cadre to reform a full BCT in a matter of months. In May 2017, the initial SFAB staffing of 529 soldiers was underway, including 360 officers. The officers will have had previous command experience.:21:20 Commanders and leaders will have previously led BCTs at the same echelon. The remaining personnel, all senior NCOs, are to be recruited from across the Army. Promotable E-4s who volunteer for the SFAB are automatically promoted to Sergeant upon completion of the Military Advisor Training Academy. A team of twelve soldiers would include a medic, personnel for intelligence support, and air support, as cited by Keller.
These SFABs would be trained in languages, how to work with interpreters, and equipped with the latest equipment such as Integrated Tactical Network (ITN) using T2C2 systems including secure, but unclassified, communications and weapons to support coalition partners, as well as unmanned aircraft systems (UASs). The first five SFABs would align with the Combatant Commands (CENTCOM, USINDOPACOM, AFRICOM, ...) as required; an SFAB could provide up to 58 teams (possibly with additional Soldiers for force protection).
Funding for the first two SFABs was secured in June 2017.
By October 2017, the first of six planned SFABs (the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade) was established at Fort Benning.:minute 50:00
On 16 October 2017, BG Brian Mennes of Force Management in the Army's G3/5/7 announced accelerated deployment of the first two SFABs, possibly by Spring 2018 to Afghanistan and Iraq, if required. This was approved in early July 2017, by the Secretary of Defense and the Chief of Staff of the Army. On 8 February 2018, 1st SFAB held an activation ceremony at Fort Benning, revealing its colors and heraldry for the first time, and then cased its colors for the deployment to Afghanistan. 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade deployed to Afghanistan in Spring 2018.
On 8 December 2017, the Army announced the activation of the second Security Force Assistance Brigade, for January 2018, the second of six planned SFABs. The SFAB are to consist of about 800 senior and noncommissioned officers who have served at the same echelon, with proven expertise in advise-and-assist operations with foreign security forces. Fort Bragg was chosen as the station for the second SFAB in anticipation of the time projected to train a Security Force Assistance Brigade. On 17 January 2018 Chief of Staff Mark Milley announced the activation of the third SFAB. 2nd SFAB undergoes three months of training beginning October 2018, to be followed by a Joint Readiness Training Center Rotation beginning January 2019, and deployment in spring 2019. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th SFABs are to be stationed at Fort Hood, Fort Carson, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, respectively; the headquarters station for the National Guard SFAB (54th SFAB) will be in Indiana, one of six states to contribute an element of 54th SFAB. It is likely that these brigades will be seeing service in the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR).
The Security Force Assistance Command (SFAC), a one-star division-level command and all six SFABs will be activated by 2020.
The Security Force Assistance Directorate, a one-star Directorate for the SFABs, will be part of FORSCOM in Fort Bragg. SFAD will be responsible for the Military Advisor Training Academy as well.
The 1st SFAB commander was promoted to Brigadier General in Gardez, Afghanistan on 18 August 2018. The 2nd SFAB commander was promoted to Brigadier General 7 September 2018. SFAC and 2nd SFAB were activated in a joint ceremony at Fort Bragg on 3 December 2018. 2nd SFAB deployed to Afghanistan in February 2019. 3rd SFAB activated at Fort Hood on 16 July 2019; 3rd SFAB will relieve 2nd SFAB in Afghanistan for the Winter 2019 rotation.
Security Assistance is part of The Army Strategy 2018's Line of Effort 4: "Strengthen Alliances and Partnerships". The Security Assistance Command is based at Redstone Arsenal (but the SFAC is based at Fort Bragg).
Army Field Support Brigades
Army Field Support Brigades (AFSBs) have been utilized to field materiel in multiple Combatant Command's Areas of Responsibility (AORs). Initially 405th AFSB prepositioned stocks for a partial brigade; eventually, the 405th was to field materiel for an ABCT, a Division headquarters, a Fires Brigade, and a Sustainment Brigade in their AOR, which required multinational agreements. Similarly, 401st AFSB configured materiel for an ABCT in their AOR as well. The objective has been combat configuration: maintain their vehicles to support a 96-hour readiness window for a deployed ABCT on demand. In addition, 403rd Army Field Support Brigade maintains prepositioned stocks for their AOR.
Below the Combatant Commands echelon, Division commands will command and control their combat and support brigades. Divisions will operate as plug-and-play headquarters commands (similar to corps) instead of fixed formations with permanently assigned units. Any combination of brigades may be allocated to a division command for a particular mission, up to a maximum of four combat brigades. For instance, the 3rd Infantry Division headquarters could be assigned two armor brigades and two infantry brigades based on the expected requirements of a given mission. On its next deployment, the same division may have one Stryker brigade and two armor brigades assigned to it. The same modus operandi holds true for support units. The goal of reorganization with regard to logistics is to streamline the logistics command structure so that combat service support can fulfill its support mission more efficiently.
The division headquarters itself has also been redesigned as a modular unit that can be assigned an array of units and serve in many different operational environments. The new term for this headquarters is the UEx (or Unit of Employment, X). The headquarters is designed to be able to operate as part of a joint force, command joint forces with augmentation, and command at the operational level of warfare (not just the tactical level). It will include organic security personnel and signal capability plus liaison elements. As of March 2015, nine of the ten regular Army division headquarters, and two national guard division headquarters are committed in support of Combatant Commands.:Executive Summary
When not deployed, the division will have responsibility for the training and readiness of a certain number of modular brigades units. For instance, the 3rd Infantry Division headquarters module based at Fort Stewart, GA is responsible for the readiness of its combat brigades and other units of the division, assuming they have not been deployed separately under a different division.
The re-designed headquarters module comprises around 1,000 soldiers including over 200 officers. It includes:
A Main Command Post where mission planning and analysis are conducted
A mobile command group for commanding while on the move
(2) Tactical Command Posts to exercise control of brigades
A special troops battalion with a security company and signal company
Divisions will continue to be commanded by major generals, unless coalition requirements require otherwise. Regional army commands (e.g. 3rd Army, 7th Army, 8th Army) will remain in use in the future but with changes to the organization of their headquarters designed to make the commands more integrated and relevant in the structure of the reorganized Army, as the chain of command for a deployed division headquarters now runs directly to an Army service component command (ASCC), or to FORSCOM.
In January 2017, examples of pared-down tactical operations centers, suitable for brigades and divisions, were demonstrated at a command post huddle at Fort Bliss. The huddle of the commanders of FORSCOM, United States Army Reserve Command, First Army, I and III Corps, 9 of the Active Army divisions, and other formations discussed standardized solutions for streamlining command posts. The Army is paring-down the tactical operations centers, and making them more agile, to increase their survivability.
By July 2019 battalion command posts have demonstrated jump times of just over 3 hours, at the combat training centers, repeated 90 to 120 times in a rotation.
United States Army Futures Command (AFC), "a small agile command" (growing from 12 people at headquarters as of 2018 to 24,000 in 25 states and 15 countries in 2019) is slated to be the Army's fourth Army command (ACOM). AFC joined the other Army commands FORSCOM, Army Materiel Command (AMC), and TRADOC as four-star commands. Austin, Texas is the station for the headquarters of Futures Command. Initial operating capability is slated for 2018.
Although the Army has enjoyed overmatch for the past seventy years, more rapid modernization for conflict with near-peers is the reason for AFC, which will be focused on achieving clear overmatch in six areas — long-range precision fires, next-generation combat vehicle, future vertical lift platforms, a mobile & expeditionary Army network, air & missile defense capabilities, and soldier lethality (i.e. artillery, armor, aviation, signal, air defense artillery, and infantry respectively see: Futures).
In a reform-oriented break with Army custom, leaders of AFC headquarters will locate in a downtown property of the University of Texas System, while project-driven soldiers and Army civilians will co-locate with entrepreneurs/innovators in tech hubs, in the vision of Under Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy.
The official activation ceremony of AFC was on 24 August 2018, in Austin, Texas; in a press conference on that day featuring Army Chief of Staff Milley, Secretary Esper, Mayor Adler, and AFC commander Murray, Chief Milley noted that AFC would actively reach out into the community in order to learn, and that Senator John McCain's frank criticism of the acquisition process was instrumental for modernization reform at Futures command.:minute 7:30 In fact, AFC soldiers would blend into Austin by not wearing their uniforms [to work side by side with civilians in the tech hubs], Milley noted in the 24 August 2018 press conference.:minute 6:20 Secretary Esper said he expected failures during the process of learning how to reform the acquisition and modernization process.:minute 18:20
The organizational design of AFC was informed by the cancellation of the Army's Future Combat Systems project. Under Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy reviewed the reasons for that cancellation.: Minute 19:40 Thus "unity of command and purpose": Minutes 12:22, 23:01 was a criterion for the design by unifying previous modernization efforts in a single command; the sub-goals would be met in do-able chunks. The ratio of uniformed personnel to Army civilian employees is expected to be a talent-based, task-based issue for the AFC commander.: Minute 32:40The expectation is that these reforms will enable cultural change across the entire Army, as a part of attaining full operational capability.: Minute 27:14
The Program Executive Offices (PEOs) of ASA (ALT) will have a dotted-line relationship with Futures Command.
The first tranche of transfers into AFC included: Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC), Capability Development and Integration Directorates (CDIDs), and TRADOC Analysis Center (TRAC) from TRADOC, and RDECOM (including the six research, development and engineering centers (RDECs), and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL)), and Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA), from AMC, as announced by Secretary Esper on 4 June 2018. TRADOC's new role is amended accordingly. The Principal Military Deputy to the ASA(ALT) is also deputy commanding general for Combat Systems, Army Futures Command, and leads the PEOs; he has directed each PEO who does not have a CFT to coordinate with, to immediately form one, at least informally.
General Murray has announced that AFC intends to be a global command, in its search for disruptive technologies.
Army Chief of Staff Milley is looking for AFC to attain full operational capability (FOC) by August 2019.
As this modernized materiel is fielded to the brigades, the scheme is to equip the units with the highest levels of readiness for deployment with upgraded equipment earliest, while continuing to train the remaining units to attain their full mission capability. Note that expertise, in say psychological operations, is not necessarily confined to the Active Army brigades; if some operation were to require the expertise of a National Guard unit for example, an echelon above brigade might require that a unit with the most modern materiel be formed, to utilize that expertise.
The 10 Active Army divisions each have a deployable 3D printer for immediate operational requirements (to replace damaged materiel, subject to Army directives).
By 2020, in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget request to Congress, the Army Acquisition Executive (AAE) was able to report progress in the partnership between Army Futures Command (viz. its CFTs) and his PEOs in ASA(ALT) —the office of Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics & Technology).[Note 4]
In 2017, the concept of multi-domain battle (MDB) had emerged from TRADOC, for which the Army sought joint approval from the other services; instead, the Air Force recommended multi-domain operations (MDO) as the operating concept.
Multi-domain operations cover integrated operation of cyberspace, space (meaning satellite operations, from the Army's perspective), land, maritime, and air. A multi-domain task force was stood up in 2018 in I Corps for the Pacific. MDO in the Pacific has to involve maritime operation; MDO is planned for EUCOM in 2020. Multi-domain battalions, first stood up in 2019, comprise a single unit for air, land, space, and cyber domains.
To me, ARCIC’s [MDO] analysis means the Army’s got to be able to sink ships, neutralize satellites, shoot down missiles, and deny the enemy the ability to command and control its forces.
New cyber authorities have been granted under National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM) 13; persistent cyber engagements at Cyber command are the new norm for cyber operations. The CG of Futures Command (AFC) has noted that MDO will tie together the initiatives of AFC; but failures are to be expected in the AFC initiatives, and the institutional response of the Army, which is traditionally risk-averse, will test how committed the nation is to Army reforms.
Mesh networking is in play for the Mobile, Expeditionary Network: In Fiscal Year 2019, the network CFT, PEO 3CT, and PEO Soldier leveraged Network Integration Evaluation 18.2 for experiments with brigade level scalability. Among the takeaways was to avoid overspecifying the requirements (in ITN Information Systems Initial Capabilities Document) to meet operational needs, such as interoperability with other networks.:minute 26:40 ITN —Integrated Tactical Network is being fielded to four brigades in 2021. Up through 2028, every two years the Army will insert new capability sets for ITN (Capability sets '21, '23, '25, etc.).
By 2020 the Army's programs for modernization were now framed as a decades-long process of cooperation with allies and partners, for competition with potential adversaries who historically have blurred the distinction between peace and war, in a continuum of conflict.
TRADOC designed exercises for Joint warfighter assessments —JWA 19, at Fort Lewis, to clarify the jumps for Command Posts, to ensure their survivability during future operations.
In 2019, there was a new focus on planning for large-scale ground combat operations (LSCO), "that will require echelons above brigade, all of which will solve unique and distinct problems that a given BCT can't solve by itself."—LTG Eric Wesley. Computer simulations (DOTMLPF), of the survivability rates for the units, were then compared with the interaction strategies, tactics and operations of JWA 19, a highly contested environment. JWA 19 occurred at multiple operational speeds, in multiple domains served by multiple services (cyber: operating in milliseconds; air: operations at 500 miles per hour; maritime: 30 knots; and ground: 2 miles per hour). JWA 19 involved the militaries of the US, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, France, Australia and Singapore. In 2019 Secretary of Defense Mark Esper identified the Indo-Pacific Theater as the priority theater for the United States.  A multi-domain task force for the Indo-Pacific Theater is planned for a Defender exercise. However in light of the DoD 60-day travel ban due to the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic, the number of CONUS-based troops participating in Defender Europe 2020 will be reduced.
JWA 20 will exercise Multi-domain operations, and multinational forces, in EUCOM for 2020.See: Vostok 2018. EUCOM's Multi-domain task force will be smaller than the Pacific's task force. It is expected that the task forces will be employed in the Defender 2020 exercises in both EUCOM and the Pacific.  Defender-Europe 2020 will test the ability to deploy 20,000 Soldiers across Europe, for a 37,000-member exercise.
National standards need to be considered: for example, there is a difference in railroad gauge between Poland and Lithuania, who are both signatories to the Schengen agreement. Residents of those countries which are signatories to the Schengen agreement are restricted from airline travel to the continental United States for thirty days, beginning at midnight on Friday 13 February 2020. (The Pentagon has issued a 60-day travel ban for service members, civilians, and associated family members to/from the countries most affected by the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic.)
Elements of the 1st Cavalry, 82nd Airborne, 1st Armored, 1st Infantry, and 3rd Infantry Divisions, 11 National Guard states and seven Army Reserve units are rapidly deploying.
Reception, staging, onward movement and integration (RSOI) of a division-sized formation in EUCOM. A National Guard Brigade will draw from pre-positioned stocks in EUCOM.
An immediate response force from 82nd Airborne Division will conduct joint forcible entries.[ReadyArmy 2]
A division command post spread across Europe will conduct JWA 20 to test multi-domain operations (MDO) and other Futures Command capabilities, such as an initial prototype of Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node (TITAN), a ground station for integrating the data feed between "sensors and shooters". 
While in Europe, the units will spread out across the region for separate exercises with allies and partners to participate in their annual exercises. 
Army forces will clear the training areas, return pre-positioned stocks, consolidate, and redeploy (in this case, to home station).
In September and November 2019 the Department of Defense (DoD) has “scheduled a series of globally integrated exercises with participation from across the US government interagency to refine our plans” — Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford. This exercise is designed to help Secretary of Defense Mark Esper develop new plans, in the face of a change in chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Specifically what is missing is a joint concept shared at the appropriate operational speed between the several domains, among the respective services, when fighting a peer adversary.—LTG Eric WesleyNote the referenced LRHW graphic depicting a 2019 scenario— This is a return to the use of echelons above brigade (Divisions, Corps, and Field Armies), with specific tasks to force current adversaries to return to competition, rather than conflict.
Multi-domain operations (MDO) span multiple domains: cis-lunar space, land, air, maritime, cyber, and populations.:minute 17:45 Echelons above brigade (division, corps, and theater army) engage in a continuum of conflict.
In 2019 the 27th Secretary of Defense ordered the four services and the Joint staff to create a new joint warfighting concept for All-domain operations, operating simultaneously in the air, land, sea, space, cyber, and the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS).
In late December 2019, the Air Force, Army, and Navy ran a Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) connection exercise of Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) for the first time. This exercise is denoted ABMS Onramp, and will occur at four month intervals. JADC2 is a joint multi-domain operation (MDO); the exercise will involve the Army's Long range fires, ground-based troops, and Sentinel radar. The Air Force contributes F-22s and F-35s, while the Navy is bringing F-35Cs and a destroyer to ABMS Onramp. The December 2019 exercise used a NORTHCOM scenario. The Joint services each have a command and control (C2) concept to be scaled —for the Army, C2 requires thousands of connections with the sensors and shooters, as compared with hundreds of connections with the sensors and shooters for the Air Force ABMS; —Navy: its newest equipment (the newer Littoral Combat Ships, the MQ-8C, and the Naval Strike Missile) provides standoff for the Navy against its near-peers. In February 2020, voices at the tactical level were supporting cross-domain, cross-role, cross-service interoperation: "Any sensor should be able to link to any shooter and any command and control node". The combination of F-35-based targeting coordinates, Long range precision fires, and Low-earth-orbit satellite capability overmatches the competition, according to Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley. A Space sensor layer of satellites (at 1200 miles above earth) would position hundreds of Low-earth-orbit sensors for tracking hypersonic vehicles. This tracking layer would provide guidance information to the interceptors in the missile defense system. An April 2020 test of ABMS will span bases from Eglin AFB to Nellis AFB; from Yuma Proving Ground to White Sands Missile Range— in this test, a simulated attack will take place on 3 geographic commands: on Space Command, on Northern Command, and on Strategic Command's nuclear command, control, and communications. JADC2 will ensure continuity of commander's intent.
Two Multi-domain task forces are being requested for Indo-Pacom for 2021.
If you want to rapidly integrate all domains in order to take advantage of opportunities on a very lethal battlefield, you need a different type of C2 [command and control] structure. —Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley
Return to competition
By 2020 the Joint all-domain concept was converging on the need to return to competition, just short of conflict between near-peers.
In April 2019 Germany's 1st Armored Division (1AD) took the lead of a High command exercise (HICON) at Hohenfels Training Area, primarily for German 21st Armored Brigade, the Lithuanian Iron Wolf Brigade, and their subordinate units; 5,630 participants from 15 nations took part in this Joint multinational exercise, which rotates the lead among the coalition partners. Germany's 1AD already has Dutch, British and Polish officers within its ranks. A US Army Armored battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, took part in the exercise. Six engineering advisor teams from 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) provided hands-on experience and testing of secure communications between NATO allies and partners.
A reciprocal exchange of general officers between France and the US is taking place in 2019, under the U.S. Army Military Personnel Exchange Program (MPEP). Such programs with the UK, Australia, and Canada have already existed with the US.
In 2020 the Secretary of the Army announced 5-month extended rotations to Indo-Pacific countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) task forces in the region have already been engaging in MDO-like exercises in concert with the armed forces of Japan, Thailand, and Singapore.
Training and readiness
Under Schoomaker, combat training centers (CTCs) emphasized the contemporary operating environment (such as an urban, ethnically-sensitive city in Iraq) and stress units according to the unit mission and the commanders' assessments, collaborating often to support holistic collective training programs, rather than by exception as was formerly the case.
Schoomaker's plan was to resource units based on the mission they are expected to accomplish (major combat versus SASO, or stability and support operations), regardless of component (active or reserve). Instead of using snapshot readiness reports, the Army now rates units based on the mission they are expected to perform given their position across the three force pools ('reset', 'train/ready', and 'available'). The Army now deploys units upon each commanders' signature on the certificate of their unit's assessment (viz., Ready). As of June 2016, only one-third of the Army's brigades were ready to deploy. By 2019, two-thirds of the Active Army's brigades and half of the BCTs of the Total Army (both Active and Reserve components) are now at the highest level of readiness. The FY2021 budget request allows two-thirds of the Total Army (1,012,200 Soldiers by 2022) to reach the highest level of readiness by FY2022 —Maj. Gen. Paul Chamberlain.
"Soldiers need to be ready[ReadyArmy 3] 100 percent of the time."—Robert B. Abrams, FORSCOM commander, June 2, 2016
Chief of Staff Mark Milley's readiness objective is that all operational units be at 90 percent of the authorized strength in 2018, at 100 percent by 2021, and at 105 percent by 2023.
The observer coach/trainers at the combat training centers, recruiters, and drill sergeants are be filled at 100 percent strength by the end of 2018. In November 2018, written deployability standards (Army Directive 2018-22) were set by the Secretary and the Chief of Staff of the Army; failure to meet the standard means a soldier has six months to remedy this, or face separation from the Army. The directive does not apply to about 60,000 of the 1,016,000 Soldiers of the Army; 70-80 percent of the 60,000 are non-deployable for medical reasons. Non-deployables have declined from 121,000 in 2017. The Army combat fitness test (ACFT) will test all soldiers; at the minimum, the 3-Repetition Maximum Deadlift, the Sprint-Drag-Carry and an aerobic event will be required of all soldiers, including those with profiles (meaning there is an annotation in their record); the assessment of the alternative aerobic test will be completed by 19 October 2019.
Soldier and Family Readiness Groups
Soldiers and Army spouses belong to Soldier and Family Readiness Groups (SFRGs),[ReadyArmy 3] renamed from (FRGs) which mirror the command structure of an Army unit — the spouse of the 40th Chief of Staff of the United States Army has served on the FRG at every echelon of the Army. :Ryan McCarthy, minute 39:33 The name change to SFRG is to be more inclusive of single soldiers, single parents, and also those with nontraditional families. An S/FRG seeks to meet the needs of soldiers and their families, for example during a deployment, or to address privatized housing deficiencies, or to aid spouses find jobs. As a soldier transfers in and out of an installation, the soldier's entire family will typically undergo a permanent change of station (PCS) to the next post. PCS to Europe and Japan is now uniformly for 36 months, regardless of family status (formerly 36 months for families). Transfers typically follow the cycle of the school year to minimize disruption in an Army family.
When a family emergency occurs, the informal support of that unit's S/FRG is available to the soldier. (But the Army Emergency Relief fund is available to any soldier with a phone call to their local garrison. Seventy-five Fisher Houses maintain home-away-from-home suites for families undergoing medical treatment of a loved one. The Army, Navy, and Air Force Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs) are scheduled to complete their transfer to the Defense Health Agency (DHA) no later than 21 October 2021. This has been a ten-year process. The directors of each home installation's Medical treatment facility (MTF) continue to report to the commanders of their respective installations. This change transfers all civilian employees of each Medical treatment facility (MTF) to the Defense Health Agency (DHA).) The name change links Soldier Readiness with Family Readiness. Commanders will retain full responsibility for Soldier sponsorship after a move, especially for first term Soldiers in that move.
In response to Army tenant problems with privatized base housing, IMCOM was subordinated to Army Materiel Command (AMC) on 8 March 2019. By 2020, AMC's commander and the Residential community initiative (RCI) groups had formulated a 50-year plan. The Army's RCI groups, "seven private housing companies, which have 50-year lease agreements" on 98% of Army housing at 44 installations, will work with the Army for long-term housing improvements, and remediation.
In 2019 the Army issued several directives to make it easier for families to make money even while living in on-base housing.
In March 2020, the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic has shut down schools, child and youth centers, and child development centers across the Army; the Army's experts on the campaigns against viruses such as Ebola, HIV, MERS, Zika, and now COVID-19. are working on a vaccine, and a testing kit against COVID-19.
In times of national emergency the VA can be pressed into service in its role as the nation’s health-care system of last resort. The Army has an action plan and a proposed price tag of $1 billion to float to Congress. Secretary McCarthy has commended the Army's virus experts, the National Guard's actions, as well as the US Forces Korea's handling of COVID-19. COVID-19 appears to have an 8 to 10 week period. In March 2020 the Army change of mission now supports the nation's fight against COVID-19.
As of 6 April 2020 "Of the roughly 100,000 troops in TRADOC — 54,000 trainees, 46,000 instructors and staff — only 102 have tested positive for COVID-19 so far, [TRADOC commander] Gen. Paul Funk said, and 12 of them have already recovered".
Applications for Synthetic Training Environment (STE)
The Squad Advanced Marksmanship Training (SAMT) system, developed by the STE Cross-functional team from Futures Command, has an application for 1st SFAB. Bluetooth enabled replicas of M4 rifles and M9 and Glock 19 pistols, with compressed air recoil approximate the form, fit and function of the weapons that the Soldiers are using in close combat. For 1st SFAB, scenarios included virtual reality attacks which felt like engagements in a room. The scenarios can involve the entire SFAB Advisor team, and engagements can be repeated over and over again. Advanced marksmanship skills such as firing with the non-dominant hand, and firing on the move can be practiced.
Nine Army sites are now equipped with the SAMT. Over twenty systems are planned for locations in the United States. The Close combat tactical trainers are in use, for example, to train 3rd Infantry Division headquarters for a gunnery training event (convoy protection role), and 2nd BCT/ 82nd Airborne close combat training.
"A simulation places leadership teams in a situation akin to a Combat Training Center rotation, an intellectually and emotionally challenging environment that forgives the mistakes of the participants"—Dr. Charles K. Pickar 
"It is important for Soldiers to have an open and clear mind during the simulation so that they learn something from the experience."—Tim Glaspie 
"Repetition increases a team’s situational understanding of the tactics they’ll use ..."—Maj. Anthony Clas
I believe that a training environment .. should be a maneuver trainer, and it should be a gunnery trainer. —Retired Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, 32nd vice chief of staff of the Army 
Plans are being formulated for mobilization of the Army Reserve (42,000 to 45,000 soldiers) very quickly.
For example, 'Ready Force X' (RFX) teams have fielded Deployment Assistance Team Command and Control Cells to expedite the associated equipment to the various ports and vessels which is required for the specific Reserve personnel who have been notified that they are deploying.FORSCOM's mobilization and force generation installations (MFGIs) have fluctuated from two primary installations (2018) to an envisioned eleven primary and fourteen contingency MFGIs, in preparation for future actions against near-peers.See: Soldier Readiness Processing
"Associated units" training program
The Army announced a pilot program, 'associated units', in which a National Guard or Reserve unit would now train with a specific active Army formation. These units would wear the patch of the specific Army division before their deployment to a theater;36th Infantry Division (United States) headquarters deployed to Afghanistan in May 2016 for a train, advise, assist mission.
The Army Reserve, whose headquarters are colocated with FORSCOM, and the National Guard, are testing the associated units program in a three-year pilot program with the active Army. The program will use the First Army training roles at the Army Combat Training Centers at Fort Irwin, Fort Polk, and regional and overseas training facilities.
The pilot program complements FORSCOM's total force partnerships with the National Guard, begun in 2014.
Summer 2016 will see the first of these units.
3rd Infantry BCT, 10th Mountain Division, stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, associated with the 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard
48th Infantry BCT, Georgia ARNG, associated with the 3rd Infantry Division, Stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia
86th Infantry BCT, Vermont ARNG, associated with the 10th Mountain Division, stationed at Fort Drum, New York
81st Armored BCT, Washington ARNG, associated with the 7th Infantry Division, stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
Task Force 1-28th Infantry Battalion., 3rd Infantry Division, stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, associated with the 48th Infantry BCT, Georgia Army National Guard
100th Battalion., 442nd Infantry Regiment, USAR, associated with the 3rd Infantry BCT, 25th Infantry Division, stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
1st Battalion., 143rd Infantry Regiment Texas ARNG, associated with the 173rd Airborne BCT, stationed in Vicenza, Italy
1st Battalion., 151st Infantry Regiment, Indiana ARNG, associated with the 2nd Infantry BCT, 25th Infantry Division, stationed at Schofield Barracks
5th Engineer Battalion., stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, associated with the 35th Engineer Brigade, Missouri ARNG
840th Engineer Company, Texas ARNG, associated with the 36th Engineer Brigade, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas
824th Quartermaster Company, USAR, associated with the 82nd Airborne Division's Sustainment Brigade, stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
249th Transportation Company, Texas ARNG, associated with the 1st Cavalry Division's Sustainment Brigade., stationed in Fort Hood
1245th Transportation Company, Oklahoma ARNG, associated with the 1st Cavalry Division's Sustainment Brigade., stationed in Fort Hood
1176th Transportation Company, Tennessee ARNG, associated with the 101st Airborne Division's Sustainment Brigade, stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky
2123rd Transportation Company, Kentucky ARNG, associated with the 101st Airborne Division's Sustainment Brigade, stationed at Fort Campbell
Soldiers train for weapons handling, and marksmanship first individually, on static firing ranges, and then on simulators such as an Engagement Skills Trainer (EST). More advanced training on squad level simulators (Squad Advanced Marksmanship-Trainer (SAMT)) place a squad in virtual engagements against avatars of various types, using M4 carbine, M249 light machine gun and M9 Beretta pistol simulated weapon systems. Home stations are to receive Synthetic training environments (STEs) for mission training, as an alternative to rotations to the National Combat Training Centers, which operate Brigade-level training against an Opposing force (OPFOR) with near-peer equipment.
Some installations have urban training facilities for infantrymen, in preparation for Brigade-level training.
A 2019 marksmanship manual "TC 3-20.40, Training and Qualification-Individual Weapons" (the Dot-40) now mandates the use of the simulators, as if the Soldier were in combat. The Dot-40 is to be used by the entire Army, from the Cadets at West Point, to the Active Army, the Army Reserve, and Army National Guard; the Dot-40 tests how rapidly Soldiers can load and reload while standing, kneeling, lying prone, and firing from behind a barrier. The marksmanship tests of a Soldier's critical thinking, selecting targets to shoot at, in which order, and the accuracy of each shot are recorded by the simulators.
Up to a platoon-sized unit of a Stryker brigade combat team, and dismounted infantry, can train on Stryker simulators (Stryker Virtual Collective Trainer - SVCT), which are in the process of being installed at 8 home stations. The 4th is being completed. Forty-five infantrymen (4 Stryker shells) or thirty-six scouts (6 Stryker shells) can rehearse their battle rhythm on a virtual battlefield, record their lessons learned, give their after-action reports, and repeat, as a team. The Stryker gunner's seat comes directly from a Stryker vehicle and has a Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) and joystick to control a virtual .50 caliber machine gun or a virtual 30 mm autocannon.
Digital air ground integration ranges (DAGIRs)
Live-fire digital air ground integration ranges (DAGIRs) were first conceptualized in the 1990s, and established in 2012, with follow-on in 2019. The ranges initially included 23 miles of tank trails, targets, battlefield effects simulators, and digital wiring for aerial scorekeeping. These ranges are designed for coordinating air and ground exercises before full-on sessions at the National Training Centers.
The force generation system, posited in 2006 by General Schoomaker, projected that the U.S. Army would be deployed continuously. The Army would serve as an expeditionary force to fight a protracted campaign against terrorism and stand ready for other potential contingencies across the full-spectrum of operations (from humanitarian and stability operations to major combat operations against a conventional foe).
Under ideal circumstances, Army units would have a minimum "dwell time," a minimum duration of which it would remain at home station before deployment. Active-duty units would be prepared to deploy once every three years. Army Reserve units would be prepared to deploy once every five years. National Guard units would be prepared to deploy once every six years. A total of 71 combat brigades would form the Army's rotation basis, 42 from the active component with the balance from the reserves.
Thus, around 15 active-duty combat brigades would be available for deployment each year under the 2006 force-generation plan. An additional 4 or 5 brigades would be available for deployment from the reserve component. The plan was designed to provide more stability to soldiers and their families. Within the system, a surge capability would exist so that about an additional 18 brigades could be deployed in addition to the 19 or 20 scheduled brigades.
From General Dan McNeil, former Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) Commander: Within the Army Forces Generation (ARFORGEN) model, brigade combat teams (BCTs) would move through a series of three force pools; they would enter the model at its inception, the "reset force pool", upon completion of a deployment cycle. There they would re-equip and reman while executing all individual predeployment training requirements, attaining readiness as quickly as possible. Reset or "R" day, recommended by FORSCOM and approved by Headquarters, Department of the Army, would be marked by BCT changes of command, preceded or followed closely by other key leadership transitions. While in the reset pool, formations would be remanned, reaching 100% of mission required strength by the end of the phase, while also reorganizing and fielding new equipment, if appropriate. In addition, it is there that units would be confirmed against future missions, either as deployment expeditionary forces (DEFs-BCTs trained for known operational requirements), ready expeditionary forces (REFs-BCTs that form the pool of available forces for short-notice missions) or contingency expeditionary forces (CEFs-BCTs earmarked for contingency operations).
Based on their commanders' assessments, units would move to the ready force pool, from which they could deploy should they be needed, and in which the unit training focus would be at the higher collective levels. Units would enter the available force pool when there is approximately one year left in the cycle, after validating their collective mission-essential task list proficiency (either core or theater-specific tasks) via battle-staff and dirt-mission rehearsal exercises. The available phase would be the only phase with a specified time limit: one year. Not unlike the division-ready brigades of past decades, these formations would deploy to fulfill specific requirements or stand ready to fulfill short-notice deployments within 30 days.
The goal was to generate forces 12–18 months in advance of combatant commanders' requirements and to begin preparing every unit for its future mission as early as possible in order to increase its overall proficiency.
Personnel management would also be reorganized as part of the Army transformation. Previously, personnel was managed on an individual basis in which soldiers were rotated without regard for the effect on unit cohesion. This system required unpopular measures such as "stop loss" and "stop move" in order to maintain force levels. In contrast, the new personnel system would operate on a unit basis to the maximum extent possible, with the goal of allowing teams to remain together longer and enabling families to establish ties within their communities.
Abrams 2016 noted that mid-level Army soldiers found they faced an unexpected uptempo in their requirements, while entry-level soldiers in fact welcomed the increased challenge.
Sustainable Readiness Model
This model is "a structured progression of increased unit readiness over time, resulting in recurring periods of availability of trained, ready, and cohesive units prepared for operational deployment in support of geographic Combatant Commander requirements". ARFORGEN was replaced by the Sustainable Readiness Model (SRM) in 2017. In 2016 the Chief of Staff of the Army identified the objective of a sustainable readiness process as over 66 percent of the Active Army in combat ready state at any time; in 2019 the readiness objective of the National Guard and Army Reserve units was set to be 33 percent; Total Army readiness for deployment was 40 percent in 2019.[ReadyArmy 3]
In 2018 Chief of Staff Mark Milley's readiness objective is that all operational units be at 90 percent of the authorized strength in 2018, at 100 percent by 2021, and at 105 percent by 2023.
The observer coach/trainers at the combat training centers, recruiters, and drill sergeants are be filled at 100 percent strength by the end of 2018.
The requested strength of the Active Army in FY2020 is increasing by 4,000 additional troops from the current 476,000 soldiers; this request covers the near-term needs for cyber, air & missile defense, and fires (Army modernization).
The Acting CG of FORSCOM, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, has noted that the Sustainable Readiness Model uses the Army standard for maintenance readiness, denoted 10/20, which makes commanders responsible for maintaining their equipment to the 10/20 standard, meaning that "all routine maintenance is executed and all deficiencies are repaired".:p. 79 But Richardson has also spoken out about aviation-related supplier deficiencies hurting readiness both at the combatant commands and at the home stations.
Materiel for 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, arriving in Gdansk, Poland
Army Materiel Command (AMC), which uses Army Field Support Brigades (AFSBs) to provision the Combatant Commands, has established Army prepositioned stocks (APS) for supplying entire Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), at several areas of responsibility (AORs):
In September 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that four Patriot systems— Two from Kuwait, and one apiece from Jordan and Bahrain are redeploying back to the U.S. for refurbishment and upgrades, and will not be replaced.
As the U.S. Army's only forward-deployed Airborne brigade, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, stationed in EUCOM, was supplied with new communications materiel — Integrated Tactical Networks (ITN) in 2018. New ground combat vehicles, the Infantry Carrier Vehicle - Dragoon (ICVD) are being supplied to 2nd Cavalry Regiment. ICVDs are Strykers with an unmanned turret and 30 mm autocannon (CROWS), and an integrated commander's station, upgraded suspension and larger tires. The Army brigades of EUCOM have been in position for testing materiel, as its elements engaged in a 2018 road march through Europe, training with 19 ally and partner nations in Poland in 2018.
This initiative, designed by then-DoD-Secretary James Mattis, exercises the ability of selected BCTs to rapidly surge combat-ready forces into a theater, such as EUCOM, on short notice. In several such cases, at the direction of the Secretary of Defense in March 2019, troops were rapidly alerted, recalled and deployed to a forward position, under (simulated) emergency conditions, to prove a capability (such as an ABCT, and a THAAD battery) against near-peers. The ABCT element next participated in a joint live-fire exercise with Polish troops of the 12th Mechanized Brigade, 12th Mechanised Division (Poland) in Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland. (A Mission Command element of TRADOC served in the role of echelon-above-brigade for the maneuver and interoperability of the joint multi-national armored brigades.) In September 2018, the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment had already assumed a forward deployment in Poland. Poland and the US are planning for regular rotations going forward.
Similar initiatives are planned for other alliances.
FORSCOM exercised its Emergency deployment readiness exercises (EDREs) in 2019 by sending 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division to the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk LA by sealift, simultaneously exercising the logistics planners at Fort Drum, the seaports in Philadelphia PA, and Port Arthur TX as well as 2nd BCT. Through the EDRE program, 20 of the ports have been exercised to ready them for sealift deployments. A division-sized move of 20,000 pieces of equipment from the US to Europe began a month-long process in January 2020. In 2020 "wide-spanning maneuvers will focus on the Baltic States, Poland, and Georgia" which would have involved 36,000 troops from 11 countries ranging from the Baltic to the Black Seas, a number still in flux.
Force size and unit organization
Overall, the Army would end up with 71 brigade combat teams and 212 support brigades, in the pre-2013 design. The Regular Army would move from 33 brigade combat teams in 2003 to 43 brigade combat teams together with 75 modular support brigades, for a total of 118 Regular Army modular brigades. In addition the previously un-designated training brigades such as the Infantry Training Brigade at Fort Benning assumed the lineage & honors of formerly active Regular Army combat brigades. Within the Army National Guard, there would be 28 brigade combat teams and 78 support brigades. Within the Army Reserve, the objective was 59 support brigades.(Chief of Staff Mark Milley credits a previous Chief, Creighton Abrams, for placing most of the support brigades in the reserve and national guard, in order to insure that the nation would use the total army, rather than only the active army alone, in an extended war involving the entire nation.):minute 42:30
In the post-2013 design, the Regular Army is planned to reduce to 32 BCTs after all the BCTs have been announced for inactivation. The Reserve component will be playing an increased role.
The 2018 budget will further reduce 40,000 active-duty soldiers from 490,000 in 2015 to 450,000 by 2018 fiscal year-end. Thirty installations will be affected; six of these installations will account for over 12,000 of those to be let go.
In early 2015, the plan was to cut entire BCTs; by July 2015, a new plan, to downsize a BCT (4,500 soldiers) to a maneuver battalion task force (1,032 soldiers, with the possibility of upsizing if need be) was formulated.
In 2015, a plan was instituted to allow further shrinking of the Army, by converting selected brigades to maneuver battalion task forces. A maneuver battalion task force includes about 1,050 Soldiers rather than the 4,000 in a full BCT. This 9 July 2015 plan, however, would preclude rapid deployment of such a unit until it has been reconstituted back to full re-deployable strength. This is being addressed with the #"Associated units" training program from the Reserve and Guard, and the #Sustainable Readiness Model (SRM). Funding has been allocated for two (out of six planned) Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABs) composed of 529 senior officers and senior NCOs (a full chain of command for a BCT).
The changes announced so far affect:
Every HHBN (2-star, and higher, headquarters battalion) reduces by 10%
3rd ABCT, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning
The capabilities as prioritized by the Chief of Staff, will use subject matter experts in the realms of requirements, acquisition, science and technology, test, resourcing, costing, and sustainment, using Cross Functional Teams (CFTs) for:
^ abc"Ready Army is a proactive campaign to increase Army community resilience and enhance force readiness by informing Soldiers, their Families, Army Civilians and contractors of relevant hazards, and encouraging them to
"A computer-coordinated fight": in the air, land, sea, space, cyber, and the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS)
"forces from satellites to foot soldiers to submarines sharing battle data at machine-to-machine speed"
"it’s the ability to integrate and effectively command and control all domains in a conflict or in a crisis seamlessly"—Gen. Hyten, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
All-Domain Operations use global capabilities: "space, cyber, deterrent [the nuclear triad (for mutually assured destruction in the Cold War, an evolving concept in itself)], transportation, electromagnetic spectrum operations, missile defense"
"We are deeply troubled by the recent reports highlighting the deficient conditions in some of our family housing. It is unacceptable for our families who sacrifice so much to have to endure these hardships in their own homes."—Secretary of the Army, Dr. Mark T. Esper and Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Mark A. Milley "US Army statement on military housing". U.S. Army. 13 February 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
By Acquisition or Business System category (ACAT or BSC). The Weapon systems in each ACAT are sorted alphabetically by Weapon system name. Each weapon system might also be in several variants (Lettered); a weapon system's variants might be severally and simultaneously in the following phases of its Life Cycle, namely — °Materiel Solution Analysis; °Technology Maturation & Risk Reduction; °Engineering & Manufacturing Development; °Production & Deployment; °Operations & Support
^ In May 2017, during their rotation to EUCOM, Combined Resolve VIII, 3rd ABCT/4th ID combined with land and aviation forces from six partner nations, Albania, Finland, Hungary, Kosovo, Romania and the Ukraine. The combined team will operate within 3rd ABCT's combined arms structure. The scenario is to defend a European nation from attack. in a NATO Article V incident. —(31 May 2017) 3/4 ID evolves into multinational brigade at Combined Resolve VIII accessdate=2017-07-18