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Old 01-05-2011   #1
gute
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Default AC/RC Force Structure

I'm interested in cost comparisons between AC and RC forces, armor and infantry and wondering if someone might point me in the right direction? Also, the Army has talked about fielding a lighter force and plans to replace two HBCTs with SBCTs. To me it would make sense to replace IBCTs because SBCTs may also function as light infantry. Can the U.S. afford to transfer most of the armor force to the reserves/ARNG and still field a high quality, combat ready force? Or, should the AC Army keep all armor battalions and the reserves/ARNG convert their HBCTs to IBCTs?
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Old 01-05-2011   #2
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That is a loaded question, but I'll offer a couple initial thoughts from my experience.

1. The Guard has huge political clout, so that will play a factor in any solution that is ultimately reached.

2. The Guard is designed to be an auxiliary war fighting force, so logically should be focused on units designed for fighting wars. I would not classify current operations in Iraq or Afghanistan as "wars" that meet that criteria. The guard should be more focused on the type of warfare that Gian Gentile advocates. Deterring in peace, but prepared to ramp up training, deploy and fight in time of war.

3. Training beyond basic individual and team levels is very difficult in the Guard. With the growth of simulators this is easier than it used to be. One can build incredibly effective teams in the Guard and individual skills. Tank crews, howitzer crews, FDCs, Forward observers, can become very adept. Collective operations at Platoon and above, as well as the command and staff synch are more difficult to hone pre-mob. Ironically, when large Active Duty training units are employed, as they were post Gulf War, it makes it worse. In large, they come in trapped in their paradigm of how to train active duty soldiers and units; and most have little empathy or creativity for this type of domestic FID work. They don't seek to establish rapport with the locals, they stay in little cliques, they are highly critical of the skills that they see as sub-standard based on their perspective, and often come armed with agendas from pissed off senior Army leadership (see item one above regarding the Guard's political clout). We can do better at training Guard units than we have in the past, and will need to.

4. What governors want though, are engineers, and ground and aerial transportation units. Not very sexy, but F-22s and M1A1 tanks aren't much help when a hurricane hits, or some hiker gets lost on Mount Hood. A smart TAG seeks balance. A couple high-end combat units and a couple of robust combat support units. This ensures a good stream of federal training funds, ammo, etc; as well as an ability to augment state emergency workers when disaster strikes.

The Guard is a great American institution. We are lucky to have it. Most don't appreciate that even long before 9/11, that leadership in "Enhanced Brigades" were routinely putting in 2 weekends a month and 3-4 weeks of Annual Training, in addition to another 4-6 nights driving 50 miles after work to attend training and planning meetings each month. Most AC soldiers find it too hard to be a soldier and a civilian and quit after a year or so; though to be fair, many quit because they are late comers to a club, and the two grades where marginal performers "stick" and serve for years in the Guard are E-6 and O-4. Getting stuck under one of these low-caliber Guard-lifers is understandably demoralizing.

Most of this is background from a guy who spent a great deal of time serving and leading on both sides of the fence. The RC has been rode hard by the GWOT since I went back to the active force, so I'm not sure how they stand now; and even that varies greatly by state.
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Old 01-05-2011   #3
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Default GAO Report

This might provide some of what you are looking for, as well as some background on the difficulties of keeping Guard combat units sharp and fully staffed.

Army Needs to Finalize an Implementation Plan and Funding Strategy for Sustaining an Operational Reserve Force
September 2009

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09898.pdf
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Old 01-07-2011   #4
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This may help. It's relevant to a force structure argument. Indeed this is why I wrote it.
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Old 01-07-2011   #5
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Default Three thoughts...

Bob's World:

That's as good a summation as I've seen. I think it's quite accurate and I also think it's a shame that the US Army does not realize the inherent accuracy in your comments. The Guard and Reserve bring a lot to the table but the bulk of the AC do not realize that and thus all too often fail to take advantage of their strengths.

The current idea of using the RC as an augmentation to the active force isn't wrong but it doesn't accept some realities and it is in need of some major structural (and political) changes if it is to be continued.

I have no idea where Gute is headed but back in the day, the general rule of thumb was that RC units cost about 25% as much to maintain as a like AC unit. That may have changed a bit but I suspect not much. It also should be recalled that overall the Federal government pays for between 75
and 90% of the basic costs for the Guard and 100% for the USAR. Thus, Congress has an, uh, intense -- yes, that's a good word, intense -- interest in the Guard and Reserve.

TheCurmudgeon:

A suggestion. Be very leery of citing the GAO report on most any topic. Those folks have agendas when they start and their 'audits' are designed to produce the Congressionally desired results. Congroids, unfortunately, do not always have a good grasp of reality...

For example, this quote from the Report you linked is, IMO, hilarious: "Best practices have shown that effective and efficient operations require detailed plans outlining major implementation tasks, metrics and timelines to measure success, and a comprehensive and realistic funding strategy." That's a good an accurate statement -- made by an organization that is beholden to the Congress that funds it (quite well...) and who know that Congress will jiggle funding and refuses to allow DoD to fund the Army for more than a year or two without significant changes and jerk arounds...

IOW, said best practices are impeded by the reality of the budget system. You cannot get there from here.

Wilf:

I'd read that before, good article and the way to go IMO. However, due to factors Bob's World cites and others, it is not likely to work with the US and particularly not with US Reserve Components. It could work with the Active Force but then one is confronted with that training problem you cite. The Active force trains one way, the Reserve forces must train another. That is achievable but it complicates things considerably. In large measure, some of the issues cited by Bob and the GAO as well as more subtle inter organizational and interpersonal would preclude its adoption by the US. Size matters, it dictates simplistic approaches...

One consideration, for example, is Gute's moving most of the Armor to the Guard. That makes operational sense, but Bob's cited political impact make it problematical and when you add the fact that with little or no Active component Armor the development of training and doctrine is inhibited somewhat you are in essence opting for possibly decreased combat readiness and that has potential military and political ramifications induced by the training factors.
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Old 01-08-2011   #6
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I love how Wilf's article was right below one titled "Stabilizing Complex Adaptive Systems: Using Complexity Theory for Operational Design in Stability and Support Operations".
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Old 01-08-2011   #7
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96% was the number I saw. Guard budgets are 96% federal, 4% state.

The state pays the other 4%, mostly armory maintenance, and a handful of state employees that essentially are there to manage that state interest. When a governor declares an emergency, he signs his state up to pay for whatever the costs of use are for this federal equipment and personnel (You should see the jaws drop when you hand a state bureaucrat a bill for 8 hours of blade time on a CH-47...). Expensive, but still a tremendous bargain to every state. Much like US foreign policy, civilian state workers are 100% tapped out in day to day efforts, so do not "surge" for emergencies (other than road crews, emergency workers, LEA - all for overtime pay), so when some crappy job, like standing waist deep in sewage filling sandbags, comes up, they turn to the guard as their only reserve of "extra" manpower that comes organized, trained and equipped for action. So the rally cry is always "call up the guard" (pulling men and women away from their civilian jobs and creating hardships for them, their families, and employers) rather than "shut down the bureaucracy and focus on the emergency this week."

Some states do this very well, and have an "emergency fund" to pay these costs. Oregon does not, so every physical emergency is followed by a corresponding fiscal emergency.
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Old 01-08-2011   #8
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Ok, Ken has poked my training button. METL. Too often RC units carry a different METL than a like AC unit. METL is essential warfighting tasks, so they should be the same. Problem is that our training doctrine is written by and for the AC (with word "RC" sprinkled in, much like PC writing styles that say "He/she should then...") The fact is that

A. RC METL should = AC METL

B. RC units actually need what I called "mETL" for mobilization essential task list. A foundation of skills that a unit needs that are focused on creating skilled individuals and teams; and that are both atainable, and can be quickly buit upon once mobilized. Too many units attempt to train to larger unit collective tasks, which they invariably suck at, which also takes so much time that the individual and team skills fade as well. So upon mobilizaton a unit shows up that has to start from scratch. I told my general who was dead set that Brigade would do movement to contact and defend (but also thought that if every platoon could do those tasks, then the Companies, Battalions and the Brigade were a "T" in them as well" ) that upon careful review of the SQT manual for light infantry that I recommended that our focused task for training should be "Maintain Operational Security." (yes, I have always been that guy who can't just accept the status quo). It was, and I suspect is, the perfect pre-mob task for building that foundation of skills that prepares an RC unit to quickly ramp up to whatever mission it is that they have been mobilized to perform. (As the Brigade training officer I was then put to work developing lanes training on the high end collective tasks, with each lane being dumbed down to the point of irrelevance by our AC trainers, and with very few units getting "T"s even still because the AC Colonel convinced this same general that "all leader tasks should be "essential" tasks as well, so therefor any time a leader task was missed, the units would get a "U". Ok, I'm still pissed about both that lame general (who later picked up a second star before the Governor finally caught on and fired him), and the A-hole AC Armor Colonel who led the training bde and whose primary mission was to prevent Guard BDES from filling their CTC rotations, thereby denying some more worthy AC unit from getting an opportunity to go. I should let it go, but but guys who place their careers ahead of their nation really bug me.
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
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Old 01-19-2011   #9
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Default Something of Apples & oranges

Quote:
Originally Posted by gute View Post
I'm interested in cost comparisons between AC and RC forces, armor and infantry and wondering if someone might point me in the right direction? Also, the Army has talked about fielding a lighter force and plans to replace two HBCTs with SBCTs. To me it would make sense to replace IBCTs because SBCTs may also function as light infantry. Can the U.S. afford to transfer most of the armor force to the reserves/ARNG and still field a high quality, combat ready force? Or, should the AC Army keep all armor battalions and the reserves/ARNG convert their HBCTs to IBCTs?
Today, the costs for AC versus RC for equipment are essentially the same as they both will generally have the same types and amounts of equipment.

It costs the same for training, both individual and collective, but many RC units will end up costing more for training as their level of proficiency starts low. More reps cost more. Overall, HBCTs are the most expensive to train and IBCTs are the cheapest. The major costs for training are: Ammo, Fuel and repair parts. Tanks = lots, 11Bs not so much

For personnel, RC units are a hugh bargain, you only pay us/them when we are in some kind of official status. Generaly, 4 days pay per RC Soldier per month + 14/15 days once each year for Annual Training/Summer Camp.

OEF/OIF changed alot on the amount of training time available/required, but RC still costs less.

Today, the breakdown of AC versus RC by BCT type is something like

HBCT AC = 17, RC (National Guard only) = 8
SBCT AC = 6, RC (National Guard only) = 1
IBCT AC = 23, RC (National Guard only) = 20

To answer the question a different way, how many BCTs of which type does the Army project it will need in the future? If you can get that one 100% right, let me know. I want stock tips next.

I think the conversion plan was for one AC HBCT to SBCT and the 3rd ACR (once back from deployment) is supposed to be the other. With only one "True" ACR remaining, the last part makes sense.

If based simply off Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) the AC numbers should/could be divisible by 3 (one deployed for two at home) and the RC/NG by 5 (one deployed for four at home).
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Old 08-07-2011   #10
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Default Apples and Oranges Revisited

I am coming to this discussion a little late in the game. About six months late by the looks of the last post. But I see the last question is still out there hanging so I thought I would apply my two pence worth.

My basic heartburn is with the construct of all of the non-Stryker Brigades, both heavy and light. I feel that it is a fundamental error to have only two maneuver battalions in these brigades, rather than three. Three that is, along with the cavalry squadron.

I am also not sure about the combined arms battalions in the heavy brigades. On paper they look great, and certainly would seem better, again on paper, than the task organization nut roll we did for sixty plus years. We did all of this in the midst of deployments, and I don't think the concept has been throughly vetted. It should be. I would never advocate a backward step, and I am not doing that here. I just want to be sure that the balance is right before we go any further forward.

Now back to the main point. The changes in structure that I propose would mean that the numbers of brigades in both components be reduced. That is a given based upon authorized end strength. I feel though that that would be acceptable, if the resulting brigades were more robust and could dominate more battlespace per brigade.

Reducing each division down to three brigades, with MTO&E strengths at about the 4500-5000 level should fit within the confines of current constraints. That would produce a picture of something like the following:

Active Component:

1st ID ------- 2 IBCT, 1 HBCT
2nd ID------- 1 HBCT
3rd ID ------- 2 IBCT, 1 HBCT
4th ID ------- 2 INCT, 1 HBTC
7th ID ------- 2 IBCT, 1 HBCT (Activate Hqs at Lewis)
9th ID ------- 3 HBCT (Inactivate 1st AD - Activate 9th ID)
10th MD ----- 3 IBCT
24th ID ------ 2 HBCT (Activate Div Hqs in Germany)
82nd ABD ---- 3 IBCT
101st ABD --- 3 IBCT
1st CD -------3 Stryker Cavalry Brigades
173rd Airborne Brigade
2nd Stryker Cavalry Brigade
3rd Stryker Cavalry Brigade
6th Stryker Cavalry Brigade
11th Cavalry Stryker Brigade

Army National Guard

26th IBCT (New England)
27th IBCT (NY)
28th INCT (PA)
29TH IBCT (MD&VA)
30TH IBCT (NC & TN)
31st IBCT (AL&MS)
32nd IBCT (WI&MI)
33RD IBCT (IL&KY)
34th IBCT (IA&MN)
36TH IBCT (TX)
37th IBCT (OH&WV)
38th IBCT (IN)
39th IBCT (AR&LA)
40TH IBCT (CA)
41st IBCT (OR&WA)
42nd IBCT (NY&NJ)
45th IBCT (OK)
48th IBCT (GA)
53rd IBCT (FL)
56th Stryker Cavalry Brigade (TX)

All National Guard Divisions would be inactivated and their places taken in the force structure by coordinating headquarters co-located with FEMA Regions.

I believe that this would result in a balanced force struture capable across the spectrum. Glad I had a chance to put this on paper. You may fire when ready
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Old 08-07-2011   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyree View Post
...
My basic heartburn is with the construct of all of the non-Stryker Brigades, both heavy and light. I feel that it is a fundamental error to have only two maneuver battalions in these brigades, rather than three. Three that is, along with the cavalry squadron.
Everybody agrees we need the third maneuver bn, the trick is how to pay for it.

Quote:
I am also not sure about the combined arms battalions in the heavy brigades. On paper they look great, and certainly would seem better, again on paper, than the task organization nut roll we did for sixty plus years. We did all of this in the midst of deployments, and I don't think the concept has been throughly vetted. It should be. I would never advocate a backward step, and I am not doing that here. I just want to be sure that the balance is right before we go any further forward.
We tested this on multiple occasions. 1CD did a test in the late 80s, reorganizing a 2 tank/1 mech (IIRC) into a balanced TFs and 2 AR Heavy (3 tank CO/1 mech CO) TFs. They called them CAMBs (Combined Arms Maneuver BNs). The issues noted in the Armor or Infantry magazine article all had to do with the temporary test bucking the Army bureaucracy (inability of the BN to conduct adminstration for its attached companies) and inability to split certain things three ways (certain low density MOSs, etc) to support across the BDE. Both of these are corrected by making the organization permanent. There is the possibility of training issues, but I think they are balanced by the benefit of building a cohesive team. I think that starting from a mixed organization makes task organization easier, because the BN level support structure is used to supporting both types of companies- the balance of work might change in supporting a 3 mech, 1 tank TF instead of a 2 mech, 2 tank TF, but the supporters are trained in supporting both without having to task organize the support.

Quote:
...
Active Component:
1st ID ------- 2 IBCT, 1 HBCT
...11th Cavalry Stryker Brigade
You moved flags around for some reason that I don't understand. We are bad enough about that already. Minimal change in flagging of type units is preferable.

Quote:
Army National Guard
26th IBCT (New England)
...56th Stryker Cavalry Brigade (TX)
Even more issues here- we just trained a BCT in PA on the Stryker, why convert them back to IN and train TX on the Strykers? PA supports two BCTs now, NY doesn't. Rationalizing is good, but there are intangibles of unit history and heritage that are important. Plus, the above doesn't seem to match the realities of the currently supported force structure. Finally, why all IBCTs? IBCTs are more useful in less than full scale war, that might come up without warning, and are capable of rapid deployment, which is not a strong point of reserve components. My ideal balance is active component balanced 1/3-1/3-1/3 (or a little less for the H and I) between H/S/I BCTs, while the reserve component is about 40-60 H-S. I've written this on the blogs here before, my reasoning is that, in a emergency, the ARNG units with heavy equipment can train on training sets while their equipment deploys. IBCTs, for rapid deployment, wouldn't have the time to conduct post-mobilization training. There's some more details in my ideas, but I don't want to repeat the other posts.

Quote:
All National Guard Divisions would be inactivated and their places taken in the force structure by coordinating headquarters co-located with FEMA Regions.
There's a SAMS monograph on the CARL website about the future of ARNG divisions. Might be worth a read.

Quote:
I believe that this would result in a balanced force struture capable across the spectrum. Glad I had a chance to put this on paper. You may fire when ready
Shot, over.
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Old 08-07-2011   #12
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Well, I did not expect all of what I have to say to be received with a bouquet of daisys. If everyone were to agree then there would be a heck of a lot of people not thinking.

I am familiar with the experimentation at Fort Hood in the late 80's Valuable groundwork was done and a treasure trove of lessons learned.

The only way to pay for a third maneuver battalion across the board is to decrease the number of BCT's.

I would have no objection if some of the Guard BCT,s were heavy. In fact some should be. I would leave it to the Guard Bureau and the various states to decicde,

Reasons for the flags:

A division headquarters in Germany would be valuable in exercising C&C over the 170th - 172nd -173rd and 2nd SCR.

A division headquarters at Lewis for the same reason.

A flag change for the 1st AD, would eliminate one of the type divisions were have around that are in fact not required in that the division is a modular control headquarters. In elimination of the 1st AD I would consolidate its history and lineage with the 1st ID. I would do the same for all of the inactive armored divisions and consolidate them with a like numbered infantry division. There is little chance that any of these units will ever be called off the inactive rolls and it would seem that this would be a rather straightforward method of preserving their histories. Not an ideal solution, but better I think then having the only memory of these fine units, being a file locked away in some drawer at CMH

The First Cavalry Division would remain but in a new role as the unbrella force for the various Stryker Cavalry Brigades. By the way I call them that, not only because of the conversion of the 2nd Cavalry to the Stryker construct, or the impending conversion of the 3rd. I do so because they to me are more like the cavalry of old, the mounted dragoon. It is nothing more than my personal interpretation of history. I realize what a nut roll this would be in reorganization. It may possibly be cost prohibative. That is also the reason I would like to see two more created/converted/restationed. perhaps one at Fort Polk and one at Fort Sill. That is also the reason for my wishing to move a freshly trained Stryker brigade from Pennsylvania to Texas, proximity to a proposed Stryker community. Then there is the Mexican Border.

So in the end I have reasons for all I have proposed. Perhaps some will find agreement.

PS: Of course there is a more straightforward means of accomplishing this:

Reflag all of the existing division headquarters as Corps headquarters. Down echelon all of the now larger brigades with the division designations (1st Infantry Division lineage become 1st Infantry Brigade). A few of the traditionally seperate brigades would be required also (i.e 173rd and more).I would think it appropriate for the larger (approx 5000 +/-) brigade to be commanded by a BG. It would be a way of preserving history which I look upon, if used correctly, as an unquanifiable force multiplier. Such an action would fit in nicely with the present modular construct of the Army. Just another thought on a bright Sunday morning.

Last edited by Tyree; 08-07-2011 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Add PS
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Old 08-08-2011   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyree View Post
...The only way to pay for a third maneuver battalion across the board is to decrease the number of BCT's.
Agreed, and I think everyone understands this. If you're going to go to big BCTs, you might as well go with big BCTs, and make them 4 maneuver BNs, plus the Recon, FA, BSB and STB/BEB. I fall back on the Military Review article "Small BCTs Undermine Modularity" from about 2005.

Quote:
I would have no objection if some of the Guard BCT,s were heavy. In fact some should be. I would leave it to the Guard Bureau and the various states to decicde,
Did you get a chance to look up my other post?

Quote:
Reasons for the flags:
A division headquarters in Germany would be valuable in exercising C&C over the 170th - 172nd -173rd and 2nd SCR.
Agreed. With 45 BCTs, 4 BCTs per division would seem to justify 11 divisions, but we only have 10. Germany would be the logical choice. Of course, if 170th and 172nd go away (as planned), that logic is weakend.

Quote:
A division headquarters at Lewis for the same reason.
Agreed, but I don't see where I Corps is doing such a horrible job. Since BCTs are employed individually anyway, the tie between BCT and DIV is not as important- they are supposed to be able to plug into any DIV or CORPS HQ.

Quote:
A flag change for the 1st AD, would eliminate one of the type divisions were have around that are in fact not required in that the division is a modular control headquarters. In elimination of the 1st AD I would consolidate its history and lineage with the 1st ID. I would do the same for all of the inactive armored divisions and consolidate them with a like numbered infantry division. There is little chance that any of these units will ever be called off the inactive rolls and it would seem that this would be a rather straightforward method of preserving their histories. Not an ideal solution, but better I think then having the only memory of these fine units, being a file locked away in some drawer at CMH
There is not cost to having a division called 1st AD vice having one called 9th ID. They are the same- the only difference is a different color flag. You'll create more cost changing than by holding what you have.

Quote:
The First Cavalry Division would remain but in a new role as the unbrella force for the various Stryker Cavalry Brigades. By the way I call them that, not only because of the conversion of the 2nd Cavalry to the Stryker construct, or the impending conversion of the 3rd. I do so because they to me are more like the cavalry of old, the mounted dragoon. It is nothing more than my personal interpretation of history. I realize what a nut roll this would be in reorganization. It may possibly be cost prohibative. That is also the reason I would like to see two more created/converted/restationed. perhaps one at Fort Polk and one at Fort Sill. That is also the reason for my wishing to move a freshly trained Stryker brigade from Pennsylvania to Texas, proximity to a proposed Stryker community. Then there is the Mexican Border.
Your logic is fine, and I agree with your historical analysis. However, 2CR and 3 CR have nothing (or very little) to do with 1st CD, other than a common name. Moving SBCTs to FT Hood (and the TXARNG) based on the very unlikely possibility of employment on the Mexican border seems silly to me. We have posse comitatus and all that. Moving the ARNG BCT would almost certainly be cost prohibitive- you won't move many (if any at all) of the Soldiers, so you've wasted the last 5 years of human capital development.

Quote:
...Reflag all of the existing division headquarters as Corps headquarters. Down echelon all of the now larger brigades with the division designations (1st Infantry Division lineage become 1st Infantry Brigade). A few of the traditionally seperate brigades would be required also (i.e 173rd and more).I would think it appropriate for the larger (approx 5000 +/-) brigade to be commanded by a BG. It would be a way of preserving history which I look upon, if used correctly, as an unquanifiable force multiplier. Such an action would fit in nicely with the present modular construct of the Army. Just another thought on a bright Sunday morning.
This is another idea that has been brought up- in fact, it was proposed to the CSA GEN Schoomaker when the modular force was created. The decision brief was floating around, were he was given the three options of (1) minimal change (what he selected), (2) elevated echelon (what your describe) and (3) hybrid regiment. Since we are already doing option (2) in the ARNG, I think that was a better choice, with the advantage of removing a visual connection between DIV and BCTs that isn't supposed to exist. I'd still support executing that option, as I think I discussed here. I'll see if I can find the link.
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Old 08-08-2011   #14
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Everything I wrote above the PS in the above post is nothing more than a mental exercise, well really a yellow legal pad and pencil exercise to bring back a sense of historical structure. I believe you have discovered my strategms. Now I will get really serious

I would welcome a forced based upon brigades, that carry the flags of former divisions. I have the presentation of the three options on my desk as I write this. Of course at lot of that presentation has been overcome by events, particularly in the Guard.

The elevated option would be my preference. A BCT with four maneuver battalions, along with everything else would be a very formidable force. It would probably top out in the 5000-5700 range. I would favor that over all other options.

I want to thank for your response to my straw man. Everything you have said is quite well thought out and I do appreciate all you have contributed.

I would like to see a link to you previous post in this area. In fact I would like to see everything you have written which touches on this subject matter. It seems I have found a kindred soul.
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Old 08-08-2011   #15
82redleg
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Here a couple of threads that touch similar concepts.

http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...&highlight=BCT

http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...&highlight=BCT

http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...&highlight=BCT
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Old 08-08-2011   #16
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(1) Reserve forces get usually less training time / year.

(2) Reserve forces belonging to a small active force with long-serving (volunteer, not conscript) troops will not be able to draw fully from trained former AC personnel.


Both in combination leads me to the conclusion that reserve forces (or most of them) should focus on not very training-intensive missions.
This in turn leads to my preference for relatively small stand-alone reserve forces, such as a regional battalion battlegroups. Training in larger formations and training deployments to foreign terrains and climates should be skipped until a time of crisis.

Such reserve forces could then augment active forces after a brief period of additional training or be assigned rather auxiliary tasks.

The concept of reserve / national guard brigades that go to war on short notice is for me as great wars-concerned guy (who thinks that small wars are usually a stupidity) simply an unacceptable negligence.
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Old 08-08-2011   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
Training in larger formations and training deployments to foreign terrains and climates should be skipped until a time of crisis.
Anyone who says the United States Government doesn’t do anything well undersells its knack for engineering crisises.

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Old 08-08-2011   #18
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82REDLEG: Thanks for the links. Over the next few days or so I will review them, and let you know what I think. Right now it is drywall and light fixture time down in the old mess hall , oops dining facility.
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Old 10-07-2011   #19
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Default CNAS: Hard Choices--Responsible Defense in an Age of Austerity

I would imagine that some have read this report, which really does not get too specific. What I do question is the idea of shifting the majority of heavy forces to the reserves/national guard - what does that mean? If the Army was forced to shift heavy forces to the national guard where do the heavy forces go? Do we re-set the national guard brigades back to armor brigades that were "transformed" into IBCTs? Or do we look to change existing IBCTs west of the Mighty Miss into HBCTs because there is more room to train?

Link to cited report:http://www.cnas.org/hardchoices

Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-07-2011 at 07:35 PM. Reason: Link added
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Old 10-08-2011   #20
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Default The choices are only hard for Rice Bowl Coveters...

They are actually -- logically and militarily -- fairly easy. Unfortunately, they are, politically, a number of varying size Rice Bowls all full of a mass of worms -- or worse.

Hard to say how it'll work out, we'll see -- but your comment about west of the Mississippi is very appropriate. The issue is not training room per se -- the NTC provides more maneuver space than is neccessary -- but range fans. Twenty years ago I tried to point out to folks that after 2020 or so, the likelihood of having adequate ranges for 105mm much less 120mm and above east of that river was quite slim. The antiwar Squirrels have been using and will continue to use environmental, heritage and other pretexts to shut down impact areas and live fire in general on both coasts -- they will not stop. They would totally ban training if they thought they could. Fortunately, the folks in flyover country are more sensible.

I also strongly believe it in the interest of the Nation that the 1980s concept of combat arms units only in the ArNG be revisited. While the Guard slickly co-opted the 'Militia' title as theirs alone, that's a politically beneficial belief and a flaky law, not a Constitutional clause. The Nation can do recruiting, training, location, employment and mission things with the Guard it cannot do with the USAR -- and vice versa. That versa indicates that some USAR combat units would be beneficial so also would some currently USAR peculiar skills be beneficial to the Guard and the States. Laws can be changed...
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