Force is about to get bigger

16th20sustainment20brigade20in20a20convoy20during20exercise20vanguard20proof-20army20photo[From AUSA National]  March 22, 2017

By the end of September, the Army’s end strength will receive a boost of 28,000 soldiers above the original troop levels authorized for the current fiscal year.

The increase was authorized as part of the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and leaders say it is expected to markedly improve readiness. Leaders were informed of the increase in December.

“The No. 1 problem we have right now is that formations are manned at 95 percent,” Lt. Gen. Joe Anderson, deputy chief of staff for operations, told the House Armed Services Committee. Compounding that problem, he explained, are other variables in soldiers’ availability such as those who are nondeployable, retired, on permanent change of station or attending school, which bring formation levels down as low as 78 percent.

Across the force, the Regular Army will grow by 16,000 soldiers to an end strength of 476,000; National Guard levels will jump by 8,000 to 343,000 soldiers; and the Army Reserve will end the fiscal year with 199,000 soldiers, a bump of 4,000 troops.

To achieve the higher end strength by Sept. 30, the Army will raise its accession mission to 68,500 and boost training resources. Enlisted retention is set to increase with incentives, and officer accessions and retention is expected to increase officer strength by 1,000.

Soldiers will go to undermanned tactical units and fill other gaps following recommendations of ongoing Army analysis.

More Cyber Please

Delaware has a long tradition of signal readiness. With cyber and electronic warfare capabilities being a top priority for the Army’s new cyber directorate, this bodes well for our first state Soldiers.

To that end, BG (P) Patricia Frost who heads the new cyber directorate, spoke recently at the two-day symposium “Mad Scientist 2016: The 2050 Cyber Army” held at the U.S. Military Academy. Her charge is to oversee electronic warfare and cybersecurity and to optimize exploits in the two arenas. The Army has fielded 41 of the 133 defense-wide teams that Congress has mandated be established by 2018. Frost believes, however, there are offensive and defensive gaps that will need to be filled at a tactical level.

For more on the story, check out AUSA’s post “Giving Field Commanders More Cyber Muscle

Cyber Warriors
photo by: US Army

 

Army Announces Restructure of the Force

After the Army announced that it is reducing end-strength and reorganizing brigade combat teams, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., said, “As damaging as they are, these cuts don’t begin to reflect the crippling damage sequestration will do to our Armed Forces and National Security.  The Committee will carefully examine the implications of this initial restructuring, but we all must understand that this is only the tip of the iceberg, much deeper cuts are still to come.  America learned the hard way that our pre- 9/11 military was too small.  Now, even before sequestration, we are reducing the force to that same size and foolishly expecting history to teach us a different lesson.  What lessons will we learn when sequester doubles these cuts in just a few months’ time?”

The Army plans to reduce the authorized end-strength of the Active Army from 570,000 to 490,000 and the Army National Guard from 358,000 to 350,000 and will inactivate a total of 12 BCTs.  In a press conference last week, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said, “The reduction of 80,000 Soldiers or 14% from the Active Component will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2017.  Let me be clear, we are taking these actions as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011.  This end-strength and force structure reduction predates sequestration.  If sequestration continues into Fiscal Year 2014, Army reductions to end-strength, force structure and basing announced today will be only the first step.”  Later in the press conference, Odierno reiterated, “I want to emphasize that these reductions do not reflect reductions due to sequestration.  Full sequestration could require another significant reduction in Active, Guard, and Reserve force structure as much as 100,000 combined.”

AUSA President Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan said that “Congress must quickly find an alternative to sequestration.  Everyone needs to be reminded of history’s lessons, of the dangers of a hollow Army that is called to fight the first battle of the next war – but without enough manpower, training or weaponry to do the job – of an Army which then pays the price in the blood of too many Soldiers killed or wounded while they train the hard way – during war, not before it.”

2013 AUSA Annual Meeting and Military Family Forum Registration Open

Registration is now open for the 2013 AUSA Annual Meeting, October 21-23, along with the Military Family Forums.  The AUSA Annual Meeting is the largest land power exposition and professional development forum in North America. The Annual Meeting consists of informative presentations, panel discussions on pertinent military and national security subjects, workshops and important AUSA business meetings.

The Family forums within the Annual Meeting are designed to engage and inform both the military community and the greater civilian community around them.  AUSA Family Programs staff are excited to connect with military families, share resources, and gain insight from their scheduled speakers and panelists. The forums this year will feature the Army’s top leaders and in-depth discussions about holistic approaches to self-care and the growing variety of community resources.  Register today!