The Stryker Brigade Combat Team: Rethinking Strategic Responsiveness and Assessing Deployment Options

The Stryker Brigade Combat Team: Rethinking Strategic Responsiveness and Assessing Deployment Options

The Stryker Brigade Combat Team: Rethinking Strategic Responsiveness and Assessing Deployment Options

The Stryker Brigade Combat Team: Rethinking Strategic Responsiveness and Assessing Deployment Options

Synopsis

Assesses how rapidly the Army's new medium-weight Stryker Brigade can be deployed by air or sealift from planned bases in the U.S. verus forward bases in key regions.

Excerpt

Under the leadership of Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki, the U.S. Army is taking steps to transform itself from the Legacy Force with its heavy forces, which are difficult to deploy strategically, and its light forces, which respond rapidly but lack staying power, into a more strategically responsive force. Its goal is to be able to respond quickly and decisively anywhere in the world. This transformation has begun with the creation of Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs; formerly referred to as Interim Brigade Combat Teams), a brigade-sized force equipped with wheeled armored vehicles and other currently available weapons and vehicles. Intended for rapid deployment, the SBCT would move primarily by C-5 and C-17 aircraft. Over the next 20 years, General Shinseki envisions the entire Army combat force structure being replaced by the Objective Force, a brigade combat team capable of being deployed anywhere in the world in 96 hours after liftoff, with a division on the ground in 120 hours and five divisions in 30 days. The Objective Force will combine the deployability of light forces with the lethality, tactical mobility, and survivability of heavy forces. Both the SBCT and the Objective Force are expected to deploy a brigade anywhere in the world in 96 hours.

RAND's Project AIR FORCE conducted a study during fiscal year 2001 (FY01) of the implications of Army transformation efforts for U.S. Air Force (USAF) operations and force structure. Since the 96-hour deployment goal is central to the SBCT concept, the study assessed the requirements for rapid response and options for rapidly moving a brigade-sized force. This report seeks to answer the following questions: Can the Air Force meet the Army's 96-hour deployment goal? What combination of deployment and basing options would maxi-

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