Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Readers Write

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Readers Write

Article excerpt

The Army and the Reserve: One Team

The facts regarding the integration of Army active and reserve forces tell a different story than your article, "New Roles for America's Weekend Warriors," (Jan 6).

Your article suggests the Army relies less on reserve forces for warfighting missions than other services. However, reserve forces constitute nearly 54 percent of the Army. This compares with 32 percent in the Air Force, and 19 percent in both the Navy and Marine Corps. Army reserve forces constitute nearly 60 percent of the Army's warfighting force required to implement the National Military strategy. For the Gulf War, the Army employed twice as much of its reserve forces in southwest Asia as did the Air Force and Navy. In 1996, Army reserve forces, which are about twice the size of Air Force reserve forces, provided over three times the support to ongoing operations. At home, the Army National Guard provided to the states and territories nearly 14 times more support than their Air National Guard counterparts. These points are intended to in no way diminish the important contributions of other service reservists, but the facts reflect the relevance and frequent commitment of Army reserve forces to the nation both at home and overseas. Since 1989, the Army budget has decreased by nearly 40 percent. In a conscious effort to capitalize on reserve force capabilities, the active force has absorbed the largest share of this reduction, resulting in an overall increase in reserve forces' budget share. The Army Reserve has grown from less than 15 percent of the Army operations and support funding in 1989 to more than 19 percent in 1998. Additionally, reserve forces have received unprecedented improvements in readiness through infusion of new and refurbished equipment. The estimated value of the upgrades since 1992 is more than $21 billion. This surge in reserve force modernization has significantly increased both the capabilities and readiness of reserve forces. …

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