Army Reserve: 'Integral Component of the World's Best Army'

By Stultz, Jack C. | Army, October 2006 | Go to article overview

Army Reserve: 'Integral Component of the World's Best Army'


Stultz, Jack C., Army


Operational! That is the key word describing today's Army Reserve. Understand that, and you understand the Army Reserve's greatest strength and greatest challenge.

No longer a force in strategic reserve, the Army Reserve functions as an integral component of the world's best army. It complements the joint force with military skill capabilities along with the skills and professional talents derived from soldiers' civilian professions.

Today 32,000 Army Reserve soldiers are serving on active duty. Since 9/11 more than 152,000 Army Reserve soldiers have been mobilized. In the previous decade we averaged 8,000-9,000 soldiers mobilized annually for duty in places such as Bosnia and Kosovo. We are part of virtually every Army mission. We are indeed an operational force.

Global terrorist networks, insurgencies and protracted warfare, along with homeland defense and disaster relief efforts, are the hallmarks of the military challenges for the 21st century; deployment is the rule not the exception. To meet these challenges, the Army Reserve is in the process of profound, fundamental change, and we are doing so while supporting our nation at war.

The Army Reserve leadership culture is now focused on action and change to keep pace with emerging homeland defense missions and the global war on terrorism. Nowhere is that more evident than in our force structure. We are increasing our deployable force by divesting ourselves of force structure excess to our authorized end strength of 205,000 and by reinvesting nondeployable headquarters and institutional Army structure and resources into deployable warfighting units. Overall, our focus in the coming year will be to continue converting the Army Reserve's deployable forces into 58 modular brigade-based formations.

This restructuring includes the inactivation of 10 Regional Readiness Commands (RRCs), one Army Reserve command and the establishment of four Regional Readiness Sustainment Commands. Also, through fiscal year (FY) 2008 we will activate modular, deployable functional commands to command and control (C^sup 2^) Army Reserve forces, including an Aviation Command in FY 2007, and five Expeditionary Sustainment Commands, one Military Police Command, three Combat Support Brigades (Maneuver Enhancement), and eight Sustainment Brigades in FY 2008. These commands will provide a more focused, streamlined C^sup 2^ structure that will generate fiscal efficiencies and increase the size of our deployable force.

A primary element propelling our force restructuring is Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). The Army Reserve has the biggest percentage of BRAC-impacted facilities of any military branch. The Army Reserve will close or realign 176 facilities and move into 125 new Armed Forces Reserve Centers (AFRCs). Some moves have already been completed, and many others are currently under way. More than half will be completed by the end of 2008, with the rest scheduled to be done by the close of 2011. This includes the U. S. Army Reserve Command headquarters, which is moving from Fort McPherson, Ga., to Pope Air Force Base, N.C

These changes enable us to station Army Reserve forces in the most modern, up-to-date facilities possible. The new AFRCs will have high-tech distance learning and video teleconferencing capabilities, fitness centers, family readiness centers and enhanced maintenance and equipment storage facilities.

During the past year the Army Reserve began developing the basic foundation to become the Army's complementary force for stability operations as well as major combat operations. As a result of decisions from the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) in May of this year, the Army announced the transfer of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs (CA) and Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Command from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command to the U.S. Army Reserve Command to better integrate Civil Affairs and PSYOP units into conventional operations. …

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