The Department of Defense (DoD) announced today the completion of a one-year, department-wide collaborative effort, called the Reserve Component Employment 2005 Study (RCE-05), to formulate recommendations to the secretary of Defense for new and better ways to employ the military Reserve forces and foster Total Force integration.
Included are recommendations for explicit Service and joint efforts to: develop post-mobilization training requirements for Army National Guard divisions; create a 400-person joint Reserve "virtual organization" for information operations; determine optimum ways for the Reserve components to participate in managing the consequences of an attack using weapons of mass destruction; create more Air Force Associate Program units to address manning shortages; and evaluate the possible transfer of two more squadrons of Active component bombers to the Air Force reserve components. The RCE-05 study also recommends a number of other follow-on studies. (Attached is a summary of the recommendations and follow-on studies.)
"The RCE-05 study is an important step in an ongoing and rigorous process of identifying new and better ways of using the Reserve components," said Charles L. Cragin, acting assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. "Both the study itself and its follow-on recommendations will significantly enhance Secretary Cohen's efforts to build a fully integrated Total Force that is able to respond to a wide range of missions well into the next century."
In examining the role of the Reserve components in the future, the RCE-05 study focused on three areas: homeland defense, smaller-scale contingencies and major theater wars. In each area, the study reviewed several different initiatives, and for each one either recommended a near- or mid-term action, or determined that the particular initiative did not merit implementation in the foreseeable future.
The study included participants from the Active, Reserve and National Guard components of the Services and representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the unified commands
"The study was truly a catalyst for cooperation within the Department of Defense, and particularly between the Active and Reserve components," said Cragin.
The RCE-05 study was launched in June 1998, as a follow-on to Secretary Cohen's "seamless Total Force" memorandum of September 1997. The memorandum called upon the DoD civilian and military leadership to eliminate "all residual barriers -- structural and cultural" to effective integration of the Reserve and Active components. A Senior Steering Group co-chaired by Lt. Gen. Frank Campbell, J-8; Edward Warner, assistant secretary of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction, and Cragin provided senior oversight of the study.
For more information, the full report is available at the Defenselink address http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/rces2005_072299.html or contact the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Lt. Col. Terry Jones at (703) 695-3620.
Summary of the RCE-05 Study and its Principal Recommendations
In examining the role of the Reserve components in the future, the RCE-05 study focused on three areas: homeland defense, smaller-scale contingencies, and major theater wars. In each area, the study reviewed several different initiatives and for each one either recommended a near or mid-term action, or determined that the particular initiative did not merit implementation in the foreseeable future. Completion dates for follow-on actions range from late 1999 to summer 2000.
Because homeland defense is becoming an increasingly important mission for the Department of Defense, the study examined several initiatives to increase RC participation in homeland defense missions in considerable detail. In many cases the Reserve Components are particularly well-suited to homeland defense missions because there is RC infrastructure throughout all fifty states and territories, and RC units are already familiar with disaster response requirements, a significant component of the homeland defense mission.
Employing RC Units for WMD Consequence Management Missions. Several studies are underway within the Department of Defense to better define the requirements for consequence management and critical infrastructure protection, and the RCE-05 study drew on this ongoing work to examine whether "dual-missioning" certain RC units might be productive.
To determine more precisely how certain RC units could focus on homeland defense missions, the study recommends tasking the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD(P)), in coordination with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for C3I, ACOM, the Services and their components to determine the mission requirements for homeland defense. The follow-on study also would examine which RC units could be "dual-missioned" to meet these requirements while retaining their traditional wartime focus, and which units would need to be re-missioned or restructured to focus solely on homeland defense tasks.
Create A Joint RC Virtual Information Operations Organization. To further explore how the Reserve Components could contribute to the homeland defense mission, and to capitalize on existing skills within the Reserve Components, the study examined the costs and benefits of developing a 400-person joint integrated Reserve Component "virtual organization" for information operations and information assurance.
The study recommends tasking the J-6 Directorate in the Joint Staff, in coordination with the Defense Information Systems Agency and the Services, to implement this initiative, which the J-6 has already begun developing, to evaluate its effectiveness and examine in more detail how to address the management challenges such a unit would pose.
Convert Air Force Bare Base Air Wings to Homeland Defense Mission Support Units. Air Force Reserve Component Bare Base Wing support elements, which during the Cold War supported the establishment of operational capability at austere locations, are no longer needed because the Bare Base mission has become an integral part of the Air Expeditionary Force concept. As a result, the study examined whether these Bare Base air wing support elements could be converted into teams structured to provide additional consequence management capabilities, similar to the concept applied with the currently programmed Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection teams, or RAID teams. These units are on-call in the event of an attack within the United States that involves nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. RAID teams provide a rapid-response capability to assess what type of agent might have been used in an attack and provide recommendations and assistance to local authorities in managing the consequences. RAID teams also provide consequence management training to local authorities in peacetime. Existing Bare Base Wing support elements, which include engineering units and other specialized mission support elements, provide an appropriate foundation upon which to build the specialized capabilities that consequence management missions are likely to require.
To better determine whether the Bare Base air wing support element conversion would be beneficial and cost-effective, the study recommends tasking the Air Force to assess the conversion in detail and examine how it might be implemented. Drawing on the work of the previously addressed USD (P) study on homeland defense requirements, the Air Force will determine whether the Bare Base Wing support elements conversion could cost-effectively fill a portion of these requirements.
Increase RC Participation in a JTF Headquarters for Homeland Defense. To better determine how the Reserve Components might contribute to the command and control of homeland defense missions, the study examined how RC personnel might participate in a Joint Task Force headquarters for Homeland Defense.
The study provided its assessment to USACOM for consideration as it continues to develop homeland defense-related command and control architecture, and recommended that USACOM consider how to best incorporate the Reserve Components into these systems.
Use RC Personnel for National Missile Defense Missions. If the United States deploys a national missile defense system in the next few years, the Reserve Components may be able to participate significantly in this mission.
Recognizing that there is not yet a final decision on what type of national missile defense system the United States might deploy, the study recommended that the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, in coordination with the Ballistic Missile Defense Office (BMDO) and its National Missile Defense program office, consider how the Reserve Components could be used most effectively to man a future system.
As the demand for U.S. participation in smaller-scale contingency operations remains high, the Department of Defense is looking for new ways to conduct these operations as efficiently as possible and manage operational tempo effectively. Increasing the role of the Reserve Components in these operations may make more effective use of the range of skills inherent in those forces, and provide an important mechanism to help manage operational tempo for the Active Component (AC).
RC rotations for Inter-Positional Peacekeeping Operations. Requiring that the Reserve Components participate in rotations of interpositional peacekeeping operations like the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) mission in the Sinai could increase RC participation in smaller-scale contingencies while relieving some operational tempo for the Active Component.
The study recommends that the Army and its components, in coordination with the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, OSD/RA, and the Joint Staff, conduct a detailed study to determine whether such an initiative is feasible, and if so, the optimum frequency for Reserve Component rotations.
RC Assume a Bosnia-like Peacekeeping Operation. The study examined whether the Reserve Components could provide forces sufficient for one continuous rotational follow-on peacekeeping operation similar to the Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia. Based on the scope and extended duration of such operations, the study determined that meeting such a requirement exclusively with the Reserve components would stressunits in several high-demand areas, be costly, and would not be possible using only volunteers, requiring a Presidential Selected Reserve Call-up (PSRC).
Based on the high financial costs of this initiative and its probable impact on RC operational tempo, the study recommends that no further action be taken on this initiative.
Review CINC Rotational Timeline Restrictions. Currently both US European Command and US Central Command set minimum rotation lengths for personnel serving in contingency operations in those theaters. US Central Command requires that individual RC personnel serve at least 120 days. US Central Command allows RC units to serve a minimum of 90 days, but prefers that units serve for 120 to 179-day rotations. US European Command requires individual RC personnel to serve in 90-day rotations, while RC units serve a minimum of 29 days. The study examined whether shortening the required number of rotation days would facilitate increased RC participation in smaller-scale contingency operations such as the Stabilization Force in Bosnia.
To better assess the impact of shortening rotational requirements, the study recommends tasking the Joint Staff J3 and J5, in coordination with OSD/RA, the CINCs and the Services, to complete a review of rotational policies. The review will examine in detail the impact of shortening rotational requirements, including costs and operational risks that might be incurred, and recommend exceptions to rotational policies where merited.
Meet Initial SSC Requirements with AC Only. When the U.S. military deploys today for a smaller-scale contingency, units found largely in the Reserve Components must meet several of the initial mission requirements. Because the Reserve Components are not designed to respond as rapidly overall as the Active Component, calling up these specialized units on extremely short notice is complicated and stressful for RC personnel.
Given the significant financial costs, the policy shift involved, and the lack of endorsement for this initiative among active or reserve component leadership, the study recommends no further action be taken along these lines.
Expand RC Use in Meeting LD/HD requirements. Because certain high demand, low density (HD/LD) units and personnel in the Active Component are experiencing high operational tempo due to the volume of ongoing operations, the study examined whether expanding RC participation in these areas would help relieve some of the tempo concerns.
To facilitate drawing on the Reserve Components to relieve personnel tempo for HD/LD AC individuals, the study tasked the Services, in coordination with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, to develop a mechanism to track individual HD/LD skills and identify actions for relieving high tempo demands.
Major Theater Wars
The Reserve Components have played an important role in supporting the Active Component when the United States goes to war. Today our National Military Strategy requires that the Total Force be able to fight and win two major theater wars in overlapping time frames, in addition to performing other important shaping and responding missions. To ensure that the Total Force is able to meet these requirements, the study examined a range of possible initiatives to increase the role of the Reserve Components in major theater war.
Examine ESBs Post-Mobilization Training and Integrated Division Employment. The study examined post-mobilization training for enhanced separate brigades (eSBs) and how eSBs are being incorporated into the Army's integrated division concept.
The study endorsed the Army's efforts to ensure it provides sufficient resources through its budget to ensure that an eSB can be prepared to deploy within 90 days, and that eSBs can be made available as required by existing operational plans. The study also recommended that the Army examine whether to provide additional training sites, to include consideration of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the U.S. Marine Corps to facilitate use of Twentynine Palms, CA. If there are other existing sites that may be available for training soon after mobilization, the Army should consider developing MOAs with the relevant Services to secure their use.
Finally, the study examined how the eSBs are being incorporated into the Army's AC/RC Integrated Division concept. The Integrated Division concept establishes an active duty division headquarters to oversee the training and readiness of its associated three enhanced separate brigades. While this arrangement provides readiness and training benefits to the eSBs, under this concept the integrated division is not deployable because it lacks a division combat support/combat service support base. Although the AC/RC Integrated Divisions currently are not deployable as a division-sized combat formation, the Army has identified deployability as a possible future evolution of this concept. The study endorses the Army's plan for the continued evolution of this concept as more experience is gained with the organization.
Create Round-Up Relationships for eSBs. Establishing "Round-Up" relationships between certain enhanced Separate Brigades (eSBs) and certain active Army combat divisions could prove beneficial in terms of increasing the role of the RC in major theater wars and in increasing the combat power of certain Army divisions. As established in Army doctrine during the 1980s, the concept of "rounding-up" a combat division envisions designating an Army National Guard brigade as the fourth ground maneuver brigade in a division during wartime. This linkage is distinct from the concept of a "round out" relationship, which entails designating an Army National Guard brigade as the integral third ground maneuver brigade of an active combat division.
The RCE-05 Study recommends that the Army, in coordination with OSD Reserve Affairs, Strategy and Threat Reduction, Program, Analysis and Evaluation, the Joint Staff and the CINCs, conduct a review to determine the number of optimum cases for eSB round-up relationships.
Examine Post-Mobilization Training for the ARNG Divisions. While the eSBs are being sufficiently resourced to meet their requirements in current war plans, there are no current formal post-mobilization training requirements for the ARNG divisions. In order for the ARNG divisions to be included fully in existing war plans, the Army will need to establish post-mobilization training standards and timelines for deployment of the divisions.
The study recommends tasking the Army (all components), in coordination with the Assistant Secretaries of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction and Reserve Affairs, CJCS and ACOM, to formulate standards and guidelines for the validation of Army National Guard divisions, based on common deployment standards for Active and Guard divisions, and to establish post-mobilization preparation and deployment plans for the ARNG divisions. The study would also identify associated training and resource requirements, including analysis of options for the provision of additional post-mobilization training sites, facilities, and capabilities; potential enhancements to existing levels of peacetime readiness in ARNG divisions; and integration of ARNG divisions with enhanced Separate Brigades into the post-mobilization training sequence
Define the Strategic Reserve. Throughout the Cold War, a major role for the Reserve Components was serving as a Strategic Reserve in the event of global war. Given the threat posed by the Soviet Union, it was prudent to have a significant reservoir of personnel who could augment active and reserve forces if a U.S.-Soviet conflict proved more challenging than the war plans predicted. In the immediate aftermath of the Cold War, U.S. defense strategy called for the reconstitution of military capabilities in the event the security environment proved to be substantially more challenging than predicted. This reconstitution would have drawn heavily from a Strategic Reserve of military capabilities. A survey of post-Cold War Defense Department strategy and planning documents reveals that today there is no official Department-wide definition outlining the potential need or employment concept for a Strategic Reserve.
As a result, the Department of Defense needs to determine the mission and requirements for a Strategic Reserve in the overall U.S. defense strategy. Only then can the Department determine the capabilities needed to meet that mission. Accordingly, the study recommends that the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs and the Joint Staff conduct a two-part study to define the concept of a Strategic Reserve, and subsequently to determine the military requirements and possible force options associated with the Strategic Reserve mission.
- Create More Air Force Associate Program Units. Within the Air Force, the study examined whether it would be useful to establish a certain number of associate program squadrons comprised of reservists to fill shortages in A-10, OA-10, F-16, and F-15C squadrons so that those units would be fully staffed in wartime. Under the associate program structure, RC personnel are organized into units and are trained to operate and maintain particular types of equipment, but these associate units use the same equipment as their AC counterparts. The study recommends that the Air Force (all components), in coordination with ASD/RA, conduct a study to evaluate the potential for establishing associate units in the tactical fighter force.
- Similarly, augmenting the planned JSTARS squadrons with RC personnel through an associate program may also increase Air Force's ability to respond effectively during major theater wars. The study recommends that the Air Force consider this initiative for its upcoming POM, and if not so programmed, that the initiative be considered for implementation during the summer Program Review process.
Transfer Additional AC Bombers to RC Units. Transferring one B-52 and one B-1B squadron from the Active to the Reserve Component may generate cost savings and could mitigate the current shortage of active duty pilots for these platforms. Shifting these squadrons into the Reserve Component will reduce the number of aircraft that must be manned by Active Component pilots, mitigating existing AC aircrew shortages. The study recommends that the Air Force (all components), in coordination with the Director for Programs, Analysis and Evaluation, conduct a study to jointly evaluate whether this transfer is feasible. This follow-on study would examine, at a minimum, the operational impacts, and basing and conversion costs associated with the transfer. The study also recommends that USD (P), in coordination with USD (P&R), resolve the Personnel Reliability Program issues affecting use of drilling reservists in nuclear weapons-related programs.
Convert 1 Air Force Fighter Wing from AC to RC. Finally, the study considered whether converting one AC fighter wing to the Reserve Components would enhance the U.S. ability to respond effectively during a major theater war. As such a conversion might have significant negative impacts on active duty operational tempo and would incur substantial near-term costs, the study recommended that the Air Force, in coordination with the Joint Staff and OSD (RA) conduct a study to examine the costs and benefits of this conversion in more detail.