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Defense Department Special Briefing on U.S. Army Transformation

Presenters: General Peter Schoomaker, Chief Of Staff, U.S. Army
July 26, 2004 2:00 PM EDT

Monday, July 26, 2004 2:01 p.m. EDT

Defense Department Special Briefing on U.S. Army Transformation

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Well, good afternoon.  I do want to make a short statement just to frame the issue and why we're here today, and then we'll spend most of the time here with answering your questions.

 

            I want to take a minute here to talk about a few issues that's been in the news, because in a few cases the stories have been inaccurate or misleading.  And we all want the American people and our soldiers and their families to get the facts straight.

 

            We currently have more than a million soldiers in the Army.  More then 276,000 of them are deployed around the globe in over 120 countries.  Our soldiers are performing their duties with honor, dignity and courage and respect.  And they are the heart of our Army, and I'm proud to serve with them.

 

            While we are engaged in combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, we are also transforming the force.  And I've often compared this to tuning a car engine while the engine is running, which is not only a complex task, but as you know, it could be dangerous as well.  And we're making some of the most significant changes in our Army that we have made since World War II.  We are changing our Army along three primary avenues -- and this is important, I believe, as we talk about this the rest of the afternoon, the time that we have together, to think in terms of the context of what we're doing.

 

            The first is that we are restructuring the force into modular formations.  And we're calling these the combat forces, brigade combat team, units of action.  And this a path on the transformation towards the eventual Future Combat System -- units of action.

 

            At the same time, we are rebalancing our force between the active component of the Army, the active Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.

 

            And finally, we are stabilizing the force.  And I'll talk more about that in a little bit.

 

            Ultimately, it means more cohesive and combat-ready formations, more stability, and a more predictable lifestyle for our soldiers and their families; more agile and tailorable units, more high-demand units and skills, and more commonality across the entire Army.

 

            Now, with our efforts to grow the active component of the Army by 30,000 soldiers over the next three years, using supplemental dollars, we can do what we need to do; we can build the right kinds of units in the right components and in the right numbers with the capabilities that we need.  We are changing and we are making great progress in this regard.

 

            Now, the fact is we are growing the Army.  And there's a difference in growing the Army and increasing the end strength, and I want to talk about that nuance because it's really the essence of the issue.

 

            We are growing the Army -- this 30,000 additional soldiers -- in the core active component using the authorities we have under the global war on terror authorities, and we are not placing at risk by doing that the transformation of the Army as we go forward by having to reach within our core program to do that.  And this is a very, very important nuance, and I know many of us have talked about this in the past.  But when you place this very important component on the core budget -- and we can talk about how expensive that is -- it requires us to pull money out not only of the current program, but of the future program to do that.  It's because of the outlay system and the way that Congress works in funding us, and I'll talk more to that later if you -- if it comes up in questions here.

 

            We are currently growing our Army as fast as we can.  We man the force through recruiting and retention, and this is important. Recruiting and retention are the way we man the force, and we're watching these closely.  Recruiting in the active component is currently on glide path for the fiscal year '04 -- 2004 -- mission, and we're at 101 percent of glide path right now on that for the active component.  Reserve recruiting is at 102 percent of mission, and -- while the National Guard is at 88 percent.  However, we remain cautiously optimistic that we will make our goal.

 

            And I have with me here Lieutenant General Steve Blum of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Ron Helmly from the U.S. Army Reserve, and the chief of our Army National Guard, Lieutenant General Roger Schultz.  And so they're available and they can chime in here when we get to it.

 

            We are also optimistic that we will meet our fiscal year 2004 retention mission in the active component, and currently we're slightly above 101 percent.  For the Army Reserves we're at about 99 percent, which is just a tad below glide path, but we think we'll make it.  We've accomplished nearly 9 percent in that regard in just the last three months.  And mission accomplishments remain strong in the Army National Guard, which is almost 101 percent; it's 100.7 (percent).

 

            An issue not related to recruiting and retention is the force- management tool we're using known as stop loss, and I know that's been one that's been of great interest to everybody.  This is standard personnel rotations for units where sudden and last-minute personnel changes can reduce unit readiness and cohesion.  And that's why we use stop loss.  Stop loss is a management tool that's helping us to maintain combat effectiveness and readiness, and we employ that 90 days before deployment and hold it to 90 days after so we hold the team together.  Stop loss ensures that we have cohesive units deploying into theater.

 

            We are also planning to alert and mobilize up to approximately 5,700 soldiers from the Individual Ready Reserve, or the IRR, to fill vacant positions in the reserve components.  This is not unusual in time of war.  And these citizen soldiers are part of the force, and we're calling them into active service just as we did in Desert Storm. In Desert Shield, Desert Storm, we mobilized 20,200 from the IRR; 20,200 soldiers from the IRR.  We will continue to seek volunteers from the IRR to meet demanding requirements prior to initiating involuntary mobilization of IRR soldiers.  We are asking for volunteers first before we involuntarily mobilize from IRR.

 

            And these IRR soldiers, by the way, are either soldiers -- officers and soldiers who have remaining time on their mandatory obligation of eight years or are soldiers and officers -- soldiers who have volunteered to remain in the IRR beyond that period, or officers who have not resigned their commissions and continue with their reserve commission.

 

            We are also developing initiatives like a new program called Blue to Green that you've heard about.  And this is a program that, while the Navy and the Air Force are trying to reduce their manning, and while they are drawing down their force, this will allow talented sailors and airmen who have specialties that we need, that want to continue on active duty, to transfer to the Army.  And of course we're exploring that as we speak, and we're optimistic that we'll get some great, talented people that want to come across to the Army.  And of course, we can do that since they've already been through the military training and acculturation, that we can do that with less training as they come across by basically "greening" them in our culture and our systems without having to go through a lot of the specialty training that would be required.

 

            So I'd like to take the remaining time to answer your questions, and I'll kind of cut my statement off there.

 

            It's really important, I think, that the American people and our soldiers and their families understand what we're doing to keep the Army relevant and ready, and that's why we're here today.  And I'm prepared to answer your questions.

 

            Sir?

 

            Q     General, do you believe that U.S. forces are maintaining too high a presence and are playing too prominent a role in Iraq following the hand-over of sovereignty?  And if so, what's being done about that or should be done about that?  For example, repositioning U.S. forces away from cities.

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Well, I believe that we're meeting the combat commanders' requirements over there.  And they're -- we're in constant dialogue in terms of what General Abizaid, now General Casey need and want.  And of course they're constantly examining the method in which they'll use these soldiers.

 

            And I know there's been a lot of conversation about -- dialogue about whether, you know, you ought to have more soldiers on the street and a higher presence vice perhaps being more adaptable and agile in there.  And I tend to think that we need to use all of the tools that we have in our kit bag in support of what they're doing.

 

            I'm not in the operational chain of command, nor am I influential in terms of how they want to use the soldiers.  I am responsible to train them and prepare them and equip them to go over there.  And I do believe that what we'll see is some innovative use of our forces over there.

 

            Yeah, sir?

 

            Q     Given the scale of your deployments, combined with stop loss, how can you know that that's not skewing your retention figures?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Well, the retention figures do not include stop loss.  And that's what -- that's why --

 

            Q     But aren't the forces being kept artificially higher through the stop loss?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  We have over 600,000 soldiers on active duty today.  We're authorized 482,400 soldiers.  We have over 600(,000) on active duty.  That is a combination of mobilization of Army Reserve soldiers and Army National Guard soldiers, as well as these other programs I talked about using stop loss.  That is not in the retention and recruiting figures.

 

            We have raised our recruiting goals this year over what they were last year, and we're meeting them.  We've increased our retention goal by over 5,000 this year, over last year, and we are meeting the increase.

 

            So this is not -- you know, the Army is a little bit like a river.  There's water flowing into the reservoir, and there's water flowing out.  And if you want to increase the size of the reservoir, you increase the amount of water flowing into it, and you reduce the amount that's flowing out.  And that's what we do through recruiting and retention.

 

            In terms of the total force that we have, you incorporate the mobilization of Reserve components, to include the IR, in that.

 

            Sir?

 

            Q     General, you mentioned that adding to end strength is expensive compared to using discretionary authority and emergency authority to increase the size of the military.  And you said you could get into that.  Can you give us an example of how expensive that is to add, say, a division permanently to the Army or --

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Well, I can give it to you in terms of what it would cost us across the program per year to increase it.  If we magically put 30,000 soldiers in the Army today, it would cost us about $3.6 billion per year.  So if you look out across the program, six years, you're in excess of $20 billion.

 

            Q     And that money would have to come from --

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  It would have to come from within our program, if you -- you see, end strength is a statutory term.  So 482,400 soldiers in normal times, in normal times, without the current global war on terror, if we didn't have GWOT and we're in normal times, we would be required to have, on the 30th of September every year, within about 2 percent, I believe -- (aside) -- Is that correct? -- (Returning) -- we have to be within 2 percent of the statutory end strength.  That means we must be there.  Now, because we're under different authorities here, we can grow the Army in excess of that, using supplemental funding, without having to encumber our program, and we can grow it bigger, which we are.  That's what these authorities that we have give us.

 

            If we had to put that inside of the program, like some people are saying, we would have to -- since Congress can only fund one year, we would have to fund it with money we have in that year's program.  In other words, we would have to take procurement money to buy new equipment or replace equipment, we would have to take research and development money, and we would have to pay the program that year. But because we took that money in procurement and RDT&E out of the program this year, we have to strip it out of all program years.  So that's why it cost us about five procurement dollars to make one personnel dollar.  That's what makes it so expensive.

 

            Q     But if Congress were to find the money, or to provide the money, or a future administration were to provide the money, it would cost money one way or the other, couldn't you use those extra 30,000 troops on a permanent basis?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Well, we don't know, you see.  And that's the whole case.  We know we need them now, and we are getting them. now.  We are growing the Army.  We're not not growing the Army.  But what we don't know is beyond this level of stress, in the future, whether we'll need an Army that large, because you're going to continue to have to pay that kind of money.  You're talking about health care, you're talking about salaries, you're talking about equipment, you're talking about the military construction and all the rest of it that's involved in that.

 

            Q     Well, one of the presidential candidates is suggesting that you need to add 40,000 more troops to the U.S. military.  Would you recommend against that?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  No, I recommend that we continue to grow like we are because we can't grow 30,000 in one year.  We're on a path, you know, to grow.  I would recommend that we take a look as we go forward, and if we need to grow bigger we'll grow bigger.  We have the authority to do that.  But right now we believe, through our analysis, that 30,000, when you combine that with the efficiencies that we're finding within the force to offset it, we believe that we can do the kind of transformation we're talking about with --

 

            Q     What's your analysis --

 

            Q     General, whenever Secretary Rumsfeld is talking about end strength, he often cites, I think, your metaphor about the rain bucket and moving the spigot down and pouring more water in the bucket.  He says it again and again.  What I don't know is, is the spigot moving yet?  Because --

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  It's moved a lot.

 

            Q     -- there are IRR call-ups, the stop loss.  It seems like you're pouring more water in the bucket.

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  That's all in the bucket.  And what we're doing is moving that spigot down, and we're using portions of all of it. You know, it's not like you use up all of the reserve component and then go to the IRR.  What we have to do is balance this within the specialties that we need.

 

            You know, in each one of the forces, if you took the active force and took the Army National Guard and took the -- if you took the active Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve, all of them are made up principally of three components.

 

            You have that piece of the Army that you would call the institutional piece.  Just take one of those columns.  The institutional Army is so many people, and that's what it takes to recruit your Army, train your Army, run your school system, to run your bureaucracy and all the rest of it.  You then have your operating Army, that's what populates your brigades and your divisions and your corps and the Army that fights.

 

            And then you have a piece of the Army that is called a TTHS account that nobody ever talks about.  We were averaging last year 63,000 people a day in that account, in motion in the Army; coming and going and going to school and then hospital and all the rest of it.   Just by stabilizing that one component 15 percent, that's 9,000 people.  That's three brigades just by stabilizing.

 

            The initiative we have in Korea, all right?  Forty percent of our discretionary permanent changes of station right now or last year fed Korea, 40 percent.  We went out in Korea and offered a stabilization incentive, and we have almost 8,000 soldiers that have voluntarily extended their tours in Korea.  That means for every one of those soldiers, there's at least one and in some cases two soldiers in the pipeline that are now stabilized.  Let's just say there's only one times 8,000 times two:  16,000.  That's a division's worth of people just through that stabilization that is available for assignment within units.  Those are the kind of efficiencies that we're talking about.

 

            If you look at the Army National Guard, they have a very similar thing except that they're overstructured.  And part of our restructuring initiative is to bring their overstructure down within their authorized end strength of 350,000 people and creating an account so they can send people to school without impacting the readiness of their units.  And so that's part of the active-reserve -- AC-RC restructuring, over 100,000 spaces that we're restructuring to add to that.

 

            There's one here.  Go ahead.

 

            Q    What does your analysis say on how long you're going to need this additional 30,000 troop strength?  And a second question.  Is the U.S. Army at about half -- do they have about half the soldiers in the delayed entry program that they had -- potential soldiers, recruits -- that they had a year ago?  What potential negative impact does that have?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Well, first of all, I don't know if it's half, but we are down less than we'd like to be and we're working very hard -- we will be working very hard over the fall to increase that.  But remember, we raised the number of people that we're accessing into the Army by -- what did we go to -- 77,500 from about 71,000, I think, something like that?

 

            LT. GEN.        :  Seventy-five thousand.

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  So, you know, in other words, we opened the floodgates.  As part of letting more water in the reservoir, we had them in the bank so we used them to keep the train system going.  And what we're doing now is working the headwaters to replenish the debt. It's a very reasonable management tool.  It's not one that -- I mean, it's one we're paying attention to, but it isn't one that we ought to be setting our hair on fire over.

 

            Q     But does it have a potential negative impact on recruiting for the following year?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Well, it could if we're not able to replenish it.  And that's why we're putting the resources in to replenish it.

 

            Q     And what about the analysis on how long you might need that additional 30,000 troop strength?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Our agreement right now is that we are looking for three years to build out to -- we're going to make a decision at the end of 2006.  Now, we could make a decision based on other factors that we learn as we go into next year that would change that, but right now our plan is in 2006 to take a look, because by then we expect to have created 10 additional brigade combat team units of action; three this year, three next year, and four in 2006; and make a decision whether or not we ought to continue to grow an additional five brigades.  And I think that's a very realistic point to put that decision point.

 

            Q     What would happen at the end of that three years?  Let's say you decided you don't need the additional 30,000.  Do you then just retire --

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Well, the efficiencies we're looking for that I talked about -- stabilizing the Army, conversion of military spaces to civilian spaces that don't need to have soldiers -- for instance, in our installation management activity, which is a -- we found 3,300 spaces to convert, that have soldiers wearing this uniform in them, that could be performed by civilians, in our installation management activity.  And so we're converting those to soldiers (sic).

 

            As we do our global force repositioning, whatever the decision is on that, any repositioning of forces from overseas to CONUS would reduce considerably and create a lot of spaces of people that are overhead over there running those installations and all those activities to support our forces overseas.  There are a variety of other initiatives that we're doing, to include the retention and recruiting, that will help us on that.

 

            Yes, sir?

 

            Q     When you're doing that converting from the military to the civilian jobs, what's the big advantage there?  I mean, it's still going to cost you to hire those people.  In effect, you've got a bigger payroll, right?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  That is true, but we've programmed for that, to do that.  That is -- that -- those are the internal efficiencies we're doing within our core program.  But there are less costs involved in that.  And the most important part is that it allows us to take trained soldiers, people that are wearing the uniform, that we can deploy and putting them in places where we need them to deploy.

 

            Yes, sir?

 

            Q     General, I want to get back to recruiting for a second, because by digging into the Delayed Entry Program, supposedly some Army studies are showing that you might be 5,000 recruits short in 2005.  Are those projections accurate, as far as you know, with --

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Well, we're not short any in 2005 yet, because we've got Delayed Entry Programs.  We still have some in the bank.

 

            Q     Are there any Army studies projecting that you would perhaps be --

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  That I would have get -- (to colleagues) -- do you know?  Anybody know?  (No audible reply.)  Not to my knowledge.

 

            What -- first of all, we are, again, increasing for 2005 what our target's going to be, to continue to grow.  And so what we do know is that we've got the Delayed Entry Program to start that part of the year.  We're increasing the number of recruiters on the street and   taking a look at our incentive programs to be able to build that DEP back up.

 

            Q     And as far as the incentive programs, are you looking at -- can you say anything about increased amount of money for college or bonuses or so forth, or --

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  We're looking at specific targeted incentives that make sense.  And we're taking a look at a wide variety of them and --

 

            Q     Nothing decided on yet, at this point?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Well, we have our traditional ones, and then we also have some other ideas that we'll announce.  It's probably premature to announce what some of those are.  But really, what we're doing is using business techniques to influence the market.  And a lot of it's got to do with, you know, putting the recruiters on the street, telling our story and doing the kinds of things that we need to do to do that.

 

            Q     General?  General, I might have missed this, but in your opening statement, did you speak to retention in the Guard right now? And if not, can you say how that's doing?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Retention in the Guard's going very, very well. It's at, what, one-hundred and --

 

            GEN.      :  One-hundred point seven six.

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Okay.  One-hundred point seven.

 

            Q     Could you tell --

 

            Q     General --

 

            Q     I don't want to come back --

 

            GEN.     :  Go ahead.

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Go ahead.

 

            Q     Oh, I'm sorry.

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Go ahead, Dan (sp).

 

            Q     I don't want to diminish your role in this at all, but is it possible that we could ask General Helmly and General Blum --

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Sure.

 

            Q     -- to come up, and just ask a specific question about the Reserve and the Guard?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Right.  That's why I have them here.  Here.

 

            Q     Would you guys mind stepping up to the chief set-up?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Come on up here.

 

            Q     I'm particularly interested about the Reserve.

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  (To Gen. Schultz.)  Come on up, Roger.

 

            Q     I get this question a lot from my editors about -- they have a hard time understanding why, with the reserves being under such  a stress and the duty in Iraq being so dangerous and difficult, how you continue to keep making your goals.  And I wonder if you could address that at all, about -- it seems a little bit counterintuitive that when things seem to be so tough -- I mean, you hear a lot about the strain on the reserves and how it is.  Do you have any -- how can you account for that?  And if you could step to the microphone.

 

            GEN. RON HELMLY (chief, Army Reserve):  I'll answer first, but I think your question really --

 

            Q     Step up to the microphone, please, would you?

 

            GEN. HELMLY:  I think your question really relates to Guard and Reserve because certainly if you look at the numbers and the, if you will, casualty rates, the usage, it's both reserve components, not just the Army Reserve.  But I'll answer for the Army Reserve and allow Steve and Roger to address the National Guard part.

 

            It is counterintuitive.  I judge that first of all there's an element of the service ethic there.  As you visit our soldiers -- and I just returned from theater last week -- they're inspiring young Americans.  They essentially have the same kind of service ethic as our active component soldiers.  And they aspire to good leadership, and I believe that our Army is providing that to them.

 

            Second, they really get it.  I mean, they don't question our motives and the need for their being there, and they're proud of what they're doing.  So I think the internal emotional part carries a lot.

 

            And then, lastly, they're motivated by the transformational changes that the chief has talked about here.  They see a smarter way of using our forces in the future, leading to, for Reserve components, increased predictability and improved training and readiness.  So I think all those things are mixed in.

 

            And lastly, we have a host of requested changes to retention programs that we have sent forward to the Army and the department and the Congress, asking for changes to old ways of recruiting and retention, to loosen that up and provide some additional physical kinds of incentives.

 

            Our numbers are very good.  Army Recruiting Command recruits for the Army Reserve.  They are at about 98 percent of mission so far.  We are changing some internal things.  We're adding a delayed entry program to the Army Reserve, which produces it's share of strains, but it's a smart way of doing business in recruiting for an all-volunteer force.

 

            And then lastly, as the chief noted, we're both establishing TTHS accounts to provide a sponge shock absorber for how you keep people trained and then provide into the operating force.  So I think our troops are all motivated by all of that, and then there is that service ethic.

 

            Q     General Blum, when we were looking at the statistics, we saw the one statistic that seemed to be down a little bit from the goal was in the Guard area.  Could you address that a little bit?  And if you could step to the microphone.

 

            GEN. H. STEVEN BLUM (chief, National Guard Bureau):  Absolutely. The goal was set deliberately high for our accessions.  We did not anticipate that we would -- counterintuitively to us, we are reenlisting soldiers or they're staying with us at an unprecedented rate.  We didn't calculate for that.  And we didn't adjust our recruiting goal, and we won't, because I really want to see what this volunteer force will be able to sustain within the artificiality of raising or lowering goals and numbers.  So while we're a little bit off in our recruiting ramp, it's because we set that ramp very high because we didn't expect the success we saw in our reenlistment ramp or our retention ramp or to preserve the force.

 

            The other thing that kind of surprised us intuitively is that our people that are coming in, that are non-prior services, we're quite successful, actually having a better success with that than we used to in the past.  We're having better success reenlisting our experienced soldiers, some of which have now been on active duty as much as two years, with one year boots on the ground in a combat zone.  So our experience base is quite different than it was three years ago.

 

            Q     Is it true that people who -- soldiers who are deployed are reenlisting sometimes at higher rate than those that aren't deployed?

 

            GEN. BLUM:  That's an absolute fact.  Units that --

 

            Q     Why is that?

 

            GEN. BLUM:  Well, I think it goes to what General Helmly and General Schoomaker talked about.  We are a volunteer force, a   recruited force.  People that want to soldier, whether it's in the active component, the Reserves or the National Guard, want to soldier. They see their country under attack and they're stepping forward to defend it.  These are magnificent young men and women that our nation is sending.  The quality has never been higher than it is right now. And they are stepping forward at a most difficult time ever seen in the 31-year history of the volunteer Army or the volunteer service or recruited all-volunteer force.  And I think that the young men and women of this nation are showing that they in fact do get it, they understand that it's about us, it's about our country, our way of life, and that it's at risk and that they're willing to step forward and be counted and answer the call to colors.

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Yeah.  Let me add something on that, too.  And I think it's really important that we don't take this for granted. We're going to have to work very, very hard to continue to earn their trust and respect in, you know, the kinds of things we're doing.

 

            The other thing is, this isn't just about numbers.  It's about the numbers of people.  It's about the numbers of deployable entities we have.  And right now we are not optimized for this kind of sustained -- we are on the front end of a transformation that's going to significantly increase the number of deployable entities we have in the Army.  And the more that we have in the Army across all of our components, the greater the dwell time will be at this level of effort.

 

            And so --

 

            Q     Is there a chance you're not going to be able to sign up enough volunteers by the time you get to the --

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Well, I think anything's possible.  But you know, we're -- you know, we -- I mean, we've got to be in the business of being more optimistic in that, and we're working very hard to do it.

 

            And I think it's really important that we tell the story of how much these honorable people are sacrificing in service of our nation. And we ought to be very proud of that.

 

            In the rear.  You've been very patient.

 

            Q     At least some state leaders, governors have expressed concerns about the Guard levels at home if they have disasters, things like that.  Is that -- do you see that as a problem?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  One of the things that we're trying to do -- and then I'll let General Blum pitch; he's very instrumental in doing this -- as we rebalance, what we want to do is make sure that the distribution across the country, in the 54 states and territories, is adequate to meet our homeland security concerns, homeland defense concerns and the needs of the governors and the TAGs that are out there.  And Steve, you might want to address that, because he's doing it not only in the Army National Guard, but in the Air Force National Guard -- you know, is across the spectrum.

 

            GEN. BLUM:  It really is a great question.  It is the concern on the minds of all the governors of the 50 states and the territories.

 

            I've met with them now twice in the last six months, number one, to make sure that I do adequately address their concerns as they relate to the National Guard in their states and territories.  What we have worked is an accommodation with the Army and the Air Force, so that as we call up the units from their states and territories, as we take them from the governors, we leave the governors always about two- thirds or more of their capability residing within the state; so that they can discharge their authorities and responsibilities as the sovereign of the state, the elected official of the state, the commander in chief, with -- the same duties and responsibilities a president has for the nation they have in their state and territory.

 

            We leave them anywhere between 50 percent of their force and two- thirds of their capabilities of their Army and Air Guard, operating as a joint team, to be able to provide them the capabilities they need to defend the homeland.  And make no mistake there; the number one priority of the National Guard is to defend the homeland.  But also don't make the mistake, defending the homeland doesn't mean you only do it here.  Some of the things that we're doing with the near-100,000 soldiers that we have deployed right now out of the Army Guard and Air Guard to Afghanistan and Iraq and other places around the world are doing homeland defense in depth, where it is the away game.  But we are very well prepared and preparing every day to get more prepared to handle the unscheduled home game if it should occur.

 

            To do that, we are making accommodations to make sure that we do not take and break the deal that we have made with the governors, and so far that doesn't look like there's any danger in that.  Right now, what is it, 27 percent of the Army guard is deployed.  About 22 percent of the Air Guard is deployed at any given time.  We've been able to sustain that since September the 12th of 2001.

 

            We think we can do that, to answer your question, sir, indefinitely because General Schoomaker is allowing us to move that spigot down so that we can take artillery units that we don't need, that were very necessary for a Cold War strategic reserve in great numbers, and reclassify them into military police, intelligence units and other units that are very necessary.  That's how we're moving the spigot down, at least on the Army Guard side, and that TTHS account will move that spigot even further down.

 

            We still have, what, 132,000 that haven't even been called yet in the Army Guard alone.  So we'll be able to sustain the volunteer force here indefinitely unless the numbers go way up for the employment or we abuse them and we don't honor our obligation to the governors.

 

            Now having said that, somebody in here will tell me that Vermont, New Hampshire and Idaho are out of synchronization with the model I just described, and Montana you can add to that.  There's four states that right now have over half of their Army National Guard out of their states.  But when you take the capabilities of their Air National Guard and what the surrounding states have agreed to provide for them, they are well prepared to handle forest fires or acts of Mother Nature or acts of a terrorist event here in the United States.

 

            I hope that's helpful.

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Yeah.

 

            Colonel Campbell (sp), flip the chart -- Pat's chart around.  And I'd just like to amplify something here, and then I know we're going to wrap up.

 

            I want to show you this because it shows you from fiscal year '04 -- where we are now -- out to '10.  And if you take a look on the -- and I didn't -- I did not intend to chart you to death here, but these are the active -- the 10 active divisions.  Here are the 10 additional brigades that we're going to form between now and '06.  But what I really want to point out -- here are your eight National Guard divisions, and here are the brigades that -- you know, last year, before we started this effort, there were 33 active brigades, and there were 36 National Guard brigades, but only 15 of them were resourced at an increased level.

 

            So if you're talking about relatively immediately available forces, there are about 48 across the Army, active Army and the Army National Guard.  We are moving to a plan that will put us somewhere between 77 and 82 brigades available across our force.  And with that level of base, it allows good management of the Army National Guard capabilities across the 54 states and territories.  It also allows us a lot better management within the active force, and we have a force generation model that shows how we can turn the active force on about 3-year rotation, always having adequate brigades available to us, and turn the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve on a five-to-six year rotation that would likewise provide us with a predictable flow of available units.

 

            And while we always focus on these combat formations -- the actual combat arms formations -- what we have to remember is that underneath all of that are a lot of units of action that are in the combat support and combat service support areas that have to buttress this.  And so that's part of that hundred thousand rebalancing that we're doing.

 

            Q     General, last week the General Accountability Office (sic) released a report that showed the Iraq and Afghanistan operations are going to leave the Army a little more than $10 billion short in needed funding in 2004.  The recent appropriation bill that Congress has passed has a $25 billion emergency fund in there which will become available once it's signed into law.

 

            Have you spoken to OSD, the comptroller's shop or Secretary Rumsfeld's office about when that $25 billion becomes available if you'll be able to tap into that right away?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Well, I'll tell you two selections to what you just said.  Months ago we -- Secretary Rumsfeld helped us, all of the services, when we all looked at what we would need to finish 2004, and OSD made a corporate decision to rebalance with -- and they helped us to the tune of a little better than $4 billion by going across the services with '04 money to help us through the end of this year.

 

            What was just enacted on the Hill the other day with the $25 billion bridge supplemental -- that was passed, and there's a provision in there that makes it available to us upon enactment, which means that we can start spending some of that bridge supplemental this year.

 

            What's important is that we could have finished this year with the help OSD gave us within the '04 monies, but we would have had to defer some things that we didn't want to defer.  What want to do is maintain our momentum for readiness purposes, the industrial base and the rest of it, and to continue this flow.  And so between these two issues here, which were done in a very proactive manner, not in a reactive manner, but in a good business sense, looking ahead as a team, we are able to maintain our momentum into '05, and I feel very good about that.

 

            Yeah?  We'll take one more, right back there, because you haven't asked one.  Yes?

 

            Q     General, in your opening comment you described very briefly the complexity and challenge of transforming while at war.  I'd like you to be a little more specific on that.  When you look at the mission in Iraq, the cost in money, both in raw numbers and the future investment dollars being spent today, cost in lives, the stress on the force, the fact that you and your senior officer corps spend so much energy thinking about Iraq and the mission today, how can that mission be anything but a brake on Army transformation?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  Well, it's actually -- and I'm going to be very candid with you here.  I don't spend all my time worrying about Iraq and Afghanistan.  That is the theater commander's job to do.

 

            Q     The second order effects that have been the topic --

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  The second order effects are very positive. This war, as unfortunate as war always is -- okay? -- provides momentum and focus and resources to transform that you might not have outside of this.  And what we are able to do as we rotate forces, as we reset them, is this momentum and focus allows us to reset them for the future, not reset them as they were in the past.  And so this has given us a great forcing function to allow us to do it.

 

            Now, I don't want to understate, you know, the huge management challenge here, and that is managing the convergence of the global war on terror and the transformation.  But in fact, this convergence is very fortuitous, and it gives us some advantages in terms of doing this.  And so we are working very hard to take advantage of that.  As we've already talked about, the supplemental funding that allows us to maintain the integrity of our transformation and modernization programs, with the additional funding that the Congress is giving us   to fight the war, and the authorities we have within that supplemental to grow the force, to get the head room that we need to do these changes and maintain the force, works out quite well for us.  But it is -- it is a tough management challenge, but it's a unique strategic opportunity for us to take advantage of, and that's what we're doing.

 

            Now I'm sorry that --

 

            Q     One last question?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  One last question, then that's go to be it.

 

            Q     Do you foresee any circumstance under which the draft might have to be reinstituted?

 

            GEN. SCHOOMAKER:  I personally don't, and that's an honest answer.  And I think that with what we see today, that -- with the service that these great soldiers are doing, the soldiers that are staying with us and where we're going -- if we can get through to that decision point in '06 with what we're doing with the Army, I believe we will have a base and a restructured Army that will allow us to sustain this indefinitely with a lot less stress on the force.  But we've got to see our way through it.

 

            And so thank you very much for your questions.  I hope this has been useful, and we really appreciate your support.  Thank you very much.

 

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