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Graphic legend of Army Transformation

Army Transformation describes the future-concept of the United States Army's plan of modernization. Transformation is a generalized term for the integration of new concepts, organizations, and technology within the armed forces of the United States.

US Army Chief of Staff General Peter Schoomaker has testified before Congress on the importance and sweep of Army transformation. In December 2006 he said, "Following 9/11, our Army began its most significant reorganization since World War II to ensure that the formations of all components are fully manned, equipped, and trained."

"The Army is steadfast in its determination to transform the total force from a Cold War structured organization into one best prepared to operate across the full spectrum of conflict. This effort includes modernization, modular conversion, rebalancing our forces across the active and reserve components, and a force generation model that provides for continuous operations."[1]

Modular Brigades

One of the major initiatives of the modernization plan involves migrating the Army from a division-centric force designed to fight one or two potential major-theatre wars toward a modular, brigade-centric force that is expeditionary in nature and deployed continuously in different parts of the world. To help with the force structure changes, an additional 30,000 soldiers were authorized under emergency authority. As of 2005, a permanent end-strength change is not expected because General Schoomaker fears funding will be cut in future years, forcing the Army to dip into its procurement and readiness accounts to pay for the added personnel. (Personnel represent 60% of the defense budget and every extra 10,000 soldiers cost, in total, US$1.4 billion annually.)

Before Schoomaker's tenure, the Army was organized around large, mostly mechanized divisions of around 15,000 soldiers each. Under his plan, the 3,000-to-4,000-soldier combat brigade is becoming the primary building-block unit of the Army. The Army describes this realignment as, in effect, organizing its brigades closer to the way it fights.

In 2004, the United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), which commands almost all of the active Army and Army Reserve forces based in the Continental United States, was charged by the Department of the Army with supervising the modular transformation of its subordinate force structure. In March, 2004, FORSCOM awarded a contract to Anteon Corporation (now part of General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc.) to provide Modularity Coordination Cells (MCC) to each transforming corps, division and brigade combat team within FORSCOM. Each MCC was tailored to the unique requirements of its supported unit, but all contained a tightly-integrated team of functional area specialists who provided direct, ground-level support to the unit. The full network of MCCs was coordinated and managed by the Anteon office in Atlanta, Georgia.

Regular Army

The Army will move from 33 brigade combat teams in 2003 to 43 brigade combat teams within the Regular Army under this expansion program. There will also be 75 modular support brigades, for a total of 118 Regular Army modular brigades. In addition the previously un-designated training brigades such as the Infantry Training Brigade at Fort Benning will assume the lineage & honors of formerly active Regular Army combat brigades.

Army National Guard

Within the Army National Guard, there will be 28 brigade combat teams and 78 support brigades. Primary management methodology developed through the efforts of the Army National Guard Force Management Division.

Army Reserve

Within the Army Reserve, the objective is 59 support brigades.

Total force

71 brigade combat teams and 212 support brigades

Modular Combat Brigades

Modular combat brigades are be self-contained combined arms formations. They are standardized formations across the active and reserve components, meaning an Armored BCT at Fort Hood will be the same as one at Fort Stewart.

Reconnaissance plays a large role in the new organizational designs. The Army felt the acquisition of the target was the weak link in the chain of finding, fixing, closing with, and destroying the enemy. The Army felt that it had already sufficient lethal platforms to take out the enemy and thus the number of reconnaissance units in each brigade was increased. The brigades sometimes depend on joint fires from the Air Force and Navy to accomplish their mission. As a result, the amount of field artillery has been reduced in the brigade design.

The three types of BCTs are Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs), Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (includes Light, Air Assault and Airborne), and Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs). The organization of brigades will vary, with the Armored and Striker Cavalry Regiments serving as notable exceptions.

Heavy Brigade Structure

Armored Brigades, or ABCTs consists of 3,783 troops. Since the brigade has more organic units, the command structure includes a Deputy Commander (in lieu of the traditional Executive Officer) and a larger staff capable of working with civil-affairs, special operations, psychological operations, air defense, and aviation units. An armored brigade consists of:

  • the Brigade Headquarters: 43 Officers, 17 Warrant Officers, 125 Enlisted - total: 185 men. The Commander and Deputy Commander each have a personal M2A3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
  • a Brigade Special Troops Battalion or BSTB, consisting of a Headquarters Company, a Signal Company, a Military Intelligence Company with a TUAV platoon and an Engineer Company. The BSTB fields 28 Officers, 6 Warrant Officers, 470 Enlisted - total: 504 men. The Engineer company fields 13x M2A2ODS-E and 6x Assault Breacher Vehicle.
  • a US Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, consisting of a Headquarters Troop and three Reconnaissance Troops. The HHT fields 2x M3A3 Cavalry Fighting Vehicles and 3x M7A3 Fire Support Vehicles armed with TOW anti-tank guided missiles, while each reconnaissance troop fields 7x M3A3 Cavalry Fighting Vehicles. The squadron fields 35 Officers and 385 Enlisted - total: 424 men.
  • two Combined Arms Battalions; one from the Infantry Branch and one from the Armor Branch. Each battalion consists of a headquarters company, two armor companies and two rifle companies. The battalions field 48 Officers and 580 Enlisted each - total: 628 men. The HHC company fields 1x M1A2 main battle tank, 1x M2A3 infantry fighting vehicle, 3x M3A3 cavalry fighting vehicles, 4x M7A3 fire support vehicles and 4x M1064 mortar carriers with M120 120mm mortars. Each of the two armor companies fields 14x M1A2 main battle tanks, while each rifle company fields 14x M2A3 infantry fighting vehicles.
  • a Fires battalion, consisting of a headquarters battery, two fires batteries with 8x M109A6 self-propelled 155 mm howitzers each and a target acquisition platoon. 24 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers, 296 Enlisted - total: 322 men.
  • a Support battalion, consisting of a headquarters, a medical, a distribution and a maintenance company, plus four forward-support companies, which support each one of the three maneuver battalions, respectively, and the fires battalion. 61 Officers, 14 Warrant Officers, 1019 Enlisted - total: 1094 men.

Infantry Brigade Structure

Infantry Brigades, or IBCTs, will comprise around 3,300 Soldiers:

  • Special Troops Battalion
  • RSTA (Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition) Cavalry Squadron
  • (2) Infantry Battalions
  • Field Artillery Battalion
  • Brigade Support Battalion

Stryker Brigade Structure

Stryker Brigades or SBCTs will comprise 3,900 soldiers, making it the largest of the three combat brigades. It was designed prior to Gen. Schoomaker's arrival and thus, unlike the other brigades, it includes three—not two—maneuver battalions in addition to a reconnaissance squadron. Its design includes:

  • Headquarters Company
  • Reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition squadron (with three 14-vehicle, two-120 mm mortar reconnaissance troops plus a surveillance troop with UAVs and NBC detection capability)
  • (3) Stryker infantry battalions (each with three infantry companies with 12 infantry-carrying vehicles, 3 mobile gun platforms, 2 120 mm mortars, and around 100 infantry dismounts each, plus scout and medical platoons and a sniper section.)
  • Anti-tank company (9 TOW-equipped Stryker vehicles)
  • Fires battalion (three 6-gun 155 mm Howitzer batteries, target acquisition platoon, and a joint fires cell)
  • Engineer Company
  • Signal Company
  • Military Intelligence Company (with UAV platoon)
  • Support Battalion (headquarters, medical, maintenance, and distribution companies)

Modular Support Brigades

Similar modularity will exist for support units which fall into five types: Aviation, Fires (artillery), Battlefield Surveillance (intelligence), Maneuver Enhancement (engineers, signal, military police, chemical, and rear-area support), and Sustainment (logistics, medical, transportation, maintenance, etc.). In the past, artillery, combat support, and logistics support only resided at the division level and brigades were assigned those units only on a temporary basis when brigades transformed into "brigade combat teams" for particular deployments.

Heavy Combat Aviation Brigade Structure

Full Spectrum Combat Aviation Brigade Structure

Combat Aviation Brigades will be multi-functional, offering a combination of attack helicopters (i.e., Apache), reconnaissance helicopters (i.e., Kiowa), medium-lift helicopters (i.e. Blackhawks), heavy-lift helicopters (i.e. Chinooks), and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) capability. Aviation will not be organic to combat brigades. It will continue to reside at the division-level due to resource constraints.

Heavy divisions (of which there are six) will have 48 Apaches, 38 Blackhawks, 12 Chinooks, and 12 Medevac helicopters in their aviation brigade. These will be divided into two aviation attack battalions, an assault lift battalion, a general aviation support battalion. An aviation support battalion will have headquarters, refuelling/resupply, repair/maintenance, and communications companies.[2] Light divisions will have aviation brigades with 60 armed reconnaissance helicopters and no Apaches, with the remaining structure the same. The remaining divisions will have aviation brigades with 30 armed reconnaissance helicopters and 24 Apaches, with the remaining structure the same. The helicopters to fill out these large, combined-arms division-level aviation brigades comes from aviation units that used to reside at the corps-level.

Fires Brigade Structure

Fires Brigades will offer not just traditional artillery fires (Paladin, Howitzer, MLRS, HIMARS) but information operations and non-lethal effects capabilities.

Air Defense: The Army will no longer provide an organic air defense artillery (ADA) battalion to its divisions. Nine of the ten active component (AC) divisional ADA battalions and two of the eight reserve (ARNG) divisional ADA battalions will deactivate. The remaining AC divisional ADA battalion along with six ARNG divisional ADA battalions will be pooled at the Unit of Employment to provide on-call air and missile defense (AMD) protection. The pool of Army AMD resources will address operational requirements in a tailorable and timely manner without stripping assigned AMD capability from other missions.

Combat Sustainment Brigade Structure

Sustainment Brigades provide division-level logistics support and above.

Battlefield Surveillance Brigade Structure

Battlefield Surveillance Brigades will offer additional UAVs and long-term surveillance detachments.

Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Structure

Maneuver Enhancement Brigades will command units such as chemical, military police, and civil affairs units. These formations will be designed to be joint so that they under operate with coalition or joint forces such as the Marine Corps.

Command Headquarters

Division commands will command and control these combat and support brigades. Divisions will operate as plug-and-play headquarters commands (similar to corps) instead of fixed formations with permanently assigned units. Any combination of brigades may be assigned to divisions for a particular mission up to a maximum of four combat brigades. For instance, the 3rd Infantry Division headquarters could be assigned two armor brigades and two infantry brigades based on the expected requirements of a given mission. On its next deployment, the same division may have one Stryker brigade and two armor brigades assigned to it. The same modus operandi holds true for support units. The goal of reorganization with regard to logistics is to streamline the logistics command structure so that combat service support can fulfill its support mission more efficiently.

The division headquarters itself has also been redesigned as a modular unit that can be assigned an array of units and serve in many different operational environments. The new term for this headquarters is the UEx (or Unit of Employment, X). The headquarters is designed to be able to operate as part of a joint force, command joint forces with augmentation, and command at the operational level of warfare (not just the tactical level). It will include organic security personnel and signal capability plus liaison elements.

When not deployed, the division will have responsibility for the training and readiness of a certain number of modular brigades units. For instance, the 3rd Infantry Division headquarters module based at Fort Stewart, GA is responsible for the readiness of its four combat brigades and other units of the division, assuming they have not been deployed separately under a different division.

The re-designed headquarters module comprises around 1,000 soldiers including over 200 officers. It includes:

  • A Main Command Post where mission planning and analysis are conducted
  • A mobile command group for commanding while on the move
  • (2) Tactical Command Posts to exercise control of brigades
  • Liaison elements
  • A special troops battalion with a security company and signal company

Divisions will continue to be commanded by major generals, unless coalition requirements require otherwise. Regional army commands (e.g. 3rd Army, 7th Army, 8th Army) will remain in use in the future but with changes to the organization of their headquarters designed to make the commands more integrated and relevant in the structure of the reorganized Army.

Culture, Training, and Readiness

Under Schoomaker, Combat Training Centers (CTCs) will emphasize the contemporary operating environment (such as an urban, ethnically-sensitive city in Iraq) and stress units according to the unit mission and the commanders' assessments, collaborating often to support holistic collective training programs, rather than by exception as was formerly the case.

Schoomaker's plan is to resource units based on the mission they are expected to accomplish (major combat versus SASO, or Stability and Support Operations), regardless of component (active or reserve). Instead of using snapshot readiness reports, the Army will now rate units based on the mission they are expected to perform given their position across the three force pools, and more heavily weight the commanders' assessments.

Deployment Scheme

The force generation system that General Schoomaker is advocating is based on the concept that the U.S. Army will be deployed continuously and serve as an expeditionary force to fight a protracted campaign against terrorism and stand ready for other potential contingencies across the full-spectrum of operations (from humanitarian and stability operations to major combat operations against a conventional foe).

Under ideal circumstances, Army units will have a minimum "dwell time," a minimum duration of which it will remain at home station before deployment. Active-duty units will be prepared to deploy once every three years. Army Reserve units will be prepared to deploy once every five years. National Guard units will be prepared to deploy once every six years. A total of 71 combat brigades will form the Army's rotation basis, 42 from the active component with the balance from the reserves.

Thus, around 15 active-duty combat brigades will be available for deployment each year under this force-generation plan. An additional 4 or 5 brigades will be available for deployment from the reserve component. The plan is designed to provide more stability to soldiers and their families. Within the system, a surge capability does exist so that about an additional 18 brigades can be deployed in addition to the 19 or 20 scheduled brigades.

From General Dan McNeil, former Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) Commander: Within the Army Forces Generation (ARFORGEN) model, brigade combat teams (BCTs) move through a series of three force pools;[3] they enter the model at its inception, the reset force pool, upon completion of a deployment cycle. There they reequip and reman while executing all individual predeployment training requirements, attaining readiness as quickly as possible. Reset or "R" day, recommended by FORSCOM and approved by Headquarters, Department of the Army, will be marked by BCT changes of command, preceded or followed closely by other key leadership transitions. While in the reset pool, formations will be remanned, reaching 100% of mission required strength by the end of the phase, while also reorganizing and fielding new equipment, if appropriate. In addition, it is there that units will be confirmed against future missions, either as deployment expeditionary forces (DBFs-BCTs trained for known operational requirements), ready expeditionary forces (REFs-BCTs that form the pool of available forces for short-notice missions) or contingency expeditionary forces (CEFs-BCTs earmarked for contingency operations).

Based on their commanders' assessments, units move to the ready force pool, from which they can deploy should they be needed, and in which the unit training focus is at the higher collective levels. Units enter the available force pool when there is approximately one year left in the cycle, after validating their collective mission-essential task list proficiency (either core or theater-specific tasks) via battle-staff and dirt-mission rehearsal exercises. The available phase is the only phase with a specified time limit: one year. Not unlike the division-ready brigades of past decades, these formations deploy to fulfill specific requirements or stand ready to fulfill no-notice deployments within 30-days notice.

The goal is to generate forces 12–18 months in advance of combatant commanders' requirements and to begin preparing every unit for its future mission as early as possible in order to increase its overall proficiency.

Personnel management will also be reorganized as part of the Army transformation. Previously, personnel was managed on an individual basis in which soldiers were rotated without regard for the effect on unit cohesion. This system required unpopular measures such as "stop loss" and "stop move" in order to maintain force levels. In contrast, the new personnel system will operate on a unit basis to the maximum extent possible, with the goal of allowing teams to remain together longer and enabling families to establish ties within their communities.

Positioning - End State

Army Commands

Army Service Component Commands

Army Direct Reporting Units

Field Armies

Army Corps

Divisions and Brigades

Note: these formations were subject to change, announced in #2013 reform, below
  • 1st Armored Division
    • Headquarters Fort Bliss, Texas
    • 1st Brigade Combat Team (Stryker BCT) at Fort Bliss
    • 2nd Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Bliss (Army Evaluation Task Force)
    • 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Infantry BCT) at Fort Bliss (Scheduled for inactivation)
    • 4th Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Bliss
    • Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Bliss
  • 1st Cavalry Division
    • Headquarters Fort Hood, Texas
    • 1st Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Hood
    • 2nd Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Hood
    • 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Hood
    • 4th Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Hood (Scheduled for inactivation)
    • Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Hood
  • 1st Infantry Division
    • Headquarters Fort Riley, Kansas
    • 1st Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Riley
    • 2nd Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Riley
    • 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Infantry BCT) at Fort Knox, Kentucky (Scheduled for inactivation)
    • 4th Brigade Combat Team (Infantry BCT) at Fort Riley (Scheduled for inactivation)
    • Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Riley
  • 2nd Infantry Division
    • Headquarters Camp Red Cloud, South Korea
    • 1st Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Camp Casey, South Korea
    • 2nd Brigade Combat Team (Stryker BCT) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
    • 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Stryker BCT) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord
    • 4th Brigade Combat Team (Stryker BCT) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (Scheduled for inactivation)
    • Combat Aviation Brigade at Camp Humphreys, South Korea
  • 3rd Infantry Division
    • Headquarters Fort Stewart, Georgia
    • 1st Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Stewart
    • 2nd Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Stewart (Scheduled for inactivation)
    • 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Benning, Georgia
    • 4th Brigade Combat Team (Infantry BCT) at Fort Stewart
    • Combat Aviation Brigade at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia
  • 4th Infantry Division
    • Headquarters Fort Carson, Colorado
    • 1st Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Carson
    • 2nd Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Carson
    • 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Armored BCT) at Fort Carson (Scheduled for inactivation)
    • 4th Brigade Combat Team (Infantry BCT) at Fort Carson
    • Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Carson (Scheduled for activation 2013-2014)
  • 10th Mountain Division
    • Headquarters Fort Drum, New York
    • 1st Brigade Combat Team (Infantry BCT) at Fort Drum
    • 2nd Brigade Combat Team (Infantry BCT) at Fort Drum
    • 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Infantry BCT) at Fort Drum (Scheduled for inactivation)
    • 4th Brigade Combat Team (Infantry BCT) at Fort Polk, Louisiana
    • Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Drum
  • 82nd Airborne Division
    • Headquarters Fort Bragg, North Carolina
    • 1st Brigade Combat Team (Airborne Infantry BCT) at Fort Bragg
    • 2nd Brigade Combat Team (Airborne Infantry BCT) at Fort Bragg
    • 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Airborne Infantry BCT) at Fort Bragg
    • 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne Infantry BCT) at Fort Bragg (Scheduled for inactivation)
    • Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Bragg
  • 101st Airborne Division
    • Headquarters Fort Campbell, Kentucky
    • 1st Brigade Combat Team (Air Assault Infantry BCT) at Fort Campbell
    • 2nd Brigade Combat Team (Air Assault Infantry BCT) at Fort Campbell
    • 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Air Assault Infantry BCT) at Fort Campbell
    • 4th Brigade Combat Team (Air Assault Infantry BCT) at Fort Campbell (Scheduled for inactivation)
    • Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Campbell
    • 159th Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Campbell

Division Totals

  • 10 division headquarters (one division headquarters stationed overseas in South Korea)

Combat Brigades: 44 (Structure, once latest round of reorganizations are complete, but not including 2013 reorganization)

  • 16 Armored Brigade Combat Teams
  • 8 Stryker Brigade Combat Teams
  • 10 Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (Light)
  • 6 Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (Airborne)
  • 4 Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (Air Assault)

Support Brigades

Active-duty Support Brigades (with reserve-component numbers in parenthesis: ARNG/USAR)

Grow The Army Plan

Grow the Army is a transformation and re-stationing initiative of the United States Army announced in 2007 and scheduled to be completed by fiscal year 2013. The initiative is designed to grow the army by almost 75,000 soldiers, while realigning a large portion of the force in Europe to the continental United States in compliance with the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure suggestions. This grew the force from 42 Brigade Combat Teams and 75 modular support brigades in 2007 to 45 Brigade Combat Teams and 83 modular support brigades by 2013.

2013 reform

On 25 June 2013, US Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno announced plans to disband 13 brigade combat teams and reduce troop strengths by 80,000 soldiers. While the number of BCTs will be reduced, the size of remaining BCTs will increase, on average, to about 4,500 Soldiers. That will be accomplished, in many cases, by moving existing battalions and other assets from existing BCTs into other brigades. Two brigade combat teams in Germany had already been deactivated and a 10 further brigade combat teams slated for deactivation were announced by General Odierno on 25 June. An additional brigade combat team will be announced for reorganization/deactivated at a later date. At the same time the maneuver battalions from the disbanded brigades will be used to augment armored and infantry brigade combat teams with a third maneuver battalion and expanded brigades fires capabilities by adding a third battery to the existing fires battalions. Furthermore all brigade combat teams - armored, infantry and Stryker - will gain a Brigade Engineer Battalion, with "gap-crossing" and route-clearance capability.[5]
The following 10 brigades will inactivate:

History of ARFORGEN

The Secretary of the Army approved implementing ARFORGEN, a transformational force generation model, in 2006. ARFORGEN process diagram 2010 Army Posture Statement, Addendum F, Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN)[6]

ARFORGEN model concept development began in the summer of 2004 and received its final approval from the Army’s senior leadership in early 2006. Signal Magazine, U.S. Army Reforges Training and Readiness, Henry S. Kenyon, June 2006[7]

FORSCOM, Department of the Army AR 525-29 Military Operations, Army Force Generation, 14 Mar 2011 Unclassified. Electronic document only.

See also

External links


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