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Subject: Guard, Reserves To Be Reorganized
macawman    7/14/2003 9:57:09 AM
Washington Times July 14, 2003 Pg. 1 Rumsfeld orders new plans by end of the month By Rowan Scarborough, The Washington Times Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has ordered the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines to draft plans for a sweeping restructuring of the 900,000-strong National Guard and reserve forces. In a July 9 memo to the four service secretaries and the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Mr. Rumsfeld said he wants to reduce the need for calling up large numbers of reservists in a war and to do away with it altogether in the first 15 days of a crisis. He also does not want any unit called up for more than one year in any six years. "I consider this a matter of the utmost urgency," Mr. Rumsfeld said in the three-page memorandum, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times. He wants the military's plan by the end of this month as he continues to adjust the total force for a long global war on terrorism. The defense secretary suggests that civilians, corporations or technologies could perform some reserve roles. A military official said one option is to redirect the Guard and reserves to homeland defense and shift overseas-deploying reserve units to the 1.4 million active force. Larry DiRita, a Rumsfeld spokesman, said September 11 is spurring the Pentagon to look at all sorts of changes, including rebalancing the active and reserve forces. "His objective is making sure that every time you want to take action in the world we're in now, you don't have to call up a lot of reserves to do it," Mr. DiRita said. The reserves are home to a number of units that are crucial to winning wars and stabilizing global hot spots. There are now 204,000 Guardsmen and reservists on active duty. Many of the 10,000 military police in Iraq, for example, are reservists. Mr. Rumsfeld has complained that too many war-fighting skills lie exclusively, or nearly exclusively, in the reserves. This means the full deployment of troops overseas for a crisis is delayed while those units are mobilized. Most Army civil-affairs soldiers are reservists. They are playing critical roles in both Afghanistan and Iraq as peacekeepers. The soldiers provide humanitarian aid and improvements to homes, hospitals and schools. The Air Force relies heavily on reserves to man its aerial refueling fleet, while the Army must often call up military-police units in a crisis. Mr. Rumsfeld's memo sets out 10 "actions for force rebalance" - a phrase that means he wants to see plans for moving some reserve units to active duty and some active-duty units to the reserves. "Specifically address capabilities that reside exclusively or predominately in the [reserve component] and are in high demand because of on-going operations and the Global War on Terror, capabilities that are required for homeland defense missions and capabilities critical to post-hostilities operations," the July 9 Rumsfeld order states. The secretary also wants the services to develop ways, such as increased pay, to induce reservists to volunteer for active duty when needed. "Make the mobilization and demobilization process more efficient," the Rumsfeld memo states. "When reservists are used, ensure that they are given meaningful work and work for which alternative manpower is not readily available. Retain on active duty only as long as absolutely necessary." Robert Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and a TV military analyst, said the changes Mr. Rumsfeld is talking about would reverse changes made after the Cold War ended. Then, units were shifted to the reserves to help shrink the active force from 2 million to today's 1.4 million. "The type of people we're putting into the reserves are the types of people we now need on active duty to fight the war and who specialize in stabilization," Mr. Maginnis said. "What future thinkers said peacekeeping operations would be a primary mission for a large part of the force? They didn't. Future thinkers didn't envision we would have 9/11." This is not the first memo Mr. Rumsfeld has sent out on the issue. In November, he sent a memo to senior officials asking them to find reserve units that should be shifted to active duty. "I would like a list of what those things are, and then an indication of what the various services are doing to put those critical skills back on active duty, rather than in the Reserves," he wrote then. But officials say that planning was delayed. Weeks later, the military began a methodical buildup of more than 200,000 troops in the Persian Gulf for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Now that major combat operations have ended, Mr. Rumsfeld is renewing efforts to rebalance the force. "Rumsfeld's decision to rebalance the forces is prudent," Col. Maginnis said. "Otherwise, continued reliance on mobilizing reserves will damage retention and recruitment. Our reserves componen
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macawman    The reason why the same Guard/Reserve units are recalled   12/22/2003 3:58:25 PM
Number One reason: not enough MPs, CA, SF and logistic/CSS types in the regular Army. Number Two: Not enough Guard/Reserve units are up to manpower strength or readiness/skill level. So the Army keeps using the same C-1 & 2 units over and over again. I believe only about 17% of Guard forces have been deemed useful for call up. Reoganization of the Guard to fit current requirements is a must. The Army Reserve made the big changes in structure from a Cold War scenerio in the late 90's. It is just far more difficult to change the Guard because of State & National level politics. This may be changing because of the current situation.
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ChdNorm    RE:The reason why the same Guard/Reserve units are recalled   12/23/2003 7:06:06 PM
I've heard that many of the critical skills were placed in the reserves after vietnam by the pentagon, so that there wouldnt be a total force on active duty. Meaning that it would be nessacry to call up reserves to go to war. I belive the reason that I heard was that it was to insure that America could never go to war again like in vietnam, without the public making a commitment. Is there any truth to that? If there is, doesnt that seem to be pretty much totally reversing that way of thinking? It makes me wonder if it increases the likelyhood of making the same mistakes in the future that were made back then. Other than that though, It sounds good to me. I kind of look at the reserves and NG as one of those things you break the glass in the event of war. The way I see it ...They shouldnt be needed to carry out missions that are supposed to be carried out by the active forces, only supplement those active forces where needed.
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macawman    RE:The reason why the same Guard/Reserve units are recalled   12/23/2003 9:41:50 PM
ChdNorm: >>>I've heard that many of the critical (support)skills were placed in the reserves after vietnam by the pentagon, so that there wouldnt be a total force on active duty.<<< I think the DRAFT was done away with to avoid public commitment descent in future wars. The NGs and Reservists should have realized that they were in it for the 'long run' and not like it was during the Vietnam War were the NG and Reserve components were for the most part were excluded from call up. I doubt that we will see the same 'college age' civilian vehemence that was present in the 60's & 70's against the Vietnam War for the above reason.
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   RE:Guard, Reserves To Be Reorganized   12/29/2003 7:13:31 PM
Hey Folks, I feel that we need a far larger NG force than at present say 200,000+ more troops! Sincerely, Keith
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AlbanyRifles    Exactly Right   12/30/2003 7:22:14 AM
The thinking in the military in the early 70s was that by placing missions not needed on immediate active duty (combat support and combat service support) in the USAR & NG, the active could save money AND the populace would have to buy into any future long term military operation. Since there was no longer a draft, everyone did not see the effect of a war on the population. But when a town would see a lot of its people called up and deploy (as we have seen a lot lately) it drives home what your government is doing.
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BR1GAND    RE:Exactly Right or bassackward   6/7/2004 12:00:39 PM
Seems bassackwards to me. I would like to see a shift of combat arms forces from the Guard and into the Reserves. The Guard has a peacetime use for the service and support units (MP's, transportation, ect) at the state level during an emergancy. Putting the combat arms units at more of a federal level strengthens the military why would we want to weaken it?
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macawman    RE:Exactly Right or bassackward   6/8/2004 2:38:33 AM
Br1grand: You have hit a NG nail on the head. The Army Reserve got out of the combat arms business (except for one brigade in Hawaii) over ten years ago. The NGB opted not to support the AC Army with support troops that were needed, and would better support State emergency requirements like with MPs, Transportation Bns, Engineers, and so forth. The NG Armored/Mech units have a lot more PR pizazz and bigger spending budgets than support units. At the State TAG and NGB level it is all about guardsmen numbers and the resulting Federal dole to the State TAGs. The Army does not need NG nor Reserve armored units. Presently the Army needs light & mech infantry and well as more MP BNs. That is why the 81st NG Armored Bde was converted to mech infantry and a number of NG Arty Bdes to MP Bns.
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BR1GAND    Roundout Brigades/Battalions   6/9/2004 10:46:58 AM
On a slightly different note. How are we using the Guard and Reserves to roundout our active divisions. Is it working? Is it the right mix? Should this be primarily a Guard or Reserve mission? I think that Reserves should be used more in this area and mostly in the combat arms areas. While the Guard should be less relied upon in general, and if used should be mostly in the service and support role.
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AlbanyRifles    RE:Roundout Brigades/Battalions   6/9/2004 2:21:27 PM
They aren't rounding out divisions. All US Army divisions (except the 10 MD) have 3 brigades. You may have NG/USAR CS or CSS corps units augmenting US divisions, but event the maneuver forces are not designed to be an organic part of the divisions. GW 1 proved that, despite their best efforts, the NG round out brigade maneuver units could not keep their training up to standard. Now having said this, the enhanced separate brigade concept has worked well. These maneuver units are intended to augment a corps and division's maneuver & security capability. But as Macawman said, a lot of the artillery and ADA units are becoming MP & civil affairs units, which we do need. It is going to be interesting to see what happens with the lineage and honors of all those patches from the 26th through 45th divisions, some of which have already gone.
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Horsesoldier    RE:Roundout Brigades/Battalions   6/9/2004 4:37:54 PM
>>On a slightly different note. How are we using the Guard and Reserves to roundout our active divisions. Is it working? Is it the right mix? Should this be primarily a Guard or Reserve mission? << Like Albany Rifles noted, formal round-out relationships went away in the early 1990s. Formerly they were done by National Guard brigades/battalions, primarily, but not exclusively (205th Inf Bde, USAR, if memory serves correctly, was the roundout for 6th Infantry Division). Neither organization managed to consistently field conventional combat arms units that had any business showing up for the party if a high-tempo, Cold War sort of fight was in the offing. Quality control in reserve units has always been a major issue, for both sides of the house. >>I think that Reserves should be used more in this area and mostly in the combat arms areas. While the Guard should be less relied upon in general, and if used should be mostly in the service and support role << I'm guessing you're either a current or former Army Reservist . . . or National Guardsman. The bigger question to me is why we have a split reserve system at all. Insert commentary on states' rights and all that -- but who cares? Is the point of our reserve component to quaintly nod to how we fought wars 150 years ago, or help us win wars in the here and now?
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