Military Review English Edition March-April 2016 - Page 102

C urrent U.S. military strategy calls for an expeditionary force that is available for short-notice deployments. This means that active component (AC) forces must conduct unpredictable mobilizations and deployments. In contrast, reserve component (RC) forces follow predictable mobilization and deployment schedules. The Army now needs viable courses of action to synchronize employment of the RC in an Army Total Force (ATF) structure. Background The events of 11 September 2001 changed the way AC and RC forces were mobilized and deployed, as evidenced by Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dr. John Winkler, in his 2010 article in Joint Force Quarterly, describes the operational reserve with this statement: The concept of an operational reserve, in which Reserve forces participate routinely and regularly in ongoing military missions, is viewed as a fairly recent development. This concept is distinct from an earlier view in which the RCs were seen mainly as a “strategic reserve” whose primary role was augmentation and reinforcement of Active forces during a major contingency—an event that was anticipated to occur at best once in a lifetime.1 Winkler further states that “key developments … in policy and practice that governed the transformation of Reserve forces and enabled the development of an operational reserve recognized that the reserve components provide both operational capabilities and strategic depth to meet U.S. defense requirements across the full spectrum of conflict.”2 With ongoing postwar reductions to the Army end strength in the current fiscally constrained environment, the ATF concept is a particularly useful way for the RC to be leveraged as an operational reserve. With no long-war plans, the U.S. Army must change the way it thinks about the roles of the RC as follows: fully implement ATF strategies, concepts, and policies integrate geographically colocated AC and RC forces conduct ATF training at combat training centers, regional training centers, and home stations create additional multicomponent headquarters to better utilize capabilities inherent to each component • • • • Fully Implement Army Total Force Strategies, Concepts, and Policies The U.S. Army must change the way it thinks about the roles of the RC by fully implementing ATF strategies, concepts, and policies. Senior leaders at the joint and Army level are clearly calling for a better-integrated ATF, and the current fiscally constrained environment is a natural impetus for this change. Several strategic documents discuss the role of RC forces as an operational reserve, most notably the 2015 Capstone Concept for Joint Operations (CCJO); Army Directive 2012-8, Army Total Force Policy; the former chief of staff of the Army’s CSA Strategic Priorities; and, the posture statements of the chief of the Army Reserve and the chief of the National Guard Bureau. Each document identifies the requirement for an operational reserve and the need to integrate all of the Army components. The CCJO details how future (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kendall James, Oklahoma National Guard) forces require pervasive interoperA soldier negotiates one of the nine stations on an obstacle course 7 November 2015 ability, saying that “interoperability during the Oklahoma Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition on Camp Gruber in refers not only to materiel, but Braggs, Oklahoma. 100 March-April 2016  MILITARY REVIEW