U.S. Armys Modular Redesign: Issues for Congress

U.S. Army’s Modular Redesign:
Issues for Congress
Updated January 24, 2007
Andrew Feickert
Specialist in National Defense
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

U.S. Army’s Modular Redesign:
Issues for Congress
In what the Army describes as the “most significant Army restructuring in the
past 50 years,” it is redesigning its current active duty division force to a 48 brigade
combat team (BCT) force. The Army National Guard and Army Reserves will also
redesign their forces in a similar fashion. The planned addition of active duty
brigades and the conversion of Army National Guard brigades could provide a larger
force pool of deployable combat units to ease the burden on units presently deployed,
and possibly to shorten the length of time that units are deployed on operations. The
Army has three other concurrent initiatives underway that it considers inextricably
linked to its brigade-centric redesign: rebalancing to create new “high demand”
units; stabilizing the force to foster unit cohesion and enhance predictability for
soldiers and their families; and cyclical readiness to better manage resources and to
ensure a ready force for operations. These initiatives involve substantial cultural,
policy, organizational, and personnel changes.
Some experts believe that modular redesign, selective rebalancing, stabilizing,
and cyclical readiness are prudent actions that should provide the Army with
additional deployable units and also eventually bring stability to soldiers and their
families. As long as no additional significant long term troop commitments arise,
many feel that these initiatives could help ease the stress on both the active and
reserve forces. As the Army continues its modular conversion, it may have to contend
with budget, personnel, and equipment shortages which could impede plans to build
this new force as intended. Some also question if the Army can afford both its
Future Combat System (FCS) program and its modularity program. The 110th
Congress might decide to examine these and other concerns in greater detail. This
report will be updated.

Issues For Congress................................................1
Background ......................................................2
What the Army Intends to Achieve by Modularization.................2
Active and Reserve Modular Brigade Combat Teams..................3
Support Unit Modularization.....................................3
Multi-Functional Support Brigades............................3
Functional Support Brigades.................................4
Current Issues.................................................5
“Lessons Learned” About Modular Forces in Combat.............5
Modular Brigade Combat Team Firepower......................5
Modular Conversions in FY2006..................................6
The Modular Army FY2007 and Beyond...............................6
Modularization Plans FY2007....................................6
FY2008 - FY2013.............................................7
Cost Considerations................................................7
FY2007 Budget...............................................7
FY2007 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 109-364)........7
Modularity Cost Estimates.......................................8
Modularity Versus the Future Combat System (FCS)..................8
Non-Budgetary Issues Affecting Modularization.........................9
Selected Personnel Issues........................................9
Equipment Issues..............................................9
Basing .....................................................10
Rebalancing and Stabilizing the Force and Cyclical Readiness.............11
Other Critical Army Initiatives..................................11
Rebalancing the Force.........................................11
Stabilizing the Force..........................................12
Cyclical Readiness — Army Force Generation......................12
Potential Oversight Issues for Congress...............................13
How Will the Increase in the Size of Army Impact Modularity? ........13
Infantry and Stryker BCT Vulnerabilities..........................14
The Army’s Funding Assumptions...............................14
Rebalancing and Stabilizing the Force.............................14
Cyclical Readiness............................................14
Additional Reading...............................................15

Table 1. Current Active and National Guard Brigade Combat Team Goals.....3
Table 2. Numbers of Multi-Functional Support Brigades ..................4
Table 3. Modular Conversions FY2008-FY2013 Including Total
Planned Conversions...........................................7
Table 4. Active BCT Stationing Plan.................................10
Table 5. Restructuring of Units, FY2004-FY2009.......................11

U.S. Army’s Modular Redesign:
Issues for Congress
Issues For Congress
The United States Army is involved in a total organizational redesign of its
combat and support units to better meet current and future operational requirements.
This redesign effort, as well as associated rebalancing, stabilization, and cyclical
readiness initiatives are deemed important by proponents as they are intended to
sustain both the active and reserve Army through a potentially long term, manpower
and resource intensive war on terror.
The overall issue facing Congress is how well the Army’s modularity program is
progressing and what are some of the issues affecting this major redesign effort. Also of
critical importance is the Army’s ability to fund both the Future Combat System (FCS)
program and its modularity program concurrently. Key potential oversight questions for
the 110th Congress can be summarized as follows:
!How will the Administration’s proposed increase of 65 thousand
soldiers impact the modularity program?
!Are some Brigade Combat Teams vulnerable to enemy armor ?
!Is the Army’s overly-optimistic in its ability to fully fund
modularity and the Future Combat System (FCS) ?
!How are the Army’s rebalancing, stabilization, and cyclical
readiness efforts progressing and what are their associated costs?
!How does the Army’s Force Generation Model impact the manning
and equipping of Army modular forces?
The 110th Congress’s decisions on these and other related issues could have
significant implications for U.S. national security, Army funding requirements, and
future congressional oversight activities. This report addresses the U.S. Army’s
redesign of its current force structure, based on large divisions, into one based on
smaller brigade-level modular brigade combat teams (BCTs).1

1 According to Department of the Army Pamphlet 10-1, “Organization of the United States
Army,” dated June 14, 1994, a division consists of approximately 10,000 to 18,000 soldiers
and a brigade consists of approximately 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers.

What the Army Intends to Achieve by Modularization
The Army maintains that by organizing around BCTs and Support Brigades, it
will be able to “better meet the challenges of the 21st century security environment
and, specifically, jointly fight and win the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).”2
Accordingly, the Army hopes that modularization will result in:
!At least a 30% increase in the combat power of the Active
Component of the force;
!An increase in the rotational pool of ready units by at least 50%;
!Army operating forces that require less augmentation when deployed
— reducing the requirement for ad hoc organizations;
!Creation of a deployable joint-capable headquarters and
improvement of joint interoperability across all Army units;
!Force design upon which the future network centric developments
[Future Combat System] can be readily applied;
!Reduced stress on the force through a more predictable deployment
!One year deployed and two years at home station for the Active
!One year deployed and four years at home station for the Reserve
!One year deployed and five years at home station for the National
Guard Force; and
!Reduced mobilization times for the Reserve Component as a
whole. 3

2 Army Strategic Planning Guidance 2005, January 15, 2005, p. 9. In addition the Army
Staff Operations Division (G-3) and associated staff elements have provided comments on
the issues addressed in this report a means of clarifying Army positions and also for
programmatic accuracy purposes.
3 Ibid.

Active and Reserve Modular Brigade Combat Teams
With the Department of Defense’s (DOD) January 19, 2007 announcement on
increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps4 the Army currently plans to create
the following numbers and types of BCTs in the active Army and Army National
Guard (ANG):
Table 1. Current Active and National Guard Brigade Combat
Team Goals5
Active BCTsNational Guard BCTs
18 Heavy6 Heavy
1 Armored Cavalry Regiment1 Stryker
6 Stryker21 Infantry
23 Infantry
TOTAL: 48 Active BCTsTotal: 28 National Guard BCTs
Support Unit Modularization
Multi-Functional Support Brigades. In 2005, the Army defined the
roles, designs and numbers of support brigades to be developed. The modular support
brigades consist of both single function and multi-functional designs. The Army’s6
Multi-Functional Support Brigades include
!Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB): Consisting of between 2,600 to

2,700 personnel and a variety of Army aviation assets;

!Fires Brigade: Consisting of between 1,200 and 1,300 personnel, the
Fires Brigade is to have a mix of cannon, rocket, and missile artillery
systems and is to be able to employ Joint fires (Navy, Marine Corps,
and Air Force) as well;
!Combat Support Brigade (Maneuver Enhancement) (CSB (ME)):
Consisting of 435 personnel, the CSB (ME) is to have engineer,
military police, nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) defense,
and air defense units assigned to it. In addition, the brigade could

4 Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness David Chu press conference with
reporters at the Pentagon, Subject: Details of Recent Military Personnel Announcements,
January 19, 2007.
5 Information in this table is from “Army Transformation,” Army G-3, January 8, 2007, p.

22 and CRS discussions with the Army G-1 and G-8 Offices, January 12, 2007.

6 U.S. Army Briefing, Modular Forces Overview, January 19, 2005 and September 21, 2005
Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA) Decision on “Naming Conventions for Army Modular

also have explosive ordnance disposal and civil affairs units
assigned to it;
!Battlefield Surveillance Brigade: Consisting of 997 personnel, the
Battlefield Surveillance Brigade is to consist of an intelligence
battalion, support troops, and a long-range surveillance detachment.
In addition, the brigade can be augmented with special forces units
as well as additional unmanned aerial vehicles; and
!Sustainment Brigade: Consisting of 487 personnel, the Sustainment
Brigade is to have medical, finance, human resources, ammunition,
transportation, maintenance, and supply and service units.
The Army currently plans to field the following numbers of Active, National
Guard, and Reserve Multi-Functional Support Brigades as indicated in Table 2.
Table 2. Numbers of Multi-Functional Support Brigades
Type of Support UnitActiveGuardReserveTotals
Combat Aviation Brigade1180 19
Fires Brigade67013
Combat Support Maneuver3152 20
Enhancement Brigade
Battlefield Surveillance Brigade320 5
Sustainment Brigade1398 30
Source: Information in this table is from “Army Transformation,” Army G-3, January 8,
2007, p. 22
Functional Support Brigades. The Army also plans to create the following
types of Functional Support Brigades in the active and reserve components:
!Air Defense;
! Engi neer;
!Military Police;
! C h em i cal ;
!Military Intelligence;
! Signal;
!Explosive Ordnance Disposal;

! Quart erm ast er;
! Medi cal ;
!Logistics Regional Support Groups;
!Civil Affairs; and
!Psychological Operations.7
Current Issues
“Lessons Learned” About Modular Forces in Combat.8 The Army has
compiled a number of “lessons learned” about modular units in combat.
Commanders maintain that modular BCTs are better in interacting with other
service’s tactical elements and that the permanent task organization of critical core
components has eliminated “multiple bosses” thereby simplifying command and
control. Modular BCTs have also exhibited a “significant increase in situational
awareness for brigade commanders based on increased battle command systems.”
Commanders also provided favorable comments on the enhanced BCT staffs and
organic combat support and service support elements within modular BCTs.
Commanders also identified areas in need of improvement. Additional
earthmoving capability was identified as a need as was more capability in the BCT’s
armed reconnaissance squadron to “fight for information.” Commanders also
maintain that additional intelligence analysis capability is needed in the BCTs and
that BCTs lack organic engineer assault breaching and gap crossing capability. Of
critical concern to commanders was the need for greater bandwidth capacity to
support battle command systems.
The Army plans to continue to evaluate lessons learned from combat
experiences and to make changes to personnel, equipment, and force structure when
appropriate. The Army has initiated changes for both the BCTs and modular support
units in terms of force protection, navigational capability, physical site protection, as
well as convoy security and improvised explosive device (IED) protection based on
these “lessons learned” as well as independent analysis by other Army organizations.
Modular Brigade Combat Team Firepower.9 An Army study, conducted
by the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), reportedly concludes that
modular infantry BCTs (IBCTs) and Stryker BCTs (SBCTs) — which constitute over
60% of the Army’s combat brigades — lack tactical lethality during the early
deployment phase of expeditionary operations. The Army Study — “Close-Combat

7 “Army Transformation,” Army G-3, January 8, 2007, p. 17.
8 Information in this section is taken from “Army Transformation,” Army G-3, January 8,

2007, p. 28.

9 Information in this section is taken from Ashley Roque, “Report: Army Combat Teams
Lack Firepower,” InsideDefense.com, May 17, 2006.

Lethality Line-of-Sight Capabilities-Based Assessment” — supposedly maintains that
IBCTs and SBCTs as currently organized and equipped are unable to:
!Achieve desired effects against main battle tanks equipped with
active protection systems;
!Achieve desired effects against main battle tanks with or without
explosive reactive armor at extended ranges out to 6,600 meters;
!Identify vehicle targets up to 5,500 meters from the shooting
platform; and
!Achieve desired effects against other armored vehicles with active
protection systems.
Proposed solutions to these deficiencies include modifying tactics such as
employing volley fires to overwhelm active protection systems and developing better
equipment to increase the lethality of IBCTs and SBCTs.
Modular Conversions in FY200610
According to the Army, by the end of FY2006 they had converted 31 active
BCTs and during the year, another four active BCTs began modular conversion. The
Army National Guard (ARNG) continued the modular conversion of seven BCTs
begun in FY2005 and started the conversion of nine additional BCTs in FY2006 for
a total of 16 BCTs converting. During FY2006, a total of 45 multi-functional support
brigades and 86 functional support brigades were converting in the active and reserve
The Modular Army FY2007 and Beyond
Modularization Plans FY200711
During FY2007, the active Army will have 35 BCTs and another three BCTs
converting. On January 19, 2007, DOD announced that the modularization of two
BCTs would be accelerated, bring the number of BCTs undergoing modular
conversion in FY2007 to five.12 These two accelerated BCTs are expected to be ready
to deploy to Iraq in FY2008 if required.13 In FY2007, the ARNG will begin the

10 “Army Transformation,” Army G-3, January 8, 2007, p. 21.
11 Unless otherwise noted, information in this section is taken from “Army Transformation,”
Army G-3, January 8, 2007, p. 21.
12 Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness David Chu press conference with
reporters at the Pentagon, Subject: Details of Recent Military Personnel Announcements,
January 19, 2007.
13 Ibid.

modular conversion of nine more BCTs and by the end of FY2007, an additional 13
multi-functional support brigades will be converted. During FY2007, the functional
support brigades will increase by four in the active component and 6 in the ARNG.
FY2008 - FY2013
From FY2008 - FY2013, the Army plans to convert the following units to the
modular design:
Table 3. Modular Conversions FY2008-FY2013 Including Total
Planned Conversions14
Uni t Ac t i ve National Re serve Tot a l Tot a l
FY 08-13FY 08-13FY 08-13FY 08 -13FY2013
Brigade Combat10301376
Multi-Functional 7 23 6 36 94
Functional 1 7 14 22 118
Subtotal 18 33 20 71 288
Cost Considerations
FY2007 Budget
The President’s FY2007 Budget Request included $6.6 billion for modularity
in FY2007 and an additional $34 billion between FY2008 and FY2001 15 but
modularity costs are spread among a wide variety of Army programs, which makes
it difficult for many to characterize an exact figure for Army modularity.
FY2007 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 109-364). The
FY2007 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 109-364) added $548.9 million
for Army modularity, and directed it to be spent on M-1 Abrams, M-2 and M-3

14 Information in this table is from “Army Transformation,” Army G-3, January 8, 2007, p.
21 and Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness David Chu press conference
with reporters at the Pentagon, Subject: Details of Recent Military Personnel
Announcements, January 19, 2007.
15 Budget of the United States Government, FY2007, Office of Management and Budget
accessed January 22, 2007.

Bradley, and M-113 armored personnel carrier refurbishment. 16 In addition, the
Army was directed to develop a multi-year procurement strategy for the Abrams tank
and the Bradley fighting vehicle and to also provide Congress with the full costs of
Army modularity.
Modularity Cost Estimates17
Army cost estimates have increased significantly since January 2004 when the
Army initially estimated that it would cost $20 billion from FY2004-FY2011 to
increase the number of active Army brigade combat teams from 33 to 48. According
to GAO in July 2004, the Army added $ 8 billion to reorganize the reserve
component — bringing the estimated cost for the entire force to $28 billion.
In March 2005, the Army revised their figures and estimated that modularity
would cost at total of $ 48 billion from FY2005-FY2011 — a 71% increase over the
earlier $28 billion estimate. In April 2006, the Army once again revised its
modularity cost estimate to $52.5 billion - $ 41 billion for equipment, $5.8 billion for
military construction and facilities, and $5.7 billion for sustainment and training.18
This most recent total does not reflect requirements for creating modular forces for
the Army’s recently announced 65 thousand soldier endstrength increase.
Modularity Versus the Future Combat System (FCS)19
There has been long-standing concern that the Army will be unable to afford
modularity and the Future Combat System (FCS) — the Army’s $230 billion20
modernization program. Also competing for Army resources are equipment reset
and the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Program cost growth in both the
modularity and FCS programs has also contributed to skepticism that the Army will
be able to afford both programs, given current and projected budgetary pressures.
The Army contends that modularity, FCS, and equipment reset are affordable.
While the Army has made a variety of program adjustments to continue funding
modularity and FCS, the Army’s main argument is based on the Army receiving a
larger share of programmed defense resources, noting that during World War II,

16 Section113, Public Law 109-364, October 17, 2006.
17 Unless otherwise noted, information in this section is taken from GAO Report, GAO-05-
926, Force Structure: Actions Needed to Improve Estimates and Oversight of Costs for
Transforming Army to a Modular Force, September 2005.
18 GAO Report, GAO-06-745, Force Structure: Army Needs to Provide DOD and Congress
More Visibility Regarding Modular Force Capabilities and Implementation Plans,
September 2006, p. 10.
19 For additional information on the Future Combat System (FCS) see CRS Report
RL32888, The Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS): Background and Issues for Congress,
by Andrew Feickert.
20 For additional information on Army equipment issues see CRS Report RL33757, U.S.
Army and Marine Corps Equipment Requirements: Background and Issues for Congress,
by Andrew Feickert.

defense spending was 38% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but in FY2007,
defense spending was only 3.9% of GDP.21 While it is likely the Army will receive
additional resources for modularity, FCS, and equipment reset, there do not appear
to be any advocates to increase military spending as a greater percentage of GDP.
This apparent lack of support calls into question the Army’s underlying argument on
the concurrent affordability of modularity and FCS.
Non-Budgetary Issues Affecting Modularization
Selected Personnel Issues22
Prior to DOD’s January 2007 announcement that it would increase the size of the
active Army by 65 thousand soldiers,23 there were concerns that it would be difficult
to fully man modular forces. The Army’s decision to convert to a modular force
structure significantly changed the requirement for Army officers. The Army’s
previous plan to convert to 42 modular BCTs increased the Army’s requirement for
officers by 4,131. Approximately 88% of this increase — 3,635 — represent
requirements for captains and majors. This requirement for captains and majors has
resulted in a projected shortage of 2,708 in FY2007 and an additional shortage of 3,716
in FY2008 in these grades. The recent announcement that the Army would now create
48 BCTs and additional modular support brigades will undoubtedly exacerbate these
projected shortages in the grades of captain and major and might also create additional
shortages in both officer and enlisted grades. These potential shortages might
significantly affect the ability of the Army to adequately man not only BCTs but also
modular support units. If this is the case, the Army might be hard-pressed to create the
additional 6 BCTs that it needs to relieve the stress on the Army.
Equipment Issues
As previously stated, the Army is also faced with equipment shortages as it
implements its modularity program. According to GAO, modular brigade combat
teams will “require significant increases in the levels of equipment, particularly
command, control, and communications equipment; wheeled vehicles; and artillery
and mortars.”24 Command, control, and communications equipment are of particular
concern as they constitute what the Army considers the key enablers for the modular
brigade combat teams. For example, by 2007, the Army expects to have only 62% of

21 Information in this section is taken from “Army Transformation,” Army G-3, January 8,

2007, p. 31.

22 Information in this section is taken from CRS Report RLRL33518, Army Officer
Shortages: Background and Issues for Congress, by Charles A. Henning.
23 Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness David Chu press conference with
reporters at the Pentagon, Subject: Details of Recent Military Personnel Announcements,
January 19, 2007.
24 GAO Testimony before the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, House Armed
Services Committee, Force Structure: Preliminary Observations on Army Plans to
Implement and Fund Modular Forces, GAO-05-443T, Mar. 16, 2005, p. 6.

the heavy trucks that it needs for modular units and less than half of the Force XXI
Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) command and control systems that
it requires.25 These shortages will likely be even more pronounced in the Army
National Guard that could start their modular conversions with less and much older
equipment than most active Army units.26
On July 27, 2005, the Army announced the stationing locations for its active
duty BCTs:27
Table 4. Active BCT Stationing Plan
LocationNumber of BCTsBCT Flagging Designationsa
Ft. Benning, GA1 BCT3rd Infantry Division
Ft. Bliss, TX4 BCTs1st Armored Division
Ft. Bragg, NC4 BCTs82nd Airborne Division
Ft. Campbell, KY4 BCTs101st Airborne Division
Ft. Carson, CO4 BCTs4th Infantry Division
Ft. Drum, NY3 BCTs10th Mountain Division
Ft. Hood, TX5 BCTs4 BCTs - 1st Cavalry Divisionrd
1 BCT - 3 Armored Cavalry Regiment
Ft. Knox, KY1 BCT1st Infantry Division
Ft. Lewis, WA3 BCTs (Stryker)2nd Infantry Division
Ft. Polk, LA1 BCT10th Mountain Division
Ft. Richardson, AK1 BCT25th Infantry Division
Ft. Riley, KS3 BCTs1st Infantry Division
Ft. Stewart, GA3 BCTs3rd Infantry Division
Ft. Wainwright, AK1 BCT (Stryker)25th Infantry Division
Schofield Barracks, HI2 BCTs (Stryker)25th Infantry Division
Korea1 BCT2nd Infantry Division
Germany1 BCT (Stryker)2nd Cavalry Regiment
Italy1 BCT173rd Airborne Brigade
Ft. Irwin, CA1 BCT (-)11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
a. Flagging Designations from The Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Report,Active
Component Division and Brigade Combat Team Stationing and Flagging Designations, August

25 GAO Report, GAO-06-745, Force Structure: Army Needs to Provide DOD and Congress
More Visibility Regarding Modular Force Capabilities and Implementation Plans,
September 2006, pp 12-14.
26 Ibid., p. 15.
27 Department of Defense News Release, “Army Unveils Active Component Brigade
Combat Team Stationing,” July 27, 2005.

This stationing plan does not, however, reflect the proposed addition of 65,000
additional soldiers over the next five years. The Army has not yet announced the
designation of the new units or where they might be stationed but given DOD’s
Global Basing Strategy and 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decisions,
it is possible that there might be difficulties in finding adequate facilities, both at
home and overseas, to station these additional units.
Rebalancing and Stabilizing the Force and
Cyclical Readiness
Other Critical Army Initiatives
The Army has three other concurrent initiatives underway which have been
described as “critical enablers” in the Army’s brigade-centric reconfiguration:
rebalancing and stabilizing the force and cyclic unit readiness. These initiatives
involve substantial policy, organizational, and personnel changes and some observers
contend that these initiatives may be more be difficult to achieve than the creation of
modular BCTs and support brigades as they require significant cultural changes for
the entire Army.
Rebalancing the Force
In what the Army describes as its “most significant restructuring in 50 years,”
the Army is presently converting a number of units deemed less relevant to current
requirements into units more appropriate to the types of operations ongoing in Iraq
and Afghanistan. This change involves over 100,000 active and reserve personnel
and involves decreasing certain types of units while increasing others as described
in Table 5, below.
Table 5. Restructuring of Units, FY2004-FY2009
De crease Increase
26 - Field Artillery Battalions149 - Military Police Units
10 - Air Defense Battalions16 - Transportation Units
13 - Engineer Battalions9 - Petroleum/Water Distribution Units
19 - Armor Battalions9 - Civil Affairs Units
65 - Ordnance (Battalions - Teams)7 - Psychological Operations Units
— 11 - Biological Integrated Defense Companies
Source: Torchbearer National Security Report, “The U.S. Army: A Modular Force for the 21st
Century,” The Association of the United States Army (AUSA), March 2005, p. 19.
The Army maintains that rebalancing will increase its capabilities sufficiently
to relieve the stress on high demand/low density units. This rebalancing is also
intended to place more combat support and combat service support units back into
the active component from the Reserves to improve overall deployability and

sustainability, as well as to reduce requirements for immediate mobilization of
reserve units.28
Stabilizing the Force
This initiative transitions the Army from an individual replacement manning
system to a unit-focused system. This stabilization initiative is applicable only to
Active Component forces. The objective is to keep soldiers in units longer in order
to reduce historically high turnover rates of soldiers and their leaders and to foster
unit cohesion and operational effectiveness.29 In addition, this initiative is intended
to provide stability to Army families, and could ultimately save the Army money as
it could result in fewer moves for soldiers and their families.
Cyclical Readiness — Army Force Generation30
In FY2006 the Army implemented a new readiness system — modeled on the
cyclical readiness systems of the other Services — to replace its old “Tiered
Readiness System” which, according to the Army, created a “Haves” and “Haves
Not” culture - with most of the “Haves Not” consisting of Army National Guard and
Reserve units. Under this readiness system, called the Army Force Generation
Model, units will move through a structured progression of unit readiness over time
intended to produce predictable periods of availability of trained, ready, and equipped
units available for deployment. Under this model, units will fall into one of three
pools: the reset/retrain pool; the ready pool; and the available pool. In the reset/retrain
pool units will not be ready or available for major combat operations but could
conduct homeland security and disaster relief operations. Units in the ready pool are
conducting training and receiving additional personnel and equipment to bring them
up to full strength and units in this pool can be deployed to meet “surge
requirements” if need be. After passing the ready pool, units are assigned to the
available pool for one year where they become eligible to deploy for combat and
other operations. The Army hopes to maintain 20 BCTs (14 Active and 6 Reserve)
in the available pool on a continuous basis.
The Army maintains that the Army Force Generation Model for readiness will
result in:
!A steady-state supply of 20 ready, fully-resourced, BCTs and
supporting units;
!Stabilized personnel to join, train, deploy, and fight together in the
same unit;

28 U.S. Army’s 2005 Posture Statement (Unclassified), Feb. 6, 2005 p. 9.
29 Ibid.
30 Information in this section is taken from an Army Information Paper “Congressional
Engagement — Army Force Generation,” June 24, 2005.

!Assured and predictable access to National Guard and Reserve units
for operational requirements;
!Better ability to allocate constrained resources (particularly
equipment) based on unit deployment schedules;
!More predictable unit deployments for soldiers, their families, and
employers; and
!Opportunity to synchronize unit readiness with a wide variety of
Institutional Army requirements such as professional schooling
needed for promotion and military specialty-specific training.
Potential Oversight Issues for Congress
How Will the Increase in the Size of Army Impact Modularity?
Congress may decide to examine how the proposed 65,000 soldier increase will
impact the Army’s modularity program. While there are few details available, DOD
officials have proposed creating six additional active component BCTs (about 21,000
soldiers) which would leave 44,000 soldiers to be used for other purposes. Given
personnel shortages in the existing BCTs and modular support units, it is reasonable
to assume that an unspecified number of the remaining 44,000 soldiers will be used
to fill these shortages. This scenario could result in the inability to create other types
of units — either functional or multi-functional — that are needed to support the
addition of six additional BCTs.
Another consideration is the equipment issue. Reports suggest that current
modular forces are significantly short of equipment in a wide variety categories.
These shortages, combined with equipment loses from operations in Iraq and
Afghanistan, have compelled the Army to adopt the Army Force Generation Model,
where units are only fully equipped when they deploy on operations. These
circumstances call into question the Army’s ability to even marginally equip new
units. For example, a new heavy brigade combat team would require the procurement
of 177 armored vehicles and 870 wheeled vehicles of all classes. If new Army units
are less than optimally equipped, there is a potential for a significant increase in wear
and tear on the Army’s existing equipment, as more units use a disproportionally
smaller amount of equipment. With this increase in equipment wear and tear will
likely come an increased requirement for funds for reset and equipment replacement.
An expansion of 65,000 soldiers might also have an impact on current and
future basing plans. New units will likely require additional training areas, barracks,
and motor pools as well as family housing. Even if funds are available today to
accommodate these needs, the “real estate” — at home or overseas — may not be
available and the requisite physical facilities may take many years to construct,
thereby precluding the Army’s ability to station these forces where intended.

Infantry and Stryker BCT Vulnerabilities
Infantry units historically have been vulnerable to enemy armored forces and, even
when equipped with anti-tank systems, are considered to be at a disadvantage when
attacking enemy armored units. These vulnerabilities, however, could be exacerbated
when enemy armored forces are equipped with explosive reactive armor and active
protection systems. Because Infantry and Stryker BCTs constitute “early entry forces”
they might conceivably come up against these “enhanced” enemy armored forces (before
the Heavy BCTs can be deployed) and find themselves at a distinct tactical disadvantage.
Congress might decide to examine this issue of Infantry and Stryker BCT firepower
vulnerabilities with the Army in greater detail. Such an examination could address
potential organizational or weapons systems changes to provide enhanced lethality or
changes to employment doctrine that might mitigate these BCT’s vulnerabilities.
The Army’s Funding Assumptions
The Army contends that it can afford both modularity and the FCS program but
this affordability appears to be predicated on an increased Army budget more in line
with historical precedents. While it is not unreasonable to assume that the Army may
receive a greater share of the defense budget as it attempts to reorganize the Army
and at the same time modernize, some consider it highly unlikely that the defense
budget will increase relative to GDP to World War II levels as the Army suggests.
Congress may wish to address the Army’s apparent assumption to insure that the
Army is not basing the funding of its modularity and FCS programs on what many
believe are unrealistic expectations.
Rebalancing and Stabilizing the Force
Congress might act to review, in greater detail, the Army’s rebalancing and
stabilization initiatives. The Army has characterized these initiatives as “critical” to
the modular transformation of the Army, but little is publically known as to how well
they are progressing in terms of new units that have been created or how stabilization
is affecting unit cohesion or family life for soldiers. Given that these two initiatives
involve significant structural and cultural change for the Army, they also likely have
significant budgetary implications that some feel are not adequately discussed as part
of Army modularity.
Cyclical Readiness
Congress may decide to examine the Army’s Force Generation Model of cyclical
readiness in greater detail. This new model - a departure from the long-standing tiered
readiness system - will supposedly provide the Army with a trained and ready force pool
of 20 active and reserve BCTs at all times. Such a change will likely have a significant
impact on how the active and reserve Army staffs, equips, and trains its units and will
almost certainly have budgetary and resource implications that Congress might decide
to review. Some argue that while it is beneficial to reduce readiness standards in wartime,
others maintain that it permits the Army to under resource units in terms of personnel
and equipment while advertising a “48 brigade combat team Army” that, in reality, it
does not have in terms of soldiers and equipment.

Additional Reading
CRS Report RL32888, The Army’s Future Combat System (FCS): Background and
Issues for Congress, by Andrew Feickert.
CRS Report RL33757, U.S. Army and Marine Corps Equipment Requirements:
Background and Issues for Congress, by Andrew Feickert.
CRS Report RL32965, Recruiting and Retention: An Overview of FY2005 and
FY2006 Results for Active and Reserve Component Enlisted Personnel, by
Lawrence Kapp.
CRS Report RL32238, Defense Transformation: Background and Oversight Issues
for Congress, by Ronald O’Rourke.
CRS Report RS20787, Army Transformation and Modernization: Overview and
Issues for Congress, by Edward F. Bruner.
CRS Report RS21754, Military Forces: What is the Appropriate Size for the United
States?, by Edward F. Bruner.
CRS Report RS20649, U.S. Military Dispositions: Fact Sheet, by Edward F.
CRS Report RL32924, Defense: FY2006 Authorization and Appropriations, by
Stephen Daggett and Amy Belasco.