National Guard April 2012 : Page 28

STATE OF THE ARMY NATIONAL GUARD Heeding the lessons of the past will serve our force well as we now confront an uncertain future Infl ection Point By Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees N OUR 11TH year since the trauma of 9/11, it would serve the Army National Guard well to take the long view of its current state of aff airs. The resounding successes of our soldiers and our organizations did not happen by chance, but through years of eff ort. Each major building block has played an important role in creating the 21st century Army Guard, a formi-dable operational force. Faced with daunting national economic uncertainty, we must know what to prioritize and preserve. Up to the end of the Cold War in 1989, we were inte-grated with a huge military order of battle with OPLANS (operational plans), TPFDLs (timed-phased force and deployment lists) and Battle Books. We proudly believed in One Army. We knew if the So-viets or the North Koreans came across FEBA (the forward edge of the battle area), there would be a full mobilization. Simply put, it would be a “come as you are” war, and everyone would be called. Shortcomings in equipment, training, medical readiness and anything else would either be fi xed or ignored at the mobilization station. But things changed. Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990 and 1991 revealed a new world. The requirement of the world’s only superpower was to respond to the bad actors with the “rush to crush” strategy. In other words, if you needed modernized equipment, remedial training or medical procedures, your unit would be left behind at the mobilization station and likely not even be called before the war was over. This called into question the very existence of the Army Guard. I Fortunately, the leadership of the Army Guard did not roll over, but answered every perceived shortcoming with innovation and creativity. That leadership, in league with NGAUS and our supporters in Congress, positioned the Army Guard to respond quickly and adroitly to the needs of the global war on terrorism. All this has brought us to an infl ection point. If we are not going back to the “rush to crush” war, where exactly are we going? I don’t have the answer, but I think I know what got us here and those lessons will serve us well in the future. I NFORMATION T ECHNOLOGY Who remembers FORMDEPS, the Army Forces Com-mand Mobilization and Deployment System? Talk to someone who was a Cold War company com-mander or even a company commander right up to the beginning of the war on terrorism. FORMDEPS was a paper trail, a nightmare of forms and notebooks that was to follow the unit to the mob station and prove that it was ready. Fortunately, more than 15 years before the war on ter-rorism, Lt. Gen. Herb Temple, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, had begun a fi ght to bring IT to the Nation-al Guard. He was opposed by the Army every step of the way on the basis that it was not a “go to war” requirement. Congress responded, and the Reserve Component Automation System was wired into every armory in the nation. The will exhibited by each Guard Bureau chief for more than 15 years to properly equip the Guard for 21st 28 | Na tional Guard

State Of The Army National Guard

Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees

Heeding the lessons of the past will serve our force well as we now confront an uncertain future<br /> <br /> Infl ection Point<br /> <br /> ON OUR 11TH year since the trauma of 9/11, it would serve the Army National Guard well to take the long view of its current state of affairs.The resounding successes of our soldiers and our organizations did not happen by chance, but through years of effort.<br /> <br /> Each major building block has played an important role in creating the 21st century Army Guard, a formidable operational force. Faced with daunting national economic uncertainty, we must know what to prioritize and preserve.<br /> <br /> Up to the end of the Cold War in 1989, we were integrated with a huge military order of battle with OPLANS (operational plans, TPFDLs (timed-phased force and deployment lists) and Battle Books.<br /> <br /> We proudly believed in One Army. We knew if the Soviets or the North Koreans came across FEBA (the forward edge of the battle area), there would be a full mobilization.Simply put, it would be a “come as you are” war, and everyone would be called. Shortcomings in equipment, training, medical readiness and anything else would either be fixed or ignored at the mobilization station.<br /> <br /> But things changed. Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990 and 1991 revealed a new world. The requirement of the world’s only superpower was to respond to the bad actors with the “rush to crush” strategy.<br /> <br /> In other words, if you needed modernized equipment, remedial training or medical procedures, your unit would be left behind at the mobilization station and likely not even be called before the war was over. This called into question the very existence of the Army Guard.<br /> <br /> Fortunately, the leadership of the Army Guard did not roll over, but answered every perceived shortcoming with innovation and creativity. That leadership, in league with NGAUS and our supporters in Congress, positioned the Army Guard to respond quickly and adroitly to the needs of the global war on terrorism.<br /> <br /> All this has brought us to an inflection point. If we are not going back to the “rush to crush” war, where exactly are we going?<br /> <br /> I don’t have the answer, but I think I know what got us here and those lessons will serve us well in the future.<br /> <br /> INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY <br /> <br /> Who remembers FORMDEPS, the Army Forces Command Mobilization and Deployment System?<br /> <br /> Talk to someone who was a Cold War company commander or even a company commander right up to the beginning of the war on terrorism. FORMDEPS was a paper trail, a nightmare of forms and notebooks that was to follow the unit to the mob station and prove that it was ready.<br /> <br /> Fortunately, more than 15 years before the war on terrorism, Lt. Gen. Herb Temple, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, had begun a fight to bring IT to the National Guard. He was opposed by the Army every step of the way on the basis that it was not a “go to war” requirement.<br /> <br /> Congress responded, and the Reserve Component Automation System was wired into every armory in the nation.<br /> <br /> The will exhibited by each Guard Bureau chief for more than 15 years to properly equip the Guard for 21st I By Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees Century communications put us into position to revolutionize mobilization. Twenty-first century Guardsmen trained in IT quickly turned these systems to mobilization efficiencies never before imagined.<br /> <br /> Lesson No. 1: Continue to commit all the resources necessary to IT refreshment to speed and sustain the mobilization process and overcome bureaucratic impediments to moving troops from home station to theater.Reduce or eliminate the need to go to a mob station.<br /> <br /> INDIVIDUAL READINESS <br /> <br /> Remember the horror stories of the three Army Guard brigades that were in post-mobilization training for the duration of Desert Storm/Shield? Congress was regaled with anecdotal testimony about the soldiers who had all their teeth pulled or some unknown tumor.<br /> <br /> Lack of Duty Military Occupational Specialty Qualification, NCO Education System courses and Officer Education System courses also were among the issues identified In congressional hearings as roadblocks for these units to meet required timelines.<br /> <br /> Fortunately, Maj. Gen. John “Jack” D’Araujo, the Army Guard director, stepped in and established two enduring programs—a medical command in each state, and the transformation of the state military academies to Army Training and Doctrine Command-accredited Regional Training Institutes.<br /> <br /> This has been followed with the legislative success by NGAUS to persuade Congress that health insurance programs for the Guard are necessary for medical readiness.<br /> <br /> Again, 21st century Guardsmen are reaping the benefits of these systems fought for and put in place many years ago.<br /> <br /> Lesson No. 2: Never let the zealots who want to commit all their efforts to collective training diminish these commitments to the competence and well-being of individual soldiers.<br /> <br /> TRAINING AND EQUIPMENT <br /> <br /> Remember tiered readiness? This was a companion piece to the “rush to crush.” Only those units that could get to the fight in the prescribed time would be equipped, modernized and trained.<br /> <br /> The dreaded left-to-right chart depicted whether you were a have or have not. Fortunately, the leadership of the Guard at NGB and among the adjutants general committed to the effort to see that enhanced brigades, known as E-brigades, were equipped and sent to collective training at the National Training Center in California or the Joint Readiness Training Center, formerly in Arkansas and now in Louisiana.<br /> <br /> Those brigades, when called for the war on terrorism, met or exceeded every requirement.<br /> <br /> Serendipity, then, provided us a new resourcing and employment model, Army Force Generation.<br /> <br /> Instead of haves or have nots, every unit had the opportunity to equip, train and deploy in a predictable cycle.<br /> <br /> And again, Congress responded by amply funding both the Overseas Contingency Operations and the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account to see to it that deploying Army Guard units had what they needed.<br /> <br /> The good work of Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, the NGB chief, and Lt. Gen. Clyde A. Vaughn, the Army Guard director, also established high priorities for the dual-use Equipment that now fills our formations to 85 to 90 percent of the authorized requirements. Army leaders were also a huge help here, committing more than $30 billion for Army Guard equipment over five years.<br /> <br /> The Army Guard has never in history been better equipped with brand-new, from-the-factory items than it is at this moment. In a matter of a few years, motor pools and storage sheds went from barren to bursting at the seams.<br /> <br /> Lesson No. 3: Regardless of the deployment model of AC/RC mix, the Army Guard’s first-to-deploy units must be refreshed, modernized and trained to meet or exceed expectations. And all units must be included in an equitable cycle that enables them to achieve the level of readiness required to deploy and serve the nation.<br /> <br /> FORCE STRUCTURE <br /> <br /> Remember Quick Silver or other efforts to diminish the combat elements of the Guard? The grand scheme was to establish an AC/RC construct that placed nearly all combat maneuver elements in the active component and much of the combat support and combat service support in the reserve component.<br /> <br /> Most in the Guard took this as an affront to their manhood or their capability to carry out complex organizational Tasks. The real truth is that the national strategy always articulates the structure that is needed to win the next war.<br /> <br /> Over time, this has included formations such as carrier battle groups, fighter wings or divisions. This was commonly known as “above the line” structure. Everything else to support those elements was “below the line.” <br /> <br /> Simply stated, the force needed to win the war would be in the active component and the existence of the reserve-component structure depended on the support needed for active-component divisions/brigades.<br /> <br /> Fortunately, the adjutants general and the leadership of NGB have remained true to Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution and the direction of Title 32 (state) and Title 10 (federal) of the U.S. Code that the Guard/militia shall be in “the first line of defense” of the United States.<br /> <br /> As such, we maintain today 28 brigade combat teams and eight divisions that have withstood countless attempts to diminish them.<br /> <br /> Lesson No. 4: Remember your oath to the Constitution.Remember the Constitution. Obey the law. Teach your junior officers and NCOs what this means. A balanced force of combat, combat support and combat service support is the only way the Army Guard can achieve this mission prescribed by law.<br /> <br /> Daunting national economic uncertainty is creating an Inflection point. The Army Guard is one of the solutions to economic uncertainty.<br /> <br /> The proven 21st century Army Guard has used 21st century information technology to overcome archaic mobilization roadblocks. The proven 21st century Army Guard has shown it can manage individual readiness to the highest standards.<br /> <br /> The Army Guard is replete with battlefield success because we know how to properly equip and train those who are headed into the fight.<br /> <br /> The proven 21st century Army Guard is executing its constitutional role as a balanced force in an undeniable fashion across the globe.<br /> <br /> I respectfully submit to you and all concerned citizens that the state of the Army National Guard has never been better. If we preserve these hard won fundamentals, we will provide the nation with the solutions it needs.<br /> <br /> Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees is a member of the NGAUS board of directors and the Oregon adjutant general. He has spent nearly 50 years in uniform, including four years at West Point, where he graduated in 1966. He is a former director of the Army Guard, was twice the NGB vice chief and twice the acting NGB chief. Other career highlights include a tour as a cavalry troop commander in South Vietnam.

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