STRUCTURING THE ACTIVE AND RESERVE ARMY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
 
 
DECEMBER 1997
 
 
NOTES

All costs are expressed in 1997 dollars of budget authority.

Unless otherwise indicated, all years referred to in this report are fiscal years.

Unless otherwise noted, Army forces in 1998 refer to levels requested in the President's budget for that year.

Numbers in the text and tables may not add up to totals because of rounding.

 
 

Preface

The U.S. Army has changed dramatically in the past 10 years in both mission and size. Its Cold War focus on deterring or defeating the Soviet Union has shifted to a more global mission of fighting smaller conflicts against less formidable foes anywhere in the world. Today's Army is also 30 percent smaller than it was a decade ago.

In spite of those changes, the composition of the Army has not shifted markedly. The service remains almost equally divided between active-duty and reserve soldiers (those in the National Guard and Army Reserve), although the reserve component now has a slight majority. A question under debate in defense circles is whether that composition is well suited to the Army's current role of fighting regional conflicts and taking part in peacekeeping operations.

The Army hopes to make its force structure better suited to its current mission by converting some of the combat forces in the National Guard to support forces. That change would eliminate some of the excess combat forces left over from the Cold War. But it would not enable the Army to get to regional conflicts more quickly than it can today. Nor would it improve the Army's ability to carry out the peacekeeping operations in which it is increasingly engaged. Finally, because the Army's plan would not reduce the overall size of the service, it would not yield significant savings. Without such savings, the Army may have difficulty finding the funds to acquire the modern weapons it will need in the next two decades.

Are more extensive changes in the Army's structure feasible? This Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study--conducted at the request of the Subcommittee on Personnel of the Senate Committee on Armed Services--examines several alternative approaches for meeting the Army's force requirements. It compares the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative with those of the current Army and the Army's plan to reorganize the National Guard. In keeping with CBO's mandate to provide objective analysis, the study makes no recommendations.

Frances M. Lussier of CBO's National Security Division prepared the study, with the assistance of Douglas J. Taylor, under the general supervision of Cindy Williams and R. William Thomas. Jo Ann Vines of CBO's Budget Analysis Division provided the cost analysis. The author also gratefully acknowledges the contributions of David Torregrosa, Lane Pierrot, and Deborah Clay-Mendez of CBO.

Christian Spoor edited the manuscript, Judith Cromwell and Cindy Cleveland produced drafts of the study, and Kathryn Quattrone prepared it for publication. Laurie Brown prepared the electronic version for CBO's World Wide Web site.

June E. O'Neill
Director
December 1997
 
 


TABLES
 
S-1. Changes in Force Structure Under the Army's Plan and Four Alternatives
S-2. Effect of the Army's Plan and Four Alternatives on Annual Costs, Deployment Times, and Number of Forces
1. Planned Distribution of Active, Guard, and Reserve Forces in the Army at the End of 1998
2. Major Combat Units in the Army
3. Ratio of Support Personnel to Combat Personnel in Defense Analyses and Actual Conflicts
4. The Army's Deployment Goals for a Major Regional Conflict
5. Changes in Force Structure Under the Army's Plan and Four Alternatives
6. Effect of the Army's Plan and Four Alternatives on Annual Costs, Deployment Times, and Number of Forces
7. Army Personnel Levels Through 2000 Based on the President's Budget and the Recommendations of the Quadrennial Defense Review
8. Effect That Increased Support from Host Nations and Civilian Contractors Would Have on Deployment Times
9. Changes in the Number of Army Personnel Under Alternative III
10. Average Annual Savings Under Alternative III
11. Average Annual Savings Under Alternative IV
A-1. Number of Sealift Ships Under the Control of the U.S. Transportation Command and Their Readiness Status
A-2. Characteristics of Various Types of Sealift Ships Under the Control of the U.S. Transportation Command
 
FIGURES
 
S-1. Army Forces Planned for 1998
S-2. Number of Deployable Army Forces Compared with Requirements for Two Major Regional Conflicts
S-3. Army Forces Under Various Alternatives
1. Army Forces Planned for 1998
2. Number of Deployable Army Forces Compared with Requirements for Two Major Regional Conflicts
3. Number of Army National Guard Personnel, by State, at the End of 1996
4. Total Equipment Required in Theater for a Major Conflict in the Middle East
5. Army Forces Available for a Conflict in Korea Followed by a Conflict in the Middle East, Compared with Requirements
6. The Army's Deployment Schedule for the Combat and Support Forces Required for Two Major Regional Conflicts
7. The Army's Deployment Schedule for a Major Conflict in the Middle East, Compared with Deployment During the Persian Gulf War
8. Estimated Schedule for Delivering Equipment to a Major Conflict in the Middle East Under Varying Assumptions About Lift
9. Estimated Schedule for Delivering Equipment to Two Major Regional Conflicts Under Varying Assumptions About Lift
10. Estimated Deployment Schedules for Reserve Support Forces for a Major Conflict in the Middle East
11. Army Forces Available for Two MRCs After Reorganizing the National Guard and Making Cuts Recommended by the Quadrennial Defense Review
12. Total Combat Forces and Support Equipment in Theater for a Second MRC Under the Army's Plan and Alternative II
13. Army Forces Available for a Conflict in Korea Followed by a Conflict in the Middle East Under Alternatives II and III
14. Army Forces Under Various Alternatives
 
BOX
 
1. How Realistic Are the Two-MRC Requirements?


Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page