Making Peace While Staying Ready for War: The Challenges of U.S. Military Participation in Peace Operations Section 4 of 7
December 1999

CHAPTER II

HOW WELL PREPARED ARE THE ARMY AND MARINE CORPS FOR PEACE OPERATIONS?

As U.S. troops deploy more frequently to carry out peace operations, concern is rising about how well the military is adapting to its new role. In particular, the Army and Marine Corps, which supply the ground troops for peace operations, face a number of operational and logistical challenges in carrying out such operations successfully. Those challenges include readying personnel for deployment, providing enough of the right kinds of forces, using reservists, training troops sufficiently for peace operations, and providing the necessary equipment and supplies.

Although Marine Corps and Army units often play similar roles in peace operations, the two services approach those operations differently. As a result, comparing the different ways they structure, deploy, and train their forces can teach lessons about how to integrate the ability to conduct peace operations with the need to prepare for conventional war.
 

MILITARY FORCES USED IN PEACE OPERATIONS

Forces from all of the U.S. military services have participated in peace missions, but this paper focuses on forces in the Marine Corps and Army, which conduct most of the ground operations in such missions. The Army has borne a large share of the burden of peace operations. On average over the past five years, it has paid 53 percent of the Department of Defense's incremental costs for such operations (see Figure 3).
 


FIGURE 3.
INCREMENTAL COSTS OF PEACE OPERATIONS, BY SERVICE, FISCAL YEARS 1994-1998

SOURCE: Congressional Budget Office based on data from the Department of Defense.

The two services face similar challenges when preparing for and participating in peace operations. But they respond to those challenges very differently, at least in part because of fundamental differences in their operating philosophies and primary purposes.

The Marine Corps's main purpose is to be ready to respond quickly to crises at any time, and its response to peace operations reflects that approach. The Marine Corps is an expeditionary force. Its troops deploy regularly, whether or not they are required for a specific operation. The Marine Corps's personnel, training, and equipment practices are designed to support regular deployments. Marines expect to be sent overseas, so they schedule leave and individual training around deployments. Once deployed, Marine forces are designed to be self-contained and to sustain themselves for at least two weeks without additional supplies.

In contrast, the Army's primary purpose is to fight and win the nation's wars. During the Cold War, that meant having forces permanently stationed in and prepared to defend Europe and South Korea. Army forces do not plan to deploy from their home station for long periods on a routine basis. Since the end of the Cold War, however, the number of Army troops based overseas has decreased, while the number deployed to contingencies has increased.

Marine Corps

As a sea-based force deployed around the world, the Marine Corps has the ability to respond to events rapidly. Marine units at sea include their own support equipment and troops along with combat forces. Those units are organized into Marine air-ground task forces (MAGTFs), each of which includes air, ground, support, and command-and-control elements.

MAGTFs are established to carry out specific missions or in anticipation of a wide range of possible missions. They come in three varieties--the Marine expeditionary force, the Marine expeditionary unit (special-operations capable), or MEU(SOC), and the special purpose MAGTF.(1) The Marines usually deploy three MEUs at any given time in the Mediterranean Sea, the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the Persian Gulf region.

With a strength of about 2,200 personnel, a MEU is normally built around a reinforced infantry battalion, a squadron of aircraft, and a service-support group. It requires three to five naval amphibious ships to deploy. The usual cycle for MEUs is six months of deployment, followed by about 18 months of preparations for the next cruise. Those preparations include six months of training for missions that range from humanitarian assistance to amphibious assaults. That six-month training span includes several periods of training at sea. In addition, all MEUs train to become capable in several special-operations missions, including rescuing hostages in emergency situations, interdicting ships at sea, seizing or recovering off-shore gas and oil platforms, and recovering downed aircraft and personnel.(2) MEUs have deployed to many peace operations in the past two decades, including those in Lebanon, Iraq and Kuwait, Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Kosovo.

Army

The Army responds to the requirements of each peace operation separately, tailoring the deploying force to meet the specific mission. Although the Army has a few units "on call" in the 18th Airborne Corps, it usually rotates deployment for such operations among many units based in the United States and abroad. Therefore, for each mission, a group of Army units must be packaged to go. That package is typically built around a core combat unit (such as an infantry, armor, or mechanized infantry unit), which serves as the staff headquarters to coordinate operations. Additional support units are attached as needed for the particular mission.

The type of core unit can depend on the nature of the mission. The Army has generally deployed an infantry unit to serve as the core force in both peacekeeping and peace enforcement missions. More recently, however, the Army has chosen to send armor and mechanized infantry units to peace enforcement missions in Bosnia and Kosovo and mechanized infantry units to the peacekeeping mission in Macedonia.(3) Such units provide additional firepower and protection for Army forces.

The size of the core force also depends on the type of peace operation. Peacekeeping missions usually require a battalion-sized force, ranging from 300 to 1,000 soldiers. Larger peace enforcement operations--such as those in Haiti, Somalia, and Bosnia--often need a division-sized force, ranging from about 11,000 to 18,000 troops.
 

READYING PERSONNEL FOR DEPLOYMENT

One challenge that the services face in responding to peace operations is providing forces that are ready to deploy. The warning that forces will be needed can come as little as a few days in advance or as much as several months. Within that time, the service must assemble enough forces to carry out the operation successfully.

The Army has had trouble providing units that have a full complement of personnel. In peacetime, its staffing is often not sufficient to keep unit readiness at a level required for deployment. Many units are 10 percent to 20 percent below their authorized personnel levels. That situation was reflected in a survey by the Army's Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL), which asked leaders for their judgment of the personnel readiness of their units. Overall, the three personnel categories in the survey--number of personnel in required military specialities, number in required ranks, and total number overall--were rated as below "good" readiness (4 on a scale of 7) during normal staffing conditions.(4)

Typically, Army leaders try to bring their units as close to full strength as possible before deploying overseas. One way to do that is to stop all personnel departures, such as for leave, school attendance, or rotations out of the unit. (If that does not increase the unit's personnel readiness, at least it keeps readiness from getting worse.) A unit commander may also try to fill shortages by "cross-leveling," or borrowing personnel from other units that are not deploying. Army units that were sent to Bosnia from Europe, for example, cross-leveled about 900 soldiers.(5)

Although such measures may improve the personnel readiness of the deploying unit, they are not perfect solutions. The nondeploying units that lose staff will suffer a decline in readiness. Moreover, the unit that deploys may not be lent soldiers who are best suited to the positions they are asked to fill. For example, during deployments to Bosnia, some military police (MP) units had trouble filling crews with soldiers qualified to operate the units' weapons. That occurred because the soldiers on loan from other units were not trained to assume the positions that were vacant in some MP units.(6) Similarly, a truck unit that deployed to Haiti at less than full strength needed augmentation to fill a shortage of 19 drivers. But the soldiers it received from another unit had to be trained to drive the vehicles in the new unit and to learn the new unit's procedures.(7)

Generally, when units have long warning times before deployment, they can use the various methods discussed above (rescheduling training, filling vacancies early, and delaying moves out of the unit) to boost their personnel readiness before deploying. The longest warning times usually occur with long-standing peace operations, such as the peacekeeping mission in the Sinai. In such cases, units generally have six months to get ready, and the deployments last for about six months.

In other cases, such as the operations in Haiti and Somalia, warning time is insufficient to fill all but the most critical personnel shortages in deploying units. In some of those cases, units deployed at low personnel strengths but were still required to provide services as if they were fully staffed. For example, one field service company that deployed to Haiti at approximately 65 percent strength was supposed to provide support services at three locations, but it had only enough soldiers to operate two sites.(8)

Further problems can arise if units do not suspend their normal personnel actions. In some instances, the Army may continue to rotate people--including leaders--in and out of the unit, both just before and during a deployment. As a result, those units may experience a significant turnover in leadership. And by trading experienced leaders for newcomers, the Army can lose cohesive leadership during the operation.

The Marine Corps faces the same challenges, but it does not have the problems the Army has because its personnel practices are geared toward regular, scheduled deployments. The Marines manage personnel shortfalls by stabilizing their staffing early in the predeployment training cycle. Personnel remain in a unit until its deployment has ended. Moreover, most marines work in their occupational specialty while deployed, according to respondents to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) survey of Marine Corps units.(9)

In short, because Marine units deploy according to a predetermined schedule, their personnel readiness cycle is in rhythm with the deployment cycle. Army units, by contrast, expect to stay in garrison during peacetime and to attain full strength only at deployment, whether for peace missions or full-scale combat operations. Thus, Army units must go to much greater lengths to become ready to deploy.
 

PROVIDING ENOUGH OF THE RIGHT KINDS OF FORCES

A second, related challenge in conducting peace operations is ensuring that the right kinds of forces are available in the necessary quantities. The ground units needed for peace operations are not necessarily the same types or quantities needed for major theater wars. Military forces are configured in specific ways to perform particular missions. The U.S. military is currently designed to carry out its most challenging mission--fighting two major theater wars nearly simultaneously. The forces that are well designed for that mission might not be as well designed to conduct peace operations, even though such operations are seen as less difficult.

One reason for the difference is that certain kinds of combat-support and combat-service-support specialties--such as transportation, civil affairs, and water purification--are critical for peace operations. Thus, those specialties are in much heavier demand during peace operations than other specialties are.(10) Another reason is that more units than the ones deployed to a peace operation may be needed to support it. At any given time, a peace operation can affect up to three times the number of troops that are actually deployed to it.(11) For each unit taking part in the operation, another unit will be preparing to replace it when its deployment is over, and a third unit (the unit that was previously deployed) will be recovering from its deployment. (The units that are available to deploy to an operation are referred to as the rotation base.)

Some military and civilian leaders have voiced concern about the high deployment rate and operating tempo of military forces in contingency operations. Others might question the validity of that concern, noting that the average number of Army soldiers deployed during 1998 was about 28,000, which represents 6 percent of the total active Army, or 9 percent of the deployable Army.(12) However, the reason for concern about operating tempo becomes clearer when deployments are analyzed by type of unit.

In the Army, a large percentage of the high-demand capabilities in the combat-support and combat-service-support areas are in the reserve component (the Army Reserve and Army National Guard). Thus, the active-duty Army may contain very few of those types of units. Such "high-demand/low-density" units can be subject to frequent deployments, which can have a deleterious effect on their morale and retention. In the past, some of those units have deployed more than once in a short period of time, either to the same operation or to consecutive ones. In some cases, nearly all of the active units with a particular support capability have had to deploy to a specific operation. For example, 100 percent of the teams that control movement in and out of air terminals and 75 percent of the petroleum supply companies in the active Army deployed to Somalia.(13)

The Army's experiences in Somalia and Haiti suggest that several types of units in the active Army have inadequate or just barely adequate rotation bases to support extended or continuous peace operations. They primarily include units in the quartermaster and transportation branches, such as general supply companies and water purification units.(14) The Army considers deployments of more than 120 days in a year to be a strain on soldiers and their families.(15) To limit deployments to that length, the Army needs a rotation base with at least three times as many units as the number deployed.(16) For several types of support capabilities, however, the Army has four or fewer units in its active component. That makes deploying more than one unit at once or supporting extended operations very difficult.

Unlike the Army, the Marine Corps has traditionally incorporated rotation-base requirements into its structure. That approach allows it to maintain both the regular MEU deployments and the schedule that deploys Marines for six months and then gives them 18 months at home.

Nevertheless, the Marine Corps has also faced personnel shortages in certain specialties because it either does not have enough of those forces in its active component or the forces are stretched thin helping other services meet their shortfalls. One type of personnel that is heavily taxed is experts in dealing with civilian populations; they are part of the Marine Corps's civil affairs units, which are entirely in the reserves. In addition, the Marines have faced personnel shortfalls for linguists and joint communications systems specialists during some operations.(17)
 

USING RESERVISTS

As the previous section indicated, some types of high-demand units are scarce in the active-duty military. As a result, the services may need to rely on reservists in such units for peace operations. They can get access to reservists either by seeking volunteers or by asking the President to authorize an involuntary call-up of reservists using his Presidential Selected Reserve Call-up (PSRC) authority. Both alternatives present obstacles.

Many reservists have volunteered for peace operations in the past. Although comprehensive data are lacking, the General Accounting Office estimates that at least 18,000 volunteer reservists from all services took part in such operations from 1992 through 1996.(18) For its part, the Army has used volunteer reservists in most peace operations since Desert Storm. Notable examples include a 49-member postal company that deployed to Somalia and an infantry battalion that went to the Sinai in early 1995 with 446 reservists, who made up 80 percent of the unit's personnel and half of its leadership.(19)

The services have no guarantee, however, that the reservists who are willing to volunteer will possess the capabilities and training needed for the specific peace operation. In the absence of involuntary call-ups, the Army has had trouble fielding reserve support units that are fully staffed. Obtaining complete reserve units on a voluntary basis is difficult because each member must consent to serve in the mission. But the alternative--molding a unit from individual volunteers--is time consuming and requires much advance notice. For example, it took the Army an entire month to assemble the postal company for duty in Somalia and to train its members to work as a unit.(20) Another problem is that officials of the Army Reserve and National Guard oppose taking volunteers out of their home units to create a new unit because the officials fear that the readiness of the home unit will suffer. If entire reserve units are required, they argue, the President should use his PSRC authority.

Calling up the reserves involuntarily--as was done for the operations in Haiti and Bosnia--involves a number of difficulties as well. Political obstacles might discourage the President from issuing an involuntary call-up. For example, in the case of Somalia, the Army did not get PSRC authority when it asked for it. And even if the President does call up the reserves, frequent or extended call-ups can be self-defeating: by affecting the civilian careers and lives of reservists, they could ultimately hurt retention and recruitment in the reserves. The Army has already sent soldiers from every public affairs unit in its reserve component to Bosnia. If that mission is extended, the Army could have a difficult time providing public affairs specialists for deployment there.

For all of the above reasons, the Army's preferred practice is to use active-duty personnel whenever possible, particularly when operations are of uncertain length or complexity. However, with many of the support units that are in high demand for peace operations located primarily in the reserves, it is having to rely increasingly on reservists to help with such operations.

The Marine Corps, by contrast, is structured to deploy regularly, so it has not needed to use reservists frequently in peace operations. But additional deployments or extended operations might force it to do so, in which case it could face the same difficulties that the Army has encountered.
 

PROVIDING THE RIGHT TRAINING FOR PEACE OPERATIONS

Another challenge that the Army and Marine Corps face is training forces in the skills needed for peace operations--which may be different from those needed for conventional wars. The amount of specific training that a unit receives for peace operations can vary depending on the extent to which such training is included in its regular training regimen and on the amount of time the unit has between being assigned to a peace operation and actually deploying (a time when specialized training could occur). Of course, some units may not need as much of that training as others. Combat units, for example, perform very different functions--or perform the same functions very differently--during war and during a peace operation. Thus, they could particularly benefit from training in tasks unique to peace operations, such as protecting supplies of humanitarian aid, separating warring factions, or enforcing U.N. sanctions. But combat-service-support units perform much the same tasks in much the same way during both conventional war and peace operations.(21) Thus, they might not need to train specifically for such operations.

A growing number of military and nonmilitary officials are suggesting that some training in skills particular to peace missions be incorporated into standard unit training for the forces likely to perform those missions. Two conferences that the Army's Peacekeeping Institute held to review participation in the Bosnia peace operation recommended that peace-operations tasks in general--and planning and coordinating with civilian organizations in particular--be included in unit training.(22) The Center for Army Lessons Learned also recommends that units assigned to peace operations train in a variety of specific tasks before deployment (see Box 1 for a list of those tasks).
 

BOX 1.
RECOMMENDED ARMY TRAINING FOR PEACE OPERATIONS
 
Peace Enforcement Missions
  • Fight a meeting engagement
  • Conduct a movement to contact/search and attack
  • Perform air assault
  • Enforce U.N. sanctions
  • Protect human rights of minorities
  • Protect humanitarian relief efforts
  • Separate warring factions
  • Disarm belligerents
  • Restore territorial integrity
  • Restore law and order
  • Open secure routes
  • Cordon and search
Peacekeeping Missions
  • Understand nature of peacekeeping
  • Understand regional orientation/culture of belligerents
  • Learn negotiating skills
  • Identify mines, booby traps, and unexploded ordnance
  • Operate checkpoints
  • Investigate and report incidents
  • Collect information
  • Patrol
  • Interact with media
  • Perform staff functions
  • Perform relief in place
  • Establish lodgement
  • Establish a buffer zone
  • Supervise a truce or cease-fire
  • Contribute to maintenance of law and order
  • Assist in rebuilding infrastructure
  • Demilitarize cities or geographical areas
  • Monitor boundaries
  • Understand political mandates
  • Understand rules of engagement

SOURCE: Congressional Budget Office based on Center for Army Lessons Learned, Operations Other Than War, Volume IV: Peace Operations, Newsletter No. 93-8 (Fort Leavenworth, Kan.: CALL, December 1993), pp. V-1 and V-2.

Although mission-specific training is generally considered desirable, the General Accounting Office has found little hard evidence to link a lack of specific training with failure to perform a task or to respond effectively to a particular situation in a peace operation.(23) The reason may be that it is difficult to assess the effect that receiving or not receiving such training has on a unit's ability to carry out its mission. A unit's performance can vary according to the nature of the operation and whether it has had any prior experience with similar operations. In addition, identifying ways to measure the success of a peace operation is not easy. Nevertheless, it would be logical to conclude that training for tasks specific to peace operations would improve the performance of those tasks. The reviews that the services frequently perform after an operation confirm that conclusion.

The amount and kinds of training that a unit needs before deployment vary not only by the type of unit but also by the type of mission it is assigned. Peacekeeping missions typically involve tasks that are farther removed from combat than peace enforcement missions do (see Box 1). Therefore, it will generally take longer to train units for peacekeeping missions than for peace enforcement missions. Fortunately, units usually have a substantial amount of time (up to 12 months) to prepare for peacekeeping missions because most of those missions, such as the ones in the Sinai and Macedonia, are long-standing operations with deployments planned far in advance. That gives assigned units enough time to train intensively for two to three months before deploying. Units assigned to peace enforcement missions, by contrast, typically get far less advance notice. They may have only enough time to prepare for deployment, with very little time for specialized training, which suggests the need to provide training for such missions on a routine basis.

The Army's training philosophy for peace operations is "just enough and just in time."(24) The service does not have a standardized training program that all units follow. Instead, each unit commander develops the unit's training program around the list of tasks that he or she considers essential for the unit to succeed in its assigned mission. That list, known as a mission-essential task list (METL), can include tasks for conventional warfare, peace operations, or both. In designing their programs, units can draw on the Army's mission training plans, which outline the skills, conditions, and evaluation standards for the critical tasks that a particular kind of unit is supposed to be able to perform successfully.

Thus, the amount of routine training that an Army unit receives in the skills needed for peace operations varies with the unit's commander. Some commanders feel that a unit that is well trained in warfighting skills can make the transition to a peace operation rapidly, so training for such operations should be conducted only after the unit is assigned to a specific operation.(25) Other Army commanders, by contrast, have incorporated training for peace operations into their standard training regimen. They cite several reasons for doing so: their unit is likely to be involved in peace operations in the near future; routine training for peace operations will, in their view, ensure that their unit is prepared if deployed to a peace operation on short notice; and some tasks typically associated with peace operations, such as dealing with the media and controlling civilian populations, are likely to be part of any future conventional war as well.(26)

Experience has shown that Army units do train for some tasks essential for peace operations (such as carrying out reconnaissance and conducting patrols) in the course of their regular training. As a consequence, some Army commanders are comfortable about their basic preparation for the tasks required for peace operations. That is especially true if their METL includes negotiation skills and relations with nongovernmental organizations. In a survey of 57 active-duty Army officers at the Army War College, 64 percent reported that "most" or "all" of the tasks required by peace operations were in their unit's METL. (The remainder said "few" or "none" of their METL tasks supported peace operations.)(27) Nonetheless, a significant portion--37 percent--of those surveyed believed at least one task that was "critical" for peace operations was outside the scope of their METL. Those "critical" tasks included crowd control, route clearing, negotiating skills, riot control, use of graduated force, civil affairs, law enforcement, coordination with nongovernmental organizations, humanitarian assistance, and movement of small units (such as convoys with two or three vehicles).(28)

The Marine Corps takes a different approach to training for peace operations. Because the Corps wants its deployed forces to be ready for almost anything, each MEU trains for a standard set of 29 missions before deployment (see Box 2). Those missions include many tasks that might well be required during peace operations, such as evacuation of noncombatants; show-of-force, reinforcement, and security operations; and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The training program culminates in a certification exercise designed to evaluate the MEU's warfighting and general-purpose expeditionary skills, as well as its maritime special-operations capabilities.
 

BOX 2.
THE TWENTY-NINE CAPABILITIES OF A MARINE EXPEDITIONARY UNIT

Before deploying, all Marine expeditionary units (special-operations capable) are required to train for the following missions:

  • Amphibious assaults
  • Amphibious raids
  • Amphibious demonstrations
  • Amphibious withdrawals
  • In-extremis hostage recovery
  • Seizure and recovery of offshore energy facilities
  • Maritime interception operations
  • Specialized demolition operations
  • Tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel
  • Seizure and recovery of personnel or material
  • Counterproliferation of weapons of mass destruction
  • Peace operations (including peacekeeping and peace enforcement)
  • Security operations
  • Noncombatant evacuation operations
  • Reinforcement operations
  • Mobile training teams
  • Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief
  • Tactical deception operations
  • Fire-support planning, coordination, and control
  • Signal intelligence/electronic warfare operations
  • Military operations in urban terrain
  • Clandestine reconnaissance and surveillance
  • Initial terminal guidance
  • Counterintelligence operations
  • Airfield and port seizure
  • Limited expeditionary airfield operations
  • Show-of-force operations
  • Joint task force enabling operations
  • Sniping operations

SOURCE: Congressional Budget Office based on U.S. Marine Corps, Policy for Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), MCO 3120.9A (November 24, 1997).

CBO's survey of Marine Corps units indicates that most units did not alter their training regimens to prepare specifically for peace operations. Because many of the tasks performed in such operations are part of the 29 missions that MEUs train for, those tasks are probably not seen as outside the Marines' area of expertise.
 

PROVIDING THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES

In addition to all of the challenges described above, the services must ensure that forces deploying to peace operations have the equipment and supplies they need. Units should be fully equipped before departing and should be able to sustain their troops and equipment once they have deployed. Forces can take equipment and supplies with them when they deploy, draw on prepositioned stocks once deployed, or get supplies locally or have them transported in.

Army units are not always fully equipped in peacetime, and the Army has had some trouble getting them equipped before deployment. CALL found that some units going to Haiti, for example, had to take equipment from nondeploying units; also, some units did not have the kinds of equipment they needed to operate in that theater. Likewise, in Somalia, many units deployed without necessary field sanitation equipment.

Although the Marine Corps recommends a basic set of equipment for a MEU deployed at sea, individual commanders outfit their units on the basis of probable missions and the shipboard space available. Commanders choose the mix of tank, artillery, and engineer support they believe will best meet their needs. Since the amount of materiel that will fit on board ship is limited, by adding weapons such as tanks, a commander forgoes the opportunity to take extra supplies beyond the 15 days' worth that each unit carries. Generally, commanders choose greater firepower over additional supplies because resupply can come more rapidly than reinforcements.

One source of supplies to augment what a MEU can carry is the equipment stored on board ships assigned to the Maritime Prepositioning Forces (MPF). Those ships are cargo vessels stationed at various locations around the world that are prepared to steam to flash points. Because the supplies associated with the MPF are integral to maintaining the Marine Corps's sea-based ability to fight, the performance of the MPF has important implications for the overall equipment readiness of the Corps.(29)

The experience of a MEU that deployed to Somalia underscored the importance of the equipment stored on MPF ships. Within its first week ashore in Somalia, the MEU virtually depleted its on-hand supplies of various common items (such as tires for Humvees, batteries for Global Positioning System devices, and batteries and image intensifiers for night vision goggles) because of the severe environmental conditions and a lack of resupply resulting from long transit times. Since most supplies were transported from the United States, even items that were readily available off the shelf could not be requisitioned fast enough. Consequently, the Marines concluded that commonly used supplies should be included in prepositioned stocks of equipment.(30)

The Marines' experience in Somalia also exposed two shortcomings of the MPF program as it existed then. First, half of the supporting MPF ships that arrived in Somalia carried equipment that had been used in the Persian Gulf War but not reconditioned. On those ships, bladders for fuel and water and several tents had suffered from dry rot, and vehicles and equipment were in disrepair. Amphibious assault vehicles, for example, lacked radios or feed trays for their weapons.(31)

Second, unanticipated shortages occurred in various types of MPF stocks, including concertina wire for crowd control, 25mm ammunition, and spare parts for repairing equipment. Those shortages were exacerbated by confusion about the location of specific parts and supplies on the MPF ships, which forced the Marines to conduct item-by-item searches for critical supplies. The Marine Corps is addressing that problem by improving the automated tracking and packing procedures for equipment stored on its MPF ships.

The Army has had less experience in using sea-based prepositioned equipment. Its prepositioned ships, Green Harbor and Green River, were unable to unload in Somalia because they needed a deep port and lacked the equipment to ferry items from farther offshore. After the Marines' experience with prepositioned equipment in Somalia, the Army is trying to enhance its own prepositioning program by expanding its fleet and working to overcome the problems that kept the fleet from operating in Somalia.(32)
 

CONCLUSIONS

The primary purposes of the Army and the Marine Corps are different. The Army's main purpose is to prepare for, fight, and win two major regional conflicts that occur nearly simultaneously. Although the Marine Corps would have a hand in such conflicts, its main purpose is to prepare for and respond quickly to a wide range of crises around the world.

Participating in peace operations requires deploying often, sometimes with little warning, to many parts of the world, which is what the Marines do as part of their normal operations. Their personnel, training, and equipment practices are set up to support regular deployments. Thus, it is not surprising that the Marine Corps has not had to change its practices significantly to accommodate deployments to peace operations.

The Army, in contrast, has suffered more difficulties in deploying to peace operations. Its forces and practices are designed to respond to larger conventional conflicts with enough warning time to activate reserve forces, staff its combat units fully, and deploy large numbers of soldiers. As a result, the Army has adapted less well to deploying to frequent peace operations, which require different types of forces and different skills than conventional combat. The many deployments in recent years and the heavy demand for support forces have stressed the Army's ability to respond.


1. All MEUs are capable of special operations when they deploy. As used in this paper, the terms MEU and MEU(SOC) mean the same thing. MEU is used for the sake of brevity.

2. U.S. Marine Corps, Concepts and Issues 99: Winning in the 21st Century, p. 208, and Policy for Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), MCO 3120.9A (November 24, 1997), section 8(c).

3. Infantry units include fewer armored vehicles (such as tanks and armored personnel carriers) than mechanized infantry or armor units do.

4. The CALL survey data are based on the subjective perceptions of the respondents. The survey asked for ratings on a scale from 1 to 7, with 1 as "outstanding," 4 as "good," and 7 as "poor."

5. U.S. Army Europe Headquarters, After Action Report: Operation Joint Guard (Heidelberg, Germany, November 1998), p. 8-1.

6. U.S. Army Europe Headquarters, "Soldier Skills--TCS Soldier Preparation," Operation Joint Endeavor Lesson Learned No. 19970064.

7. See Center for Army Lessons Learned, Operation Uphold Democracy: Initial Impressions, vol. 2 (Fort Leavenworth, Kan.: CALL, April 1995), p. 84.

8. Field service units provide many services to deployed soldiers, including cooking, purifying water, doing laundry, maintaining shower facilities, and performing mortuary duties.

9. Almost three-quarters of the respondents said that at least 99 percent of the marines in their units worked in their specialty while deployed. Only one respondent indicated that less than 70 percent of the marines in that unit worked in their specialty. For more details about the survey, see the appendix.

10. Combat-support units include aviation, military police, chemical, intelligence, and communications units. Combat-service-support units include supply, maintenance, medical, civil affairs, psychological operations, transportation, and quartermaster units.

11. Center for Army Lessons Learned, The Effects of Peace Operations on Unit Readiness (Fort Leavenworth, Kan.: CALL, February 1996), p. A-7.

12. Army forces can be divided into three categories. Deployable forces, or operating forces, are those soldiers assigned to units that can deploy. Institutional forces do not deploy but support the operating forces in fields such as acquisition and training. The third category consists of soldiers who are moving from one assignment to another, are in training, or are medically unavailable. All soldiers are assigned to one of those categories, but the actual numbers in each category change daily. For 1999, the Army assumes that operating forces constitute 63 percent of the active Army, institutional forces make up 24 percent, and trainees, transients, holdees, and students compose 13 percent.

13. General Accounting Office, Peace Operations: Heavy Use of Key Capabilities May Affect Response to Regional Conflicts, GAO/NSIAD-95-51 (March 1995), p. 4.

14. Ibid., p. 21.

15. See G.E.Willis, "Army Leaders Seek More Funds for '98," Army Times, March 23, 1998, p. 8.

16. That rotation base would allow one-third of the units to be deployed while one-third prepared to deploy and one-third recovered from just having been deployed. For a more detailed treatment of the relationship between the size of the rotation base and the deployment cycle, see Ronald E. Sortor, Army Forces for Operations Other Than War, MR-852-A (Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND, 1997).

17. Adam B. Siegel, Requirements for Humanitarian Assistance and Peace Operations: Insights from Seven Case Studies, CRM-94-74 (Alexandria, Va.: Center for Naval Analyses, March 1995), pp. 88-89.

18. General Accounting Office, Peace Operations: Reservists Have Volunteered When Needed, GAO/NSIAD-96-75 (April 1996), p. 3.

19. Ibid., p. 8; and David R. Segal and Ronald B. Tiggle, "Attitudes of Citizen-Soldiers Toward Military Missions in the Post-Cold War World," Armed Forces and Society, vol. 23, no. 3 (Spring 1997), p. 375.

20. General Accounting Office, Peace Operations: Heavy Use of Key Capabilities May Affect Response to Regional Conflicts, p. 24.

21. General Accounting Office, Peace Operations: Effect of Training, Equipment, and Other Factors on Unit Capability, GAO/NSIAD-96-14 (October 1995), p. 16.

22. U.S. Army Peacekeeping Institute, Bosnia-Herzogovina After Action Review (BHAAR I) Conference Report (Carlisle Barracks, Pa., May 19-23, 1996), pp. A-2 and A-7, and Bosnia-Herzogovina After Action Review (BHAAR II) Conference Report (Carlisle Barracks, Pa., April 13-17, 1997), pp. 7 and 9-10.

23. General Accounting Office, Peace Operations: Effect of Training, Equipment, and Other Factors on Unit Capability, p. 26.

24. Department of the Army, Peace Operations, Field Manual 100-23 (December 30, 1994), p. 86.

25. General Accounting Office, Peace Operations: Effect of Training, Equipment, and Other Factors on Unit Capability, p. 4.

26. Ibid., pp. 18-21. The commander of U.S. forces in Europe incorporated training for peace operations in both home-station training and rotations to the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) in Germany. To help Army units stationed in Germany prepare for possible deployment to Bosnia, the 7th Army Training Command, which operates the CMTC, wrote the Mission Training Plan for Stability Operations and distributed it in draft form in June 1995.

27. Lt. Col. Alan D. Landry, Informing the Debate: The Impact of Operations Other Than War on Combat Training Readiness (Carlisle Barracks, Pa.: U.S. Army War College, April 7, 1997), p. 5.

28. Ibid., p. C-1.

29. Marine Corps Lessons Learned System, "The Long Term Outlook for the MPF Program," Report No. 50753-27520.

30. Marine Corps Lessons Learned System, "Inter-Theater Supply Support in the Central Command Area of Responsibility," Report No. 21255-78266.

31. Marine Corps Lessons Learned System, "Maritime Prepositioning Force Liabilities," Report No. 21256-60264, and "Frequency of MPS Use and the Adequacy of Current Maintenance/Supply Support," Report No. 50753-23823.

32. Marine Corps Lessons Learned System, "The Long Term Outlook for the MPF Program."


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