Divisions are normally commanded by Major Generals. They are fixed combined arms organizations of 8 to 11 maneuver battalions, 3 to 4 field artillery battalions, and other combat, combat support, and combat service support units. Capable of performing any tactical mission and designed to be largely self-sustaining, divisions are the basic units of maneuver at the tactical level. Divisions possess great flexibility. They tailor their brigades and attached forces for specific combat missions. Their combat support and combat service support battalions and separate companies may be attached to or placed in support of brigades for the performance of a particular mission. Divisions perform major tactical operations for the corps and can conduct sustained battles and engagements. They almost never direct actions at the operational level (campaigns or major operations), but they may be used by corps to perform tasks of operational importance. These may include exploiting tactical advantages to seize objectives in depth, moving to gain contact with enemy forces, or moving by air to seize objectives behind an enemy force. The Army's organizational concept embraces six types of divisions - infantry, light infantry, mechanized infantry, armored, airborne, and air assault. The divisions are formed by adding a varying number and mixtures of combat maneuver battalions-infantry, light infantry, mechanized infantry, tank, airborne, or air assault-to a common division base. The division base, which is essentially the same in all types of divisions, includes the command and control, reconnaissance, combat support such as artistry, air defense, intelligence, aviation, signal, engineers, and combat service support element. Among the command and control elements are brigade headquarters which control the tactical operations of several attached maneuver battalions as determined by the division commander. Combat service support is provided by a Division Support Command (DISCOM). It provides supply, transportation, field maintenance, medical support, and administrative services to the division. DISCOMs are organized differently to best satisfy the support needs of each division. Divisions are supported administratively and logistically by Corps Support Commands (COSCOM) which are responsible for the centralized management of supplies, maintenance, and movement of personnel and materiel beyond the capability of the divisions. The theater Army, combining several principles of modern service management and automatic baa processing, completes the functional organization a all levels. This ensures the maximum degree of responsiveness, efficiency, and economy in providing combat service support.
The Army maintains four active corps headquarters, 10 active divisions (six heavy and four light), and two active armored cavalry regiments. Light forces -- airborne, air assault, and light infantry divisions -- are tailored for forcible-entry operations and for operations on restricted terrain, like mountains, jungles, and urban areas. Heavy forces -- armored and mechanized divisions equipped with Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, Apache attack helicopters, and the Paladin field artillery system -- are trained and equipped for operations against armies employing modern tanks and armored fighting vehicles. Light and heavy forces can operate independently or in combination, providing the mix of combat power needed for specific contingencies.
Division XXI (DXXI) is the force designed to remain decisive in land warfare and optimized for mid to high intensity spectrum of conflict into the 21st Century. DXXI is the division design needed to serve as the core force essential for force cohesion and dominance to meet the demands in performing offensive and defensive operations in the expanded Division Battle Space of the future. The Standard Heavy Division is structured today at 18,069 (Mechanized Variant) and 17,832 (Armor Variant). The new division will be structured at 15,812 for the Mechanized Division Variant (15,299 AC, 515 RC) and 15,593 for the Armor Division Variant (15,080 AC, 515 RC). DXXI reduces Abrams and Bradley systems from 58 to 44 per battalion. Additionally, the increase to 3 squads with 9 infantrymen each (total 27) per platoon significantly enhances the fighting capability of mechanized infantry organizations. The 4th ID is designated as the Experimental Force (EXFOR) and serves as the Army’s experimental testbed for new ideas on organization, doctrine, and equipment and testing information age technology. The 4th ID (-) will be digitized by the end of CY00, 1st CAV by FY03, 3rd ACR and the First Digitized Corps (III Corps) by FY04.
Heavy Division (Armored or Mechanized)The heavy division (armored and mechanized) has a division base of command and control, and combat service support capabilities, and ten maneuver battalions. Heavy divisions have large amounts of mobile, armor protected firepower. Because of mobility, survivability, and firepower, the heavy divisions are normally employed where battles are fought over wide areas against a threat with similar capabilities. During offensive operations, heavy divisions move rapidly, concentrate overwhelming combat power against the threat, break through the threat's defenses and then strike deep to destroy the threat's field artillery, The heavy divisions operate best in open terrain where they can move quickly and can use their long-range direct fire weapons to their best advantage. The heavy divisions are not designed to operate in jungles, dense forests or mountains infantry is most often used in these areas) large cities towns and built-up areas restrict operations of the heavy divisions; although in europe, these divisions will have to operate in built-up areas from time to time. The Army is undergoing an intensive period of modernization and is about to initiate a major reorganization of its divisions to better accommodate new weapons systems and maximize their effectiveness. Heavy armored and mechanized infantry divisions are planned to normally have ten maneuver battalions. Armored divisions will have six tank battalions and four mechanized infantry battalions while the mechanized infantry division will have a mix of five tank and five mechanized infantry battalions.
Airborne DivisionThe Airborne Division is organized to be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world to: secure critical installations or facilities; reinforce us and allied forces; and conduct a show of force. This division can conduct a parachute assault in the threat's rear to secure terrain or to interdict routes of resupply or threat withdrawal. It can also be garlanded. It can conduct air assault operations as well as other missions normally assigned to infantry divisions Airborne operations are most often joint operations with the US Air Force, which provides the airlift, close air support, and aerial resupply for the airborne forces. Normally, units participating in an airborne operation are assigned to a joint task force. Airborne operations may be supported by naval air and naval gunfire if the operational area is within range. Airborne operations are generally executed in two phases: assault and defense. In the assault phase, Air Force aircraft transport division units to the operational area to conduct a parachute assault. Before and during the assault, supporting fires are delivered by close air support, naval gunfire, or both. After the parachute assault, units assemble and seize assault objectives. Artillery begins providing fire support as soon as possible after landing. Close air support continues with priority to armor and forces beyond artillery range. Additional units are airlanded as landing zones are secured. The defense phase begins when assault objectives are seized. An all-ground defense is organized when the force is in threat-occupied territory. The division masses and then conducts operations in the same manner as the infantry division. Airborne operations usually end on linkup or extraction of the division.
Infantry Division (Motorized)The infantry division (motorized) was organized to meet the security demands of the dynamic and potentially volatile international environment, and to be highly flexible and strategically responsive across a broad spectrum of conflict. It is organized, equipped, and trained for combat in desert and arid mountainous areas and it retains the utility to respond to appropriate missions in nato or to provide increased mobility and firepower in a low-intensity conflict. The infantry division (motorized) is a lethal, flexible, and versatile fighting force capable of responding quickly to crisis situations. The division is organized for responsive deployment, immediate combat operations upon arrival in any conflict environment, and quick retrieval from the operational area after the mission is completed. To meet a worst-case armored threat, the division is organized around combined arms battalions equipped with a substantial number of long-range anti-armor weapons. These weapons can be maneuvered quickly about the integrated battlefield using organic air and ground mobility. The division maintains the capability to see far enough into the battlefield to execute operations and influence the airland battle. It achieves maximum combat effectiveness including survivability, through force mobility system agility, distribution of command and control, and force-oriented tactics emphasizing indirect approaches and stand-off attacks to ensure survivability, the division habitually operates widely dispersed and relies on deception to mask its location and intentions. Such dispersion and the nature of the maneuver battle requires that motorized units be organized on a combined arms basis the division can be deployed in conjunction with heavy divisions and may be employed in an economy of force role thereby freeing heavy units to conduct other missions the division can also accept air assault, airborne, infantry, and armor units with appropriate combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS) slices. The division is capable of operating on a nuclear or chemical battlefield. It has essential CSS capabilities to operate for up to 72 hours except for having water in arid environment and Class V (artillery) in high-intensity conflicts.
Division Support Command [DISCOM]The Division Support Command [DISCOM] is the source of division-level logistics and HSS in the division. Although the division stresses area support, the DISCOM also provides CSS on a unit support basis and a task-support basis. The DISCOM, when augmented as required, may furnish area support to non-divisional units in the division area. Unit support is designated to a unit or units such as a maneuver brigade. In task support, the DISCOM furnishes a specific type or amount of a DISCOM element's support capability to designated units or an area to accomplish identified tasks. Communications systems are essential for gathering and disseminating data. Personnel need them to plan and execute operations. Commanders use them to perform C2 functions and to supervise performance.
The the Army National Guard Division Redesign Study recommended the establishment of two AC/NG Integrated Divisions, each consisting of an active Army headquarters (staffed by some of the 5,000 AC support personnel) and three Army National Guard enhanced Separate Brigades. An Active Component Division Commander would become responsible for the combat readiness of the three brigades and the other elements necessary to create a full division capable of deploying in wartime. The 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (North Carolina), the 218th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (South Carolina), and the 48th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (Georgia) make up a division headquartered at Fort Riley, Kansas. The other Integrated Division, headquartered at Fort Carson, Colorado, will be composed of the 39th Infantry Brigade (Arkansas), the 45th Infantry Brigade (Oklahoma), and the 41st Infantry Brigade (Oregon). The activation date for the two divisions was 01 October 1999.
The integrated division concept establishes an active duty division headquarters to oversee the training and readiness of its associated three Enhanced Separate Brigades (eSBs). While this arrangement provides readiness and training benefits to the eSBs, under this concept the integrated division is not deployable because it lacks a division combat support (CS)-combat service support (CSS) base. Although the AC/RC integrated divisions currently are not deployable as division-sized combat formations, the Army has identified deployability as a possible future evolution of this concept.