Army Active/Reserve Mix

Force Planning for Major Regional Contingencies

by Ronald E. Sortor

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Abstract

National military strategy is changing the focus of military planning to include a broader range of missions spanning the spectrum from major regional contingencies (MRCs) to operations other than war. This report documents results from ongoing RAND research on how changing national military strategies and resources might affect the mix of active and reserve component forces in the Army. It describes the portion of the research that has focused on the forces required for major regional contingencies and on the Army forces planned for the late 1990s and the early 21st century. The results of the analysis show that under current planning assumptions, the planned combat force is adequate even when judged against a scenario with two nearly simultaneous contingencies. However, unlike the case for the combat forces, it does not appear that the planned support force structure would provide the required number of units at the needed readiness level to support anything beyond a single modest-sized contingency. Support units other than those in the high-priority contingency force pool do exist in the general war forces; however, given their lack of priority for resources, they may not be ready to deploy in time. This suggests a need to reexamine the support force configuration and reassess readiness in support units.

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