Operational Readiness

Organizing, training, and equipping armed forces for combat is essential to ensure their success in the field. RAND research provides military decisionmakers with information and analyses to implement effective support, training, and acquisition policies that ensure the highest level of operational readiness, even in the face of increasingly fluid combat environments.

  • Report

    RAPAPORT (Resilience Assessment Process and Portfolio Option Reporting Tool): Background and Method

    Describes industry methods for determining space resilience, the authors' method for the evaluating the non-materiel aspects of resilience, and the tool they developed for performing these resilience calculations and presenting the results.

    Apr 28, 2016

  • Tool

    RAPAPORT: Resilience Assessment Process and Portfolio Option Reporting Tool

    The Resilience Assessment Process and Portfolio Option Reporting Tool (RAPAPORT) is a Microsoft Excel-based tool for assessing non-materiel aspects of resilience.

    Apr 28, 2016

  • U.S. soldiers maneuver using concealment at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, California

    Commentary

    Presence vs. Warfighting: A Looming Dilemma in Defense Planning

    Presence involves global military deployments to counter potential aggressors, reassure allies, underwrite extended deterrence, build partner capacity, and more. It is now as important, in terms of its stabilizing and deterrent effect, as warfighting capabilities. Yet U.S. force posture falls short.

    Apr 26, 2016

  • U.S. Army paratroopers jump from a C-17 Globemaster III over the Juliet Drop Zone in Pordenone, Italy, June 12, 2013

    Commentary

    Reimagining and Modernizing U.S. Airborne Forces for the 21st Century

    Many of the challenges the U.S. will face in the coming years across the range of military operations could be deep inland and require rapid response. Airborne forcible entry — with reimagined and modernized airborne forces — would offer decisionmakers options in crises that they do not possess today.

    Apr 20, 2016

  • Soldiers of China's PLA take part in winter training at temperatures around -22 degrees Fahrenheit at China's border with Russia in Heihe, Heilongjiang province, January 31, 2016

    Commentary

    Will the PLA Reforms Succeed?

    Reforms within the Chinese People's Liberation Army are in the process of delivering sweeping changes to its day-to-day operations, despite concerns held by some military members. Whether or not the overall implementation is successful as envisioned, assessing the operational implications of the reforms will require more time.

    Apr 1, 2016

  • Soldiers participate in a clearance operation exercise in a mock town at the National Training Center, February 18, 2016

    Commentary

    The Tension Between What the Army Is and What It Does

    Cooperation and integration of the Army's three components is important, but what's most important is effectiveness in war and the key to that is trained, properly organized, and ready forces.

    Mar 3, 2016

  • U.S. Army soldiers participate in a live-fire exercise in Konotop, Poland, January 18, 2016

    Commentary

    Planning for the 'Army of the Future'

    What must the Army be ready to do as part of a joint force, now and in the future? What capacities and capabilities should the Army have in order to be ready? The NCFA comes up short in its answers to both of these questions.

    Feb 17, 2016

  • U.S. Army paratroopers prepare to board an Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft on Aviano Air Base, Italy, January 8, 2016

    Report

    U.S. Army Must Prepare for Future Adversaries

    More than a decade in Afghanistan and Iraq has honed the U.S. Army's ability to fight irregular adversaries, but these may not be the adversaries it will face in the future. The security landscape is changing in the face of a rising China, a resurgent Russia, and a Middle East in turmoil. How can the Army prepare?

    Jan 20, 2016

  • U.S. Army automatic rifleman with Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul in Shah Joy, Afghanistan, November 2011

    Commentary

    Ground Combat

    The U.S. Army needs to pay attention to state-sponsored irregular forces, whose numbers are growing. Such groups represent the type of adversary U.S. ground forces are likely to face.

    Dec 23, 2015

  • Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, commander of Naval Surface Forces, surveys work done on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) during a visit

    Report

    Assessment of Surface Ship Maintenance Requirements

    This report by the National Defense Research Institute (NDRI) examines the impact of the U.S. government's fiscal challenges on the U.S. Navy's surface ship maintenance and operations requirements.

    Dec 21, 2015

  • U.S. soldiers show an Estonian soldier how the mortar system operates during a call for fire live exercise in Estonia, Aug. 7, 2015

    Report

    Building the Army We Will Need

    Failure to correctly estimate the number of soldiers needed or to provide adequate resources to the U.S. Army can lead to a failure of U.S. strategy and subsequent regret. Policymakers should plan and resource a larger ground force to meet the commitments that the United States has made.

    Sep 23, 2015

  • Report

    A Conceptual Framework for More Effectively Integrating Combat Support Capabilities and Constraints into Contingency Planning and Execution

    This publication describes a conceptual framework for better integrating combat support capabilities and constraints into contingency planning and execution.

    Sep 2, 2015

  • Report

    Active Component Responsibility in Reserve Component Pre- and Postmobilization Training

    This report examines historical readiness problems for the Army reserve component and ways in which Congress and the Army have addressed these, including active component support to RC units, and recommends changes to support future RC training.

    Apr 29, 2015

  • Marines prepare to jump using a static line

    Report

    Pre-Deployment Stress, Mental Health, and Help-Seeking Behaviors Among Marines

    This report describes the methods and findings of a large survey of marines who were preparing for a deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan in 2010 or 2011.

    Dec 15, 2014

  • Report

    Balancing Agile Combat Support Manpower to Better Meet the Future Security Environment

    Uses an enterprise-oriented approach to assess the capacity of the current agile combat support (ACS) manpower mix to support expeditionary operations and assesses the costs and capacity of several rebalanced mixes.

    Jun 26, 2014

  • Report

    Changing the Army's Weapon Training Strategies to Meet Operational Requirements More Efficiently and Effectively

    Outlines directions the Army could take to improve its weapon training strategies and how they are developed to better support operational requirements and unit readiness processes, capitalize on training technologies, and increase efficiency.

    Jun 25, 2014

  • Soldiers practice decontaminating themselves during training on Camp Casey, South Korea

    Commentary

    The U.S. Army Must Remain Prepared for Battle

    Converting the Army into a force suited only for homeland defense or humanitarian missions abroad, without the ability to fight sophisticated foes as part of a joint force, would result in an unprepared Army.

    Apr 18, 2014

  • Airmen show support to reservists deploying to Afghanistan

    Commentary

    Don't Chop the Air Force — Look to the Reserves

    The Air Force's latest budget plan proposes to cut 25,000 airmen. The recommendations made by the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force (NCSAF) offer an alternative — and less risky — way forward.

    Apr 11, 2014

  • Army Pandemic Exercise

    Report

    Toward Integrated DoD Biosurveillance: Assessment and Opportunities

    More near-real-time analysis and better internal and external integration could enhance the performance and value of the Department of Defense's biosurveillance programs. This study, conducted at the request of the Office of Management and Budget, finds that improvements are needed in key enablers, including funding.

    Dec 4, 2013

  • c130E-130304-F-TJ158-946

    Solution

    Replacing the C-130E

    The C-130 fleet performs critical air mobility functions for the nation, but part of that fleet is at risk from age-related factors. Which alternative aircraft would provide the required performance at lowest cost?

    Aug 20, 2013