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Operation Desert Storm and subsequent deployments have made it clear that the Army must be able to deploy its forces rapidly to locations around the world, not just to Europe or Korea. Despite Department of Defense progress in addressing this issue, difficulties still remain. For any major conflict, the United States will require a substantial complement of combat service and combat service support (CS/CSS) units, and the bulk of these units will have to come from the Reserve Components (RC). This Issue Paper argues that these units may not be as ready to deploy as they need to be and offers some observations about why that might be the case. Given the large size of the Army RC, it would be extremely expensive to bring it to a level of readiness analogous to that of the other services. But the Army does not have to raise the readiness of every RC unit to a par with those in the AC. Instead, it could improve the readiness of selected units, determined by CINC war plans. Such an approach would divide units into three categories: early deploying, later deploying, and not in any war plans. Units needed early would be indistinguishable from AC units in terms of equipment and would have all the required equipment and personnel. Furthermore, they would have substantial full-time support and enjoy training of both better quality and increased quality. Units not needed as early would function much as the units in the Force Support Program do now, with somewhat lower levels of equipment and personnel and fewer training dollars, than the first-tier units. Units not in the war plans would receive equipment and personnel as available and would be last priority for training dollars.

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