Army Forces for Operations Other Than War

by Ronald E. Sortor


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National military strategy has changed the focus of military planning to include a broader range of missions, which span the spectrum from major regional contingencies (MRCs) to operations other than war (OOTW). This leads to a key planning question: How should the Active Component and the Reserve Components be structured to meet the Army's evolving requirements? The first portion of the research was documented in MR-545-A. The present report describes results from the second portion of the project, to determine the Army forces required for OOTW and study how these requirements might affect the Army's ability to execute an MRC with the planned forces. This analysis indicates that for the most part, the present force is adequate in unit type and number; OOTW requirements add only very slightly to some of the shortfalls in the Army-desired MRC capability--shortfalls that already exist in the absence of an OOTW. Results do highlight the need to consider OOTW effects beyond the units actually deployed to an operation. Cross-leveling, tailoring, and deployment of partial units all place added demands on the Army's ability to manage the readiness and availability of the force. These OOTW demands may require accommodation in terms of unit structure and manning in order to have a sufficiently robust capability. The Reserve Components can play a greater role in this regard, although probably not through increased direct participation in OOTW contingencies.

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