Legislation passed by Congress in 1993 to address Army reserve component (RC) readiness problems directed the Army to provide active component support to RC units. Since that time, the Army has also taken additional steps to ensure the readiness of RC units. Based on analysis of this history and the Army's plans for RC training requirements and training support, this report recommends further changes to support future RC training plans.
Active Component Responsibility in Reserve Component Pre- and Postmobilization Training
Published Apr 29, 2015
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- What was the intent behind Title XI of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993?
- How has Army reserve component pre- and postmobilization training evolved since the enactment of Title XI?
- How did the Army support the pre- and postmobilization training of reserve component units mobilized for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan?
- What further changes can the Army make to ensure the operational readiness of its reserves into the future?
In response to readiness problems in Army reserve component (RC) units mobilized for Operation Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991, Congress passed legislation establishing requirements for RC personnel and training and active component support to RC units. Since then, Army policies and organizations supporting RC training have evolved to meet rotational demands for forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they continue to evolve as these operations come to an end and defense budgets decline. This report examines the congressional intent underlying existing law, the Army's recent experience preparing RC units for deployments, and its future plans for RC training requirements and training support. It recommends changes to law and policy needed to support future RC training plans. This research suggests that premobilization training should focus on individual soldier qualifications and collective training at the crew, squad, and platoon levels, particularly for combat units. In addition, the Army should maintain a multicomponent RC training support structure to ensure that training standards do not diverge across components. Furthermore, some provisions of existing legislation no longer reflect the current operating environment, although others remain relevant.
The Provisions of Title XI Were Intended to Address Readiness Problems in Reserve Component (RC) Units Mobilized for Operation Desert Storm
- Title XI assigned active component advisers to RC units to increase the quantity and quality of full-time support.
- Title XI established a program to minimize postmobilization training time by focusing premobilization training on individual soldier qualifications and crew-, squad-, and platoon-level training.
Army RC Training Support Organizations Evolved to Support the Rotational Demand for Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan
- By 2001, the Army had consolidated active component advisers into multicomponent training support organizations known as First and Fifth Army.
- After 2007, when RC mobilizations were limited to one year, First Army shifted its focus to postmobilization training, and the Army National Guard and Army Reserve increased premobilization training support.
- Premobilization training focused on soldier readiness processing and individual soldier qualifications; most collective training occurred immediately before mobilization or after mobilization.
The Army's Future Training Plans Suggest That RC Units Will Focus on Collective Training During the Train/Ready Phase of the Army Force Generation Cycle
- Given past experience, company-level live fire and maneuver proficiency will be difficult for combat units to achieve in premobilization training.
- If individual soldier qualifications and training requirements are not met prior to mobilization, these tasks will have to be completed after mobilization, affecting the training support resources that will be needed.
- Given experience from both the 1990s and more-recent operations, premobilization training should focus on individual soldier qualifications and collective training at the crew, squad, and platoon levels, particularly for combat units.
- The Army should maintain a multicomponent RC training support structure to ensure that training standards do not diverge across components.
- While some provisions of Title XI remain relevant, others no longer reflect the current operating environment and should be changed.