Measuring Readiness


  Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, it is an honor for me to appear before you to discuss current Army readiness as observed by the Army Staff.

 In today’s testimony I would like to first describe the Army’s four primary missions, then describe how the Army prioritizes resources to support those missions.  Next, I will address how the Army assesses and measures readiness today and describe what our future plans are for assessing and measuring readiness.  Lastly, I would like to describe the readiness challenges of today’s environment.  However before I summarize the Army’s missions, I want to point out that the National Security and Military Strategies require the Army to provide forces capable of world-wide operations across the full spectrum of conflict, from small peacetime engagements to major regional wars.  In order to meet these readiness challenges, we must resource the Army with quality people, lead by competent and confident leaders, and armed with reliable, modern equipment.  These are the basic building blocks of a ready Army.  It is from these basic components that the Army assembles capability-specific organizations and units, essential to the accomplishment of National Military Objectives.  Given the time and resources to conduct rigorous and realistic training, these units are ready to accomplish various wide-ranging missions in accordance with the Army’s common doctrinal principles, tenets, and fundamental guides for military operations.

 The first mission in support of our National Military Strategy that requires a trained and ready Army is to deter aggression and prevent conflict.  The U.S. Army accomplishes this mission by simply being the most combat ready and effective army in the world. Deterrence force deployments such as INTRINSIC ACTION in Kuwait are excellent examples of the Army’s success at this mission.

 The second mission is providing support to the nation, as the Army has done from its inception and as it is required to do by the Constitution.  Prime examples of this mission area are Hurricane Andrew, the Atlanta Olympics, the Presidential Inaugural, and Army preparations required by Nunn-Luger II. While the Army should and will always provide support to civil authorities in times of civil and natural emergencies, it is important to note that requests for military support to civil authorities are increasing.  

 The Army’s third mission is peacetime engagement.  These steadily increasing operations support the increasingly important National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement.  Small wars that do not involve the direct interests of the United States can grow into major conflicts that could involve the US.  The Army’s current capability as a ground combat force, sometimes only deployed as a warning, can prevent conflicts and end unrest.  Our operations in Bosnia, Rwanda, and exercises throughout the world are examples of recent, successful US peacetime operations.  Although they may have seemed easy, other armies that were less than thoroughly combat ready have demonstrated how such missions can produce embarrassment and failure.

 The fourth and principal mission of the U.S. Army is to fight and win our nation’s wars.  There is no substitute for victory.  The best example of this fact is to hypothesize as to the results of our being defeated, or even having suffered large numbers of casualties, in DESERT STORM. 

 The Army prioritizes available resources based on a "first to fight" principle.  Army units are organized into force packages based upon war plans, unit commitment dates, and strategic deployment dates, driven by the availability of strategic transportation or "strategic lift."  Force Package One units are resourced at levels sufficient to maintain the highest state of readiness to ensure they are prepared to accomplish their full wartime mission today.  Force Package Two, Rapid Regional Response units, are next in line.  These units are resourced so they are immediately capable of accomplishing most of their wartime missions.  Force Package Three, Reinforcing Combat units, are next in the resource prioritization effort and include late deploying active component units as well as early deploying reserve component units.  Force Package Three units are maintained at resourcing levels which allow them to accomplish many wartime missions immediately, and all others following resource and training augmentation.  The lowest resource priority are the Force Package Four units consisting primarily of major Army National Guard units; America’s strategic reserve.

 We have learned many lessons about measuring readiness in the last few years.  As a result, the Army is developing a new methodology for readiness reporting, which is called  Operational Readiness (OPRED).  It will more accurately reflect the total cost of preparing Army units for war.  As part of this effort, we are expanding our Unit Status Report (USR) to more objectively capture other factors which must be measured to better determine overall readiness.  This effort will enhance a system that is currently based on OPTEMPO as its resource area, augmented by the commanders’ subjective assessment.   Some of the factors that will be incorporated include BASOPS costs at installation level (for operation and maintenance of ranges and training areas), to factoring in the quality of life and training detractors in the post-Cold War Era.  The new USR will expand the number of resource areas measured, reflect cost savings from simulations and factor in resource constraints such as time availability and leader qualifications.   

 Next I would like to turn to the challenges we face in the current environment.  Your Army is a trained and ready force.  Since 1989 your Army has won victory in Panama and Southwest Asia, provided assistance to Americans who suffered the devastation of floods and hurricanes, fed starving people in Somalia, and upheld democratic principles in Haiti.  Now it is upholding peace in war-torn Bosnia.  However, those successes are a result of hard work and a delicate balancing of resources.  These efforts are causing concerns with the Senior Army Leadership.  Let me describe some of those concerns.  But, at the same time, please understand that the examples I am providing are for the most part due to internal Army management decisions.

 In order to maintain the immediate availability of our crises response forces such as the 82nd Airborne Division, the Army frequently conducts contingency operations with later deploying units from Force Packages II and III.  These units are resourced at lower levels than early deploying units.  As a result, soldiers must often be diverted from other units to meet deployment requirements for contingency operations.  This, in turn, leaves many units with personnel shortages in both high and low density specialties, impacting upon personnel readiness in those units.

 The recurring requirement to divert Operating Tempo (OPTEMPO) funds to cover the cost of Contingency Operations has resulted in recurring readiness challenges.  Should these expenses not be reimbursed in a timely manner, or not arrive until the end of a fiscal year, it can result in circumstances where commanders have no choice but to cancel training.  Lost training opportunities can not be recouped.  It is therefore absolutely critical that reimbursement for contingency operations be provided before Army budget reprogramming is required.

  Today the Army has over 100,000 forward deployed  troops, with over 
33,000 soldiers deployed in 64 countries around the world.  These forward 
stationed and deployed numbers are the norm; they are the most visible components of engagement and enlargement.
 The Army’s missions in Bosnia, Operations JOINT ENDEAVOR and JOINT GUARD, provide excellent examples of the personnel required for peacetime engagement operations.   While the 1st Armored and 1st Infantry Divisions are the units most often cited as performing those missions, the actual organizations deployed consisted of task organized groupings requiring Army personnel from both Europe and the United States.  In effect, the Divisions provide the base upon which the deployed organizations were built.  Of special note, nearly 11,000 Reserve and 1,500 Active Component, CONUS based soldiers have deployed ,to date, in support of the operation.

 Another important point impacting readiness is the fact that four soldiers are required if one is to be deployed and sustained on a contingency or MOOTW operation.  For example, at any given time during an extended operation, you can expect to have one unit preparing, one executing, and one recovering, plus the equivalent one additional unit providing augmentation to the deployed unit.

 To insure a unit is brought up to peak readiness after a deployment, it needs time to redeploy equipment, conduct maintenance, provide personal leave, and then conduct unit level combat mission training to regain proficiency in collective wartime tasks.  An example of such a recovery program is the one being conducted by the 1st Armored Division.  Based on the current peacetime circumstances, MG Nash, the Division Commander, has planned a deliberate recovery program which includes all of the actions I’ve described.  His recovery program requires approximately 100 days given the current peaceful environment.

 Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW) have a cyclic impact upon unit readiness.  As illustrated, unit readiness increases prior to a deployment for both Combat and Combat Support / Combat Service Support  units.  This is because units are augmented with additional soldiers and equipment, prior to deployment, to bring them up to strength.  They are also given top priority for maintenance, training areas, and funding in order to meet deployment standards.  Once the unit has deployed and the timeline progresses, readiness in all types of units usually decreases.  This is especially true in combat units since these operations seldom support combat mission proficiency.  The impact on support units is not as significant because most support unit MOOTW missions are closely aligned with their wartime missions.  Upon redeployment, there initially is a dip in readiness as soldiers rotate out of the units.  Eventually unit readiness improves as recovery operations are completed and collective training begins

 The Army continues to learn from these deployments.  For example, in Bosnia the impact on combat units was minimized because of the generally cooperative environment that developed.  The access to training areas and live fire ranges in Hungary permitted rotational training which assisted in the maintenance of perishable skills at company level and below.  Other initiatives such as simulations, distance learning, and Training & Doctrine Command’s Deployable Operations Group also helped to mitigate training detractors in this operation and will be of great assistance in future deployments.

 It’s also important to point out that MOOTW operations impact units which do not deploy.   Units left behind on an installation often experience a decrease in readiness as personnel (P) and supply (S) resources are cross-leveled to deploying units.  This is a normal occurrence which also took place in Operation Desert Storm/Shield.  This example illustrates some of the effects of this migration.  Prior to deployment, all 11 example units were at the two highest possible personnel and equipment supply readiness postures (1 and 2).  Units 8 through 11 deployed in month 7 and sustained required readiness levels through month 12 at the expense of units 1 through 7.

 In conclusion, let me say your Army is trained and ready to meet the challenges of the current environment.  We are keenly aware of the impacts to the force caused by these challenges and we continue to learn how to mitigate their negative effects upon readiness.  We are also continuing to develop better means and methods to articulate, to both the Department of Defense and the Congress, what Army readiness reports describe and what the costs to maintain required readiness levels are.  

 Your Army is a good investment in National Security.  For less than one-quarter of the defense budget, America’s Army has led the way in achieving national objectives in Panama, Haiti, Rwanda, and now Bosnia.  However, since 1989, your Army has also experienced a 300 percent increase in operational deployments concurrently with a 35 percent decrease in resources.  
Such a trend is certain to cause an associated increase in turbulence and readiness related problems.  The Army continues to maintain a high state of readiness as its leadership closely manages this turbulence, along with all other readiness issues.  Finally, your Army is committed to providing the American tax payer with the most for his or her tax dollar, while remaining sensitive to critical modernization and Quality of life requirements, all of which support the readiness of a unique and irreplaceable National Resource - AMERICA’s ARMY.