FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 12, 1999
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera and Chief of Staff of the Army Eric K. Shinseki today unveiled a vision of a more strategically responsive U.S. Army.
The Army intends to begin immediately to develop a force that is deployable, agile, versatile, lethal, survivable, sustainable and dominant at every point along the spectrum of operations.
Caldera and Shinseki made the announcement during the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army here in Washington. The vision statement establishes a goal to deploy a combat capable brigade anywhere in the world within 96 hours after liftoff, a warfighting division on the ground in 120 hours, and five divisions within thirty days.
"We stand today as a nation at the threshold of a new century and new millennium as a free and prosperous people," said Caldera. "The Army's highly adaptive strategy to man, modernize and manage America's vital land-power capitalizes on insights gained during deployments and the Army's intense experimentation efforts. These changes will protect our national interests while investing in the well being of some of the most courageous people in our history -- American soldiers."
"Our commitment to meeting these challenges compels comprehensive transformation of the Army," Caldera said.
This improved force capability will add important flexibility to the National Command Authority's range of military options. It will provide the NCA an enhanced ability to respond rapidly with land forces to crises and small-scale contingency operations, to engage to deter conflict, to fight and win decisively, and to maintain peace.
In order to become more deployable and maintain lethality the Army will field a prototype brigade-size force. The intent is to establish brigades in the next few months that will use off-the-shelf systems, as resources permit and as quickly as possible, to jumpstart development of concepts and doctrine, organizational design, and training.
The Army will improve responsiveness by: reducing numbers and types of systems it deploys as technology permits using communications and information technology to enable "split base" operations and "reach back" to reduce the footprint of deployed forces. This transformation pioneers an organization that reduces demands for replenishment supplies while stationing its forces and material in strategic locations to enable rapid power projection.
The core competency of the Army remains warfighting, Shinseki said. The Army Vision emphasizes the need for agile formations, which include the current division structure, as well as new versatile, lethal organizations.
"Our forces need to be more survivable. For individual soldiers that means lighter and tougher body armor," Shinseki said. "Weapons platforms will need better ballistic protection and long range acquisition and targeting capabilities with low profile and more capable ammunition. We will do what is necessary to protect the force," Shinseki said.
In order to accomplish its goals, the Army must also reduce its logistical footprint. This means developing a systems approach to fielding platforms as well as a revolutionizing the way the Army transports and sustains the force. Reducing the numbers of systems will reduce the numbers of repair parts needed. Greater fuel efficiencies will also decrease the total weight of deploying forces. When technology permits, the Army will consider the advantages of developing all wheel forces. Speed comes through a smaller logistic footprint.
"We will begin to immediately transform the entire Army into a more dominant and strategically responsive force," said Shinseki.