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The Army recognizes three general types of combat forces - armored, light, and SOF. Armored and light infantry forces are not routinely mixed but can be effective given the proper situation. One advantage of mixing armored and light infantry forces is that the maneuver commander has more flexibility in synchronizing his operation. Light infantry can infiltrate to attack key command and control nodes, for example, while mechanized infantry creates a penetration for an armored task force to exploit. The mechanized infantry can then follow and support the armored task force, while light infantry air assaults or parachutes to continue to seize key terrain or to cut off enemy forces.

The Army designs its force structure to achieve the agility and versatility necessary to execute a variety of operations plans (OPLANs) and concept plans (CONPLANs), to include campaigns. All forces are considered contingency forces. Army units are configured to allow force expansion through designation as forward-presence, crisis-response, early reinforcement, follow-on reinforcement, and reconstitution forces.

Forward-presence units are those US active component forces and reserve forces assigned or deployed overseas in a specific theater. These forces display the resolve of the US in supporting its national interests around the world. They are the initial forces available to an OCONUS CINC to counter potential threats. The reduced size of the US Army dictates that forward presence units, including CS and CSS units, be trained and prepared to deploy to other regional areas in support of our national defense policies.

Crisis-response forces (CRFs) are AC and RC, CONUS-based units, but also include forward-presence units. They are trained and configured to deploy anywhere in the world, based on the unit's deployability posture. All AC units, including combat, CS, and CSS units, must be prepared to deploy and support a combatant unit that has a mission to respond to a crisis. Units conducting Combat Training Center (CTC) rotations and subsequent stand-downs must maintain the capability to deploy when required. Reserve component CS and CSS units must be prepared to support all deployment operations.

Early reinforcement forces (ERFs) consist primarily of AC divisions (CONUS-and OCONUS-based) and associated echelons above division (EAD) and EAC support elements (both AC and RC). RC round-out and round-up brigades are available to add combat power to AC divisions designated as ERFs. Additional reserve component CS and CSS units will provide support to ERFs. ERF units may be required to respond to a second major regional contingency in another theater.

Follow-on reinforcement forces (FRFs), primarily National Guard divisions, brigades, and associated EAD and EAC support elements, are trained and deployed for protracted operations. These forces include units that replace or augment forward-presence units that have deployed to other regions for protracted operations.

Reconstitution is the ability to maintain continuously, in sufficient measure, the capability to create additional forces beyond those in the active and reserve units retained in the base force. Reconstitution is also the process of creating additional forces to deter an emerging global threat from competing militarily with the United States, and, should such deterrence fail, to provide a global warfighting capability. Reconstitution forces may be comprised of regeneration assets, industrial/ technology base assets, and manpower assets.

The commander is responsible for the overall success of unit operations. The commander receives missions from higher headquarters, decides how assets are to be employed, and directs the execution of operational plans. The command relationships of the unit are organic, assigned, attached, OPCON, and TACON.

The support relationships of unit are Direct Support and General Support.

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