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Army National Guard: Validate Requirements for Combat Forces and Size Those Forces Accordingly (Letter Report, 03/14/96, GAO/NSIAD-96-63).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the: (1) roles and
missions of the Army National Guard's combat units; and (2) efforts by
the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Army to redesign the Guard's
combat divisions.

GAO found that: (1) despite reductions, the Army National Guard's combat
units may still be too large for projected war requirements; (2) the
Guard's 8 remaining combat divisions and 3 separate combat units are not
needed to meet the 2-conflict strategy or any probable conflict
scenarios; (3) DOD considers the excess Guard forces to be a strategic
reserve that could be used as occupational and rotational forces, a
deterrent against aggressive regimes, and support for civilian
authorities, but it did not present any analytical support for the
continued force levels; (4) DOD has not finalized plans for 15 enhanced
Guard combat brigades, and fewer than 15 may be needed; (5) state
missions often require more support skills and equipment than Guard
combat forces, which usually supplement other state resources in
emergencies; (6) over the last decade, states have needed only a
fraction of the Guard's personnel to meet their emergency requirements;
(7) the Army is studying ways that the Guard could meet critical
shortages in its support capabilities; and (8) DOD believes that since
Guard forces exceed combat needs, reserve components with lower priority
tasks should be eliminated or reorganized to meet higher priorities.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

     TITLE:  Army National Guard: Validate Requirements for Combat 
             Forces and Size Those Forces Accordingly
      DATE:  03/14/96
   SUBJECT:  Armed forces reserves
             Combat readiness
             Defense cost control
             Army reservists
             Military downsizing
             Federal agency reorganization
             Federal/state relations
             Disaster relief aid
             Human resources utilization
             Defense contingency planning
IDENTIFIER:  DOD Bottom-Up Review
             Total Army Analysis Process
             National Guard Civilian Youth Opportunities Pilot Program
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================================================================ COVER

Report to Congressional Requesters

March 1996



Army National Guard


=============================================================== ABBREV

  DOD - Department of Defense
  ROSE - Rose

=============================================================== LETTER


March 14, 1996

The Honorable John R.  Kasich
Chairman, Committee on the Budget
House of Representatives

The Honorable Robert K.  Dornan
The Honorable Owen Pickett
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on Military Personnel
Committee on National Security
House of Representatives

The Department of Defense (DOD), in its bottom-up review of the
nation's defense needs in the post-Cold War era, identified the
number of both active and reserve component combat forces needed to
accomplish the national military strategy.  The Army combat forces in
the reserve components are in the Army National Guard.  As you
requested, we reviewed the roles and missions of the Guard's combat
units and efforts by DOD and the Army to redesign the Guard's combat

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

The Army's reserve components are the Army Reserve and Army National
Guard.  The Army Reserve is comprised of units that support combat
forces and is restricted to federal missions.  The Guard has both
combat and support units and federal and state responsibilities.  The
Guard is to be organized and resourced for federal wartime missions,
according to Guard policy.  Federal missions range from participating
in full-scale military conflicts to operations other than war,
backfilling active forces deployed on operational missions, providing
training support to the active component, supporting domestic
disaster relief and emergency operations under federal control, and
providing strategic reserve forces to meet unknown contingencies. 
The Guard's state missions typically involve support for state
officials and organizations during domestic civil emergencies and
natural or man-made disasters. 

The size of DOD's forces and budgets has declined with the end of the
Cold War and pressures to reduce the deficit.  In 1989 the Guard had
about 457,000 personnel.  By the end of fiscal year 1996, the Guard
plans to have 373,000 personnel in 54 separate state and territorial
military commands in the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto
Rico, U.S.  Virgin Islands, and Guam.  About 161,000 Guard personnel
are to be in 42 combat brigades, including 67,000 in 15 enhanced
brigades.  The remaining 212,000 personnel are in headquarters units
and units that support combat.  By the end of fiscal year 1999, the
Guard plans to be down to 367,000 personnel, with about 187,000
personnel in the combat units, including the 67,000 in the enhanced

The Guard's 42 combat brigades are organized as follows:  8 divisions
comprised of 3 brigades each, 15 enhanced brigades, and 3 separate
combat units, consisting of 2 separate brigades and a scout group. 
In addition to the combat units, the Guard has elements that support
combat units, such as engineers, military police, military
intelligence, and transportation. 

The enhanced brigade concept, described in DOD's 1993 Report on the
Bottom-Up Review, became effective on October 1, 1995.  The concept
provides for 15 separate brigades that are not part of a divisional
structure during peacetime and that are required to be ready to
deploy at the Army's highest readiness level within 90 days of
mobilization.  The enhancements, according to the bottom-up review,
are training and resources above those provided to the Guard's other
combat forces.  The enhancements are to enable the 15 brigades to
achieve peacetime readiness goals so that they can meet their
deployment criteria by the end of fiscal year 1998. 

The President's budget request for fiscal year 1996 included $5.5
billion for the Guard, which represents about 2.2 percent of DOD's
budget request and 9.3 percent of the Army's request.  About $1.7
billion of the $5.5 billion request is for the Guard combat units. 
The remaining $3.8 billion is for such organizations as headquarters
units and elements that support combat.  These other organizations
receive most of the funds because they include support elements that
are the first to deploy.  For fiscal year 2001, the Guard's budget is
projected to be about $6 billion, with about $1.8 billion for combat
units.  Table 1 further breaks down these budgets. 

                                Table 1
                      Projected Budgets for Guard
                        Organizational Elements

                         (Dollars in millions)

Element                                   1996        1999        2001
----------------------------------  ----------  ----------  ----------
Divisions\a                               $956        $782        $816
Enhanced brigades                          730         919         956
Other\b                                  3,854       4,104       4,305
Total                                   $5,540      $5,805      $6,077
\a Includes the three separate combat units that are not in

\b Includes organizations such as Army National Guard Headquarters
and units that support combat. 

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

Although the Guard has come down in size, our analysis shows that the
combat forces may still be too large for projected war requirements. 
The Guard's combat structure, with 42 combat brigades, exceeds
projected requirements for two major regional conflicts, according to
war planners and DOD and Army studies.  According to DOD documents
and Army officials, the excess forces are a strategic reserve that
could be assigned missions such as occupational forces once an enemy
has been deterred and as rotational forces.  However, we could find
no analytical basis for this level of strategic reserve. 

State and federal laws generally authorize the Guard to provide
military support to state authorities for certain missions, such as
disaster relief.\1 Support skills and equipment such as engineering
and military police are most often needed for state missions.  The
Guard primarily supplements other state resources for these missions. 
Moreover, according to a recent study by RAND's National Defense
Research Institute,\2 the Guard over the last decade has used only a
small percent of its total personnel to meet state requirements. 

The Army is studying alternatives to redesign the Guard's combat
structure to meet critical shortages that the Army has identified in
its support capabilities.  DOD's Commission on Roles and Missions
concluded in its report that reserve component forces with lower
priority tasks should be eliminated or reorganized to fill shortfalls
in higher priority areas.  It specifically cited the Guard's eight
combat divisions.  The Commission also reported that, even after
filling the shortfalls, the total Army would still have more combat
spaces than required and recommended these should be eliminated from
the active or reserve components. 

\1 Our reference to state support and missions will encompass
assistance to the Governors of Guam, the U.S.  Virgin Islands, and
Puerto Rico and the President of the United States in the District of

\2 Assessing the State and Federal Missions of the National Guard,
RAND, (Santa Monica, CA:  1995). 

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

In March 1993, DOD initiated a comprehensive bottom-up review to
assess the nation's defense strategy, force structure, and budgets to
counter regional aggression in the post-Cold War environment.  DOD
judged it prudent to maintain the capability to fight and win two
nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts.  To execute the
two-conflict strategy, DOD determined that the Army must maintain 10
divisions in the active forces augmented by 15 reserve enhanced
brigades and associated support forces. 

The bottom-up review report stated that the reserve component must
adapt to meet new challenges.  Accordingly, this means making smarter
use of reserve component forces by adapting them to new requirements,
assigning them missions that properly use their strengths, and
funding them at a level consistent with their expected missions
during a crisis or war. 

The bottom-up review concluded that the Army's reserve components
should be reduced to 575,000 personnel by 1999--a 201,000 decrease
since fiscal year 1989.  The review specified that the reserve
components' combat structure would be about 37 brigades, 15 of which
would be enhanced.  A group of senior officers of the Army, its
reserve components, and organizations that represent Army component
issues was tasked with providing a recommendation to the Secretary of
the Army on the allocation of the 575,000 personnel between the Guard
and the Army Reserve.  The group allocated 367,000 personnel to the
Guard and 208,000 to the Army Reserve.  In addition to the 15
enhanced brigades specified in the bottom-up review, the Guard, in
concert with the Army, determined that it would retain 8 combat
divisions, 3 separate combat units, and numerous support units. 

The Guard's eight combat divisions and three separate combat units
are not required to accomplish the two-conflict strategy, according
to Army war planners and war planning documents that we reviewed. 
The Army's war planners at headquarters and at U.S.  Forces Command
stated that these forces are not needed during or after hostilities
cease for one or more major regional conflicts.  Moreover, the Joint
Chiefs of Staff have not assigned the eight combat divisions or the
three separate combat units for use in any major regional conflict
currently envisioned in DOD planning scenarios.  The missions for
these divisions and units, according to the bottom-up review, include
(1) providing the basis for rotation when forces are required to
remain in place over an extended period after the enemy invasion has
been deterred, (2) serving as a deterrent hedge to future adversarial
regimes, and (3) supporting civil authorities at home.  According to
Army officials involved in the review, there was no analysis to
determine the appropriate number of forces required to perform these

The Guard's 15 enhanced brigades are the principal reserve component
ground combat forces.  The bottom-up review report states that one
important role for these brigades is to supplement active component
divisions, should more ground combat power be needed to deter or
fight a second major regional conflict.  Although the bottom-up
review specified a need for 15 enhanced brigades and the Joint Chiefs
of Staff have made all 15 brigades available for war planning
purposes, the planners have identified requirements for less than 10
brigades to achieve mission success in the war fight.\3

However, these plans are evolving and the number of brigades required
may change.  This lesser number of brigades is generally consistent
with the required reserve combat forces included in the Army's
current Total Army Analysis process.  That process projects the
Army's future support needs based on the future combat force. 

According to U.S.  Forces Command planners, the enhanced brigades
that are not required to achieve mission success in the war fight are
considered to be strategic reserve that can either be used for
occupational forces once the enemy has been defeated or for other
missions.  Other roles would be to replace active forces stationed
overseas or engaged in peacekeeping operations should the replaced
forces be needed for a regional conflict. 

\3 The specific number is classified. 

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

The Guard has a wide range of state missions.  These missions include
the defense of states or other entities from disorder, rebellion, or
invasion; emergency and disaster relief; humanitarian assistance; and
community support activities. 

In crisis situations, the governors primarily use the Guard to
supplement civil agencies after those agencies have exhausted their
resources.  According to Guard officials at the state level, the
state expects the local authorities to respond first, followed by
county, and then state resources.  If the crisis exceeds the state's
civil capabilities, the Guard can be called on for added support. 
For example, needs far exceeded the state's civil agencies'
capabilities after Hurricane Andrew devastated south Florida. 
Therefore, the Governor called up almost 50 percent of Florida's Army
and Air Guard personnel for such tasks as providing temporary
shelters, removing debris, distributing food and water, and providing

For situations beyond a state's capabilities, the Governor can ask
the President to declare a federal emergency.  When this declaration
is made, the Federal Emergency Management Agency becomes the
coordinating agency between state and federal agencies.  For example,
Florida's immediate assistance needs after Hurricane Andrew exceeded
the capacity of the state's resources, including its Guard forces. 
As a result, the Governor requested and received a presidential
disaster declaration that entitled the state to obtain federal
funding and assistance from federal agencies and the active military. 

The federal government has added several domestic initiatives to the
Guard's federally funded state missions.  For example, newly acquired
initiatives include drug interdiction and counter-drug activities,
drug demand reduction programs, medical assistance in underserved
areas, and the Civilian Youth Opportunities program.  Although
federally funded, the state governors authorize missions like these
under the control of authorized Guard officials. 

Given the concerns for potential hardships to Guard members, their
families, and their employers, most state Guard leaders plan to
rotate Guard members used in state missions lasting longer than 7
days.  For example, in both the Midwest floods of 1993 and Hurricane
Andrew in 1992, Guard personnel were rotated, which resulted in the
use of a greater number of personnel, but for shorter durations. 

Guard officials at the state level said that general soldier skills,
such as discipline and following a chain of command, are often all
that are needed to satisfy state missions.  In the specialized skills
areas, they said that support skills and equipment such as
engineering, transportation, medical support, aviation, and military
police are most often needed.  In the states we visited, we were told
that Guard members were asked to perform a variety of tasks on state
active duty.  For example, in California, the Guard provided homeless
shelters for people displaced by major earthquakes, patrolled the
streets of Los Angeles during a riot, and provided support to
firefighters during wild fires.  In Kansas and Utah, Guard members
filled sandbags to fight flooding. 

In the previously mentioned study, which was required by the National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994, RAND reported that
the Army and Air Guard in fiscal year 1993 experienced the highest
number of state active duty days in over 10 years.  The 54 state and
territorial Guard entities reported spending over 460,000 duty days
on state missions, involving over 34,000 members of the total Guard. 
This equated to about 6 percent of the total available Army and Air
Guard personnel.  Almost 50 percent of the Guard's use that year was
due to the Midwest floods. 

As might be expected, Guard usage for state missions varies from
state to state and year to year.  For example, RAND reported that the
Florida Army and Air Guard were on state active duty in 1992 for
Hurricane Andrew for over 80 days, with a peak personnel commitment
of some 6,200 out of a total strength of about 13,500, or about 46
percent.  RAND also reported that New York, with an Army and Air
Guard strength of about 20,000, had its highest Guard usage in 6
years in 1994.  During that year, the state used about 6,000 Guard
workdays, which amounts to about 1 state active duty day per year for
about 30 percent of the state's total Army and Air Guard strength. 
This latter experience is typical of many states during the same

RAND reported that, nationally, state demands on the Army and Air
Guard are not significant.  Moreover, the Guard's own data do not
show sizable demands on its personnel and resources for state
missions.  As such, RAND concluded that, even in a peak use year,
state missions would not require a large portion of the Guard and
should not be used as a basis for sizing the Guard force.  It also
concluded that the Guard is large enough to handle both state and
federal missions, even in the unlikely, but possible, event of
simultaneous peak demands. 

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

The Army is studying the redesign of the Guard's combat structure to
meet critical shortages in support capabilities.  In May 1995, the
Army's Vice Chief of Staff chartered a work group to develop
alternatives and make recommendations for using the Guard's combat
structure to meet critical shortages in support forces.  According to
the group's charter, the Army has undertaken this effort because it
is critically short support forces, but continues to maintain Guard
combat units that are excess to war-fighting requirements. 

The group is to

  review the Army's future unresourced support requirements,

  review the structure and missions of the Guard combat elements and
     develop options for changing the structure to meet future Army

  conduct a resource feasibility assessment of the options to
     determine whether the Army possesses or is able to program the
     resources needed to equip and maintain the redesigned structure,

  refine and prioritize the options for presentation to the Army
     leadership by March 1996. 

The group's charter established certain parameters such as (1) the
Guard's planned end strength will not change, (2) the redesign
efforts will consider the Guard's need to remain responsive to state
missions, and (3) the redesign effort is not intended to reduce the
number of Guard division headquarters. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.1

Previous studies have also recognized the need for changes to the
Guard's combat structure.  In December 1992, we reported that
opportunities existed to break up some Guard divisions and convert
some combat units to support units.\4 In March 1995, we reported that
the Army would be challenged to provide sufficient numbers of certain
types of support units for two major regional conflicts because it
had difficulty providing such units in the single conflict Persian
Gulf War.\5 We suggested that an option for augmenting the Army's
support capability is to use existing support capability in the eight
Guard divisions that DOD did not include in the combat force for
executing the two-conflict strategy.  We recommended that the
Secretary of the Army (1) identify the specific unresourced support
requirements that could be met using Guard divisional support units
and the personnel and equipment in these units and (2) work with the
Guard to develop a plan for employing this capability.  The work
group is considering this recommendation as one of the options. 

In accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal
Year 1994, DOD established a Commission on Roles and Missions of the
Armed Forces, which looked at, among other things, the better use of
reserve forces.  The Commission determined that the Army's combat
structure exceeds the requirements for a two major regional conflict
scenario and concluded that reserve component forces with lower
priority tasks should be eliminated or reorganized to fill shortfalls
in higher priority areas.  In its report, the Commission cited the
example of the Army's eight Guard divisions that were required for
possible war with the former Soviet Union, but are not needed for the
current national security strategy.\6 The report noted that the
bottom-up review did assign the eight Guard divisions secondary
missions such as serving as a deterrent hedge to future adversarial
regimes; however, it also said that eight divisions is too large a
force for these secondary missions.  The Commission's report also
noted that at the same time, the Army estimated that it is short
60,000 support troops for a two regional conflict strategy.  The
Army's most recent Total Army Analysis process also projects a
shortage of 60,000 support troops, primarily in transportation and
quartermaster units.  The Commission report also stated that, even
after the support shortfalls were filled, there would still be excess
combat spaces in the total Army and recommended eliminating these
spaces from the active or reserve components. 

\4 Army Force Structure:  Future Reserve Roles Shaped by New
Strategy, Base Force Mandates, and Gulf War (GAO/NSIAD-93-80, Dec. 
15, 1992). 

\5 Force Structure:  Army National Guard Divisions Could Augment
Wartime Support Capability (GAO/NSIAD-95-80, Mar.  2, 1995). 

\6 Report of the Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed
Forces, Department of Defense (Arlington, Va.:  1995). 

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

The end of the Cold War and budgetary pressures have provided both
the opportunity and the incentive to reassess defense needs.  Because
the Guard's combat forces exceed projected war requirements and the
Army's analysis indicates a shortage of support forces, we believe it
is appropriate for the Army to study the conversion of some Guard
combat forces to support roles.  Therefore, we recommend that the
Secretary of Defense, in conjunction with the Secretary of the Army
and the Director, Army National Guard, validate the size and
structure of all of the Guard's combat forces and that the Secretary
of the Army prepare and execute a plan to bring the size and
structure of those combat forces in line with validated requirements. 
If the Army study suggests that some Guard combat forces should be
converted to support roles, we recommend that the Secretary of the
Army follow through with the conversion because it would satisfy
shortages in its support forces and further provide the types of
forces that state governors have traditionally needed.  Moreover, to
the extent that there are Guard forces that exceed validated
requirements, the Secretary of Defense should consider eliminating

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :7

DOD agreed with our findings and recommendations.  It stated that
before its review is finalized, all shortfalls will be validated
against requirements set forth in the national military strategy.  It
also stated that until ongoing studies are completed, it is premature
to restructure or eliminate Army National Guard units.  DOD's
comments are shown in appendix I. 

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :8

To determine the federal and state roles and missions of the Guard's
combat units, we interviewed cognizant officials and obtained and
analyzed documents from DOD, the Army, the Army National Guard, and
RAND in Washington, D.C.; U.S.  Army Forces Command, Fort McPherson,
Georgia; and State Area Commands and combat units in Alabama,
California, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. 

To determine the efforts by DOD and the Army to redesign the Guard
combat divisions, we interviewed cognizant officials and obtained and
analyzed documents from DOD, the Army, the Army National Guard,
U.S.  Army Forces Command, and the U.S.  Army Training and Doctrine
Command's Force Development Directorate, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 

We conducted this review from February to November 1995 in accordance
with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :8.1

We are providing copies of this report to appropriate House and
Senate committees; the Secretaries of Defense and the Army; the
Director of the Army National Guard; and the Director, Office of
Management and Budget.  We will also provide copies to other
interested parties upon request. 

Please contact me at (202) 512-3504 if you or your staff have any
questions concerning this report.  The major contributors to this
report were Robert Pelletier, Leo Sullivan, Lee Purdy, and Ann

Richard Davis
Director, National Security

(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix I
============================================================== Letter 

(See figure in printed edition.)

(See figure in printed edition.)

*** End of document. ***