Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1992
During FY 1992 the Army leadership performed a balancing act, reducing force structure and manpower while simultaneously attempting to maintain training and readiness. The end of the Cold War and the rising federal budget deficit put enormous pressure on the U.S. military establishment to reduce its costs by cutting units, personnel, and expenditures in such areas as technology and infrastructure. At the same time, the Army and the nation faced a post-Cold War world in considerable ferment as new regimes emerged, boundaries changed, and old animosities reappeared. Instead of the containment of communism, the Army now needed to prepare for a wide array of missions from aid to victims of natural disasters to interdiction of the flow of illegal drugs at home to protection of the West's oil supply and deterrence of aggression abroad. Operation JUST CAUSE in Panama and the Persian Gulf War drove home the need for an Army prepared to deploy on short notice to trouble spots around the globe. The competing demands of readiness and reductions in expenditures affected almost every activity in which the Army was engaged during the fiscal year.
Among the most affected areas of interest to the Army was force structure. Using the new concept of the Base Force, the Army inactivated the VII Corps, the 8th Infantry Division, the 3d Armored Division, and numerous other formations from its force structure during FY 1992. While making these cuts in force structure, the Army also pushed ahead with its revision of FM 100-5, Operations, incorporating lessons learned from recent operations as well as expanding coverage of mobilization, deployment, and the full range of possible missions. The Army also continued its efforts to improve its strategic mobility, helping to define requirements for more transport aircraft and pre-positioned ships, allocating funds to improve railroad transportation to ports, and shifting pre-positioned material from Central Europe to southern Italy, Southwest Asia, and Korea.
Mobilization planning and training consumed much of the Army's attention during the year. The Army instituted the Army Mobilization and Operations Planning and Execution System as a single source on mobi-
lization policies and procedures, and it revised its approach to critical items for industrial mobilization. Army training programs revised their training to make more extensive use of simulators in response to funding and environmental constraints. In ULCHI FOCUS LENS 92, the Army conducted the first theater-level simulation exercise in Army history. To handle the sweeping changes in Army force structure and doctrine, General Sullivan instituted the Louisiana Maneuvers, which made extensive use of simulations, exercises, and maneuvers to test operational concepts and force designs.
Even in the aftermath of the Cold War and DESERT STORM, FY 1992 was a busy year for the major Army commands. Additional units came under FORSCOM, the command that would oversee the new Base Force, as the Army reduced its presence in Europe. Even as USAREUR inactivated some units and shipped out others, it carried out PROVIDE COMFORT in support of the Kurdish population in northern Iraq and deployed troops to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as a deterrent to further Iraqi attacks. USARPAC consolidated all of its garrison and support elements under a new U.S. Army, Hawaii, and conducted combined training exercises in Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, Australia, and Korea. U.S. forces in Korea turned over more responsibilities for the defense of the peninsula to the South Koreans, while USARSO carried out training in Latin America, continued the process of transferring the Panama Canal to Panama, and provided humanitarian assistance to Haitian refugees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
At home, the Army was also busy. The Army moved to centralize its intelligence operations at a higher level. Responding to a Bush administration initiative, the Army brought back its nuclear weapons to the continental United States by July 1992 and also worked on new counters to biological and chemical warfare. Troops from the 7th Infantry Division joined National Guardsmen in restoring order to Los Angeles after riots, and Army personnel provided humanitarian relief and protected property in the aftermath of Hurricanes Andrew and Iniki.
With the decline in the size of the active Army, the reserve components were even more important to the Total Army in the accomplishment of its mission. The National Guard and Army Reserve endured sizable cuts but felt that they retained high-quality personnel. The Army increased to four the number of reserve brigades used to round out active divisions, and reserve planners developed various unit packages to support contingencies. Although reserve units still lacked equipment essential for their mission, they continued to make major progress in modernization, many adding M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams tanks, M3 Bradley fighting vehicles, and AH-64 Apache helicopters.
In response to the problems experienced during DESERT STORM, the Army, through BOLD SHIFT, emphasized better integration of active and
reserve units, operational readiness evaluations for reserve units, improved specialty and leader training, and achievable premobilization training standards. STANDARD BEARER units of the Army National Guard, the units scheduled first for deployment, received special priority for resources and training. For the first time, Troop Program Units joined the scheduled training rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center. In addition to training, reservists provided relief to victims of natural disasters in Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, and Guam. They also participated in the war against drugs by supplying training, intelligence, and logistical support.
During FY 1992, the Army research, development, and acquisition community had to deal with the complexities resulting from declining procurement budgets, reorganization, and the challenges of continuous modernization. The Army Science Board carried out studies on land combat identification and command and control in mobile warfare, and the Army Research Institute conducted a study to determine the factors underlying success of different units at the National Training Center. Meanwhile, the Board on Army Science and Technology conducted studies on future technologies and established a committee to review the disposal program for chemical agents and munitions. Civil works research focused on such areas as erosion control, wetlands, magnetic levitation, and construction, while medical research sought new vaccines against AIDS and new counters against nerve agents. During the year, researchers carried out the world's first test of a vaccine against waterborne hepatitis A in Thailand. At the same time, the Army was pursuing continuous modernization for each class of weapon systems, whether it was a new system in production, an upgrade in progress, or a replacement system in development.
To meet the challenge of declining personnel strengths and shrinking financial resources, the Army made several changes in organization and management procedures and relied more fully on automation. During the fiscal year, it formed a new Space and Strategic Defense Command and a new Program Executive Officer for Global Protection Against Limited Strikes. Under Lab 21 and Project RELIANCE, the Army consolidated numerous laboratories and created a new Army Research Laboratory as its center for work on combat materiel. The Army proceeded with the implementation of BRAC decisions, closing 58 installations under BRAC I and returning 217 installations outside the continental United States to host nations under BRAC III.
Army managers approved Total Army Quality as the Army's management philosophy and prepared a strategy that would implement the new approach throughout the Army. Army financial managers shifted functions to Department of Defense jurisdiction; established the principle of users paying for services; sought better use of nonappropriated funds for
morale, welfare, and recreation; and attempted to ensure management control of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program. The Army also reviewed its existing processes and organization for information management and instituted a migration to the Open Systems Environment. Such steps were especially critical given increasing automation of Army personnel and logistics functions.
Personnel cuts during FY 1992 especially affected active duty and civilian personnel. The Army conducted several programs to induce voluntary departures, including the Voluntary Early Transition, the Voluntary Separation Incentive, the Special Separation Benefit, the Voluntary Early Release/Retirement Program for officers, and the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority for civilians. These programs, along with the involuntary Selective Early Release Board and Reductions in Force, were so successful that the Army actually encountered personnel shortages in several key MOSs and grades. To meet the need, the Army moved up dates for promotion boards and gave higher priority on key personnel to units scheduled for early deployment.
Facing the prospect of a smaller force, the Army consolidated several career management fields and placed more emphasis on generalists as opposed to specialists. For the first time, the Army commissioned physician assistants, and it also expanded the number of officer positions in the Army Acquisition Corps. In addition to these steps, the Army developed a sexual harassment/equal opportunity action plan, established a leader development process for warrant officers, and mandated attendance at the Basic Supervisory Development Course and the Leadership Education and Development Course for military and civilian supervisors of civilian employees.
Army logistics during FY 1992 went through a period of great ferment with the introduction of automation, the return of personnel and equipment from Southwest Asia, and changes as a result of the Army's shift from forward deployment to a strategy based more on the continental United States. Army logisticians returned, repaired, and reconstructed war materiel from Southwest Asia and moved units, equipment, and personnel and their dependents from Europe back to the continental United States. They also sought improvements in Army support systems, whether improving the tracking of items through computers, introducing ways of filling requisitions in the most cost-effective manner possible, or instituting reforms based on the principle of users paying for services.
To improve sustainment, the Army increased the number of active component CS/CSS units to sustain rapid deployment from the continental United States and stationed them near the units they supported. It reorganized and consolidated war reserves and operational stocks to eliminate excesses and achieve centralized control, while also seeking to reduce the
surplus of spare parts. In general, the Army sought to reshape its installation structure and business procedures along more entrepreneurial lines. Fiscal year 1992 was a banner year for the security assistance program, as weapons sales to allied and friendly nations increased and twelve former Eastern Bloc nations joined the program.
The Army's support services played a critical role in a year of downsizing. During the fiscal year, the Army Career and Alumni Program, which aided departing soldiers and civilians with transition assistance and job search training, became fully operational, and the New Careers in Education program placed departing soldiers as teachers and administrators in the nation's schools. The Army tightened its program on alcohol and drug abuse prevention and control, separating chronic abusers from the service and adding more specific and sensitive tests to detect other violators. Army installations renovated facilities and improved customer service as part of the Army Communities of Excellence Program, and Army child care facilities earned praise for their compliance with the Military Child Care Act. But Army efforts to build new housing and maintain, repair, and renovate older buildings were hampered by limited funds. Preventive medicine experts investigated possible medical problems arising from the Gulf War and educated Army personnel regarding the AIDS epidemic. During the fiscal year, Task Force Russia supported the U.S./Russia Joint Commission on POWs/MIAs, and the Army also worked with the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. Simultaneously, the Army was taking steps to revise regulations on military justice, adopt a new field feeding system, and increase the efficiency of its morale, welfare, and recreation system.
In addition to its other functions, the Army in FY 1992 continued to perform several tasks not generally associated with its primary mission. Almost half of the Corps of Engineers' budget for the fiscal year supported civil works projects. The COE streamlined procedures on permits, worked alongside the Environmental Protection Agency to close loopholes in the Clean Water Act, maintained intracoastal and inland navigation systems, and worked on the reconstruction of Kuwait after DESERT STORM. Litigation involving the Judge Advocate General focused on procurement fraud, racial discrimination, sexual harassment, privacy issues, and bankruptcy cases. The Inspector General answered congressional inquiries regarding Army protection of whistleblowers and investigated such issues as reserve component training and the efficiency of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the Army Sponsorship Program, and special access programs. Army energy experts made strong efforts to reduce energy consumption. The Army also tried to create more opportunities for small businesses and minority firms to produce products for the Army and to improve civilian marksmanship. Army historical agencies
took part in the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of World War II and worked to obtain a site for the future Army museum.
As FY 1992 came to a close, the Army faced multiple challenges. The drawdown had only just begun. For the foreseeable future, reductions in force structure, personnel, and installations would be a fact of life for the Army. It could thus count on less resources even as it attempted to cope with rapidly evolving technology and a turbulent world that would continue to demand active U.S. involvement, often in remote corners of the globe. But during FY 1992, the Army took many steps necessary to adjust to this changing environment. By shaping a smaller but highly mobile, modernized, and flexible force of motivated soldiers based in the continental United States, the Army leadership expected to continue to meet its responsibilities to the nation during the last years of the twentieth century.
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Last Updated 21 July 2003
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