Force Development, Training, and Operational Forces
In 1993, Secretary of Defense Les Aspin called for a review of U.S.
defense strategy “from the bottom up.” The Report of the Bottom-Up Review (BUR), as approved by Secretary Aspin, contained strategic and budgetary
guidance for FYs 1995 through 1999. That guidance initiated a wave of
Department of Defense (DOD) and service policy and doctrinal changes
that continue to influence the Army. In FY 1994, Army planners responded
to the BUR by deciding that the Cold War Army of Excellence should adapt
itself to the emerging information age. That adaptation process also reflected
the realities of America’s changing strategic goals and economic realities,
and provided the Army’s blueprint for the future. As the last year specifically
described in the BUR, FY 1999 marks a milestone in the Army’s ongoing
struggle to transform itself into an information-age fighting force.
The effort began in FY 1994 with the launch of the Force XXI campaign, a plan to redesign operational forces, reinvent the institutional Army, and develop and acquire advanced information technologies. The Force XXI Army would be smaller, more flexible, more durable, and more lethal than the Cold War force, well suited to joint and multinational operations across the full spectrum of conflict. By FY 1999, the major initiatives of the campaign had been launched, its strategies largely determined. Army leadership could focus on executing Force XXI programs rather than on developing new concepts.
Force XXI was scheduled to become reality by 2010. Planned reform efforts would continue long past that date, however, as the Army continued to seek a revolutionary leap beyond its 1990s capabilities and their evolutionary successors of the Force XXI Army. By 2025, current plans will have materialized into the objective force, Army After Next (AAN). The exact composition and technology of AAN, and the link between it and Force XXI, remained vague concepts even as the Army continued implementing Force XXI programs during FY 1999.
But AAN is defined by several characteristics that are inherent in its
role as the successor to Force XXI, the intermediate step between the
current Army and the Army of 2025. As it develops, AAN will embrace
and enhance the defining capabilities of the Army of 2010. Fully digitized
and composed of updated versions of current forces and newly developed
interim forces, Force XXI will enjoy real-time situational awareness
throughout the theater of operations and beyond. Joint and combined
forces will share information through networked systems and receive an
accurate, real-time picture of the battlespace. Those same information
networks will provide logistics personnel with an accurate picture of the
Army’s stores and requirements, speeding the flow of essential materials
from factory to front. Six balanced imperatives—leadership development,
modern equipment, sound doctrine, proper force mix, superior training,
and quality people—will combine in Force XXI to produce an army able
to rapidly project the right mix of forces to any part of the world to achieve
decisive results as part of joint and multinational operations.
From the intermediate step of Force XXI, the Army plans a revolutionary leap into AAN, combining new weapons systems and doctrines with the network-centric, information-age capabilities of the Army of 2010. AAN will leverage information technology in all mission areas, deploy and operate with unparalleled speed, and dominate the full spectrum of conflict. Within ninety-six hours of a decision to deploy, early-entry forces and a new, flexibly structured strike force will be combat ready in a trouble zone anywhere in the world. Only twenty-four hours later, that initial force will have been reinforced by a second strike force and a mechanized brigade that is lighter and more lethal than its 1999 counterpart. If necessary, a full three-division corps will be on the scene in only thirty days, sustained by improved sea and airlift capabilities and stocks of pre-positioned equipment.
This goal, announced in Joint Vision 2010, motivated the Army’s efforts through FY 1999. Army leaders spent much of the fiscal year articulating a new vision statement to encapsulate the Army’s core values and its intent in pursuing Force XXI and AAN reforms. The vision statement was being prepared for release in early FY 2000 and would confirm the Army’s dedication to its traditional mission and values while further clarifying its future plans.
A successful military force maintains a degree of conservatism even as it plans for the future. The importance of the Army’s mission demands that the transition from known and proven techniques to untried methods be a cautious one; that the shift from the present structure through Force
XXI to AAN not leave the nation militarily, diplomatically, or financially
vulnerable. For that reason the Army will maintain and modernize elements
of its existing force as it assembles the first units of the interim force that
will lead the Army toward AAN.
This effort involves three distinct, but related, patterns of force development. To ensure near-term readiness, selected units of the existing force are being recapitalized, or provided with an infusion of new equipment and funds, and furnished with digital technologies. Although superficially similar to the Army of the early 1990s, this updated force will be more lethal, flexible, and survivable than its predecessor, thus marking an evolutionary step into information-age warfare. Preparations to make that step were the major theme in force development for FY 1999.
Establishing the foundations of the interim force and its constituent units was the second developmental theme for FY 1999. The first Interim Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) is planned to become operational as the foundation of the interim force shortly after the beginning of the twenty-first century. It will bridge the gap between the evolutionary update of the existing force and the revolutionary objective force. Light, mobile, and fully digitized, the interim brigades will feature combined arms at the company level and will be capable of beginning operations immediately on arrival in theater. Mission-capable across the full spectrum of operations, an IBCT will fight with unprecedented speed and efficiency, in a manner hinting at the capabilities of AAN. Interim and updated units, combined with a streamlined institutional army employing modern business practices and corresponding doctrinal changes is intended to constitute Force XXI.
Research into the technologies, doctrines, and strategies of the objective force formed the Army’s third developmental focus in 1999. Ultimately, the interim force will adopt new technologies and smoothly develop into AAN. Envisioned as a thoroughly networked, mission-oriented system of systems rather than the platform-focused, task-specific combat force of 1999, AAN will represent a revolutionary transformation in land-based combat. Reduced to its simplest expression, AAN will conduct operations as a single, theater-level entity reaching back to its support base in the installations and factories of the continental United States. Such a structure will differ from the 1999 construct of discrete but interdependent units separated in space, time, and information from their support systems and each other.
As these plans to field information-age forces imply, the Army devoted considerable attention to information technology in FY 1999. A series of advanced warfighting experiments allowed the Army to validate the tools and concepts for a digitized division, scheduled to be fully equipped by the end of FY 2000, and for the eventual digitization of the entire force. Acquisition programs reflected the goal of Army digitization. System
enhancement programs (SEP) for the M1A1D and M1A2 Abrams tanks
began to provide crews with digital command-and-control capabilities.
Thus equipped, tank crews eventually will be able to share information
with Bradley fighting vehicles that began undergoing a similar upgrade
in 1997. Research and development continued on the Crusader, a fully
digitized and automated self-propelled artillery piece capable of operating
with the older systems in the network environment.
An engagement fought by older Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles provides a context for understanding the increased capabilities information technology is bringing to the existing force. On the evening of 26 February 1991, the 2d Squadron, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, and 1st Infantry Division engaged elements of the Iraqi 18th Mechanized and 37th Armored Brigades in the Battle of 73 Easting. The 3d Brigade, 1st Infantry, unknowingly overran and bypassed Iraqi forces during the battle, and for several hours American troops had to contend with small enemy units executing surprise attacks on passing vehicles. At one point, Abrams and Bradley commanders reoriented their turrets to engage enemy armor to their rear, causing advancing friendly crews behind their targets to return the apparently hostile fire. Five American tanks and four Bradley vehicles were destroyed in the incident, killing six U.S. soldiers and wounding thirty more.
In the same situation, the newly digitized Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles would have had access to real-time information from other vehicles, multiplying their effectiveness, lethality, and survivability. The presence and exact location of hostile units within the formation would have been known throughout the force as each was identified, and the location of all friendly vehicles would have been available to vehicle commanders. If the resulting situational awareness did not avert confusion, improved identification friend or foe systems would have offered better protection from friendly fire. Linked to this information, Crusader crews supporting the advance could have rapidly identified and engaged pockets of resistance where appropriate—a daunting task for the artillery present at 73 Easting. The addition of information-age technologies to the same tanks and infantry fighting vehicles that fought that battle would transform the capabilities of the existing force.
The Army formally accepted the first M1A2 SEP Abrams on 1 September 1999. In the same ceremony it also accepted the first Wolverine assault bridge launcher. Built on the M1A2 SEP chassis, the Wolverine provides the Army with a mobile bridging system capable of keeping pace with the Abrams on the battlefield. The new mobile bridge is another effort to improve the mobility of Army forces, offering commanders the ability to bridge obstacles up to seventy-two feet across without exposing unprotected troops to hostile fire or slowing operations to await the older bridge launcher.
The Army also continued to recapitalize its aviation assets and other vital systems. During FY 1999, previously approved programs updating the Apache, Kiowa Warrior, Black Hawk, and CH–47 helicopter fleets enhanced the Army’s capabilities across the full mission spectrum. Additional modernization efforts included acquiring improved smart weapons and other technologies to expand the capabilities of the existing force and prepare for the first digitized division and the first IBCT.
The new technology and bold plans for future developments are
pointless, however, without soldiers capable of maintaining and using
sophisticated equipment and concepts. Toward that end the Army
maintained its training and educational efforts in FY 1999. At the
beginning of the fiscal year, basic training and one-station unit training
were expanded by one week. Much of the time gained was devoted
to values training, which stressed the core concepts of loyalty, duty,
respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. A total
of 105,034 soldiers completed basic training in FY 1999, and the Army
trained 65,286 personnel in specific military occupational specialties.
An initiative titled Future Army Schools XXI established a Total Army
School System to integrate advanced education throughout the active and
reserve components. The Army is well aware that basic skills, technical
competence, and continuing education are indispensable attributes of
The centerpiece of Army training has long been the combat training center (CTC) program. As components of that program, the Combined Arms Center (CAC) at Fort Leavenworth (Kansas), the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) at Hohenfels (Germany), the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk (Louisiana), and the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin (California) have subjected Army units and personnel to highly realistic combat exercises. By doing so, the CTC program aspires to five goals: (1) increase unit readiness for deployment and warfighting; (2) produce bold, innovative leaders through stressful tactical and operational exercises; (3) embed doctrine throughout the Army; (4) provide feedback to Army and joint or combined participants; and (5) provide a means of improving doctrine, training, leader development, organization, and materials to enable soldiers to win in combat.
The rationale behind the CTC program is a simple one. Green troops and leaders make mistakes, particularly in their first engagement. Through realistic exercises that are more challenging than most actual combat, the Army seeks to leap ahead of the learning curve by fielding well-seasoned
units from the outset. Realistic, demanding training serves as bloodless
battle, and through such training actual battle loses some of its ability to
shock, paralyze, or overwhelm the U.S. soldier.
The influence of the CTC program is felt throughout the service, in both the active Army and reserve components. In FY 1999, the Army National Guard (ARNG) sent 11 percent of its force—40,000 out of 357,469 personnel—through various CTC programs. Fort Irwin hosted 14,300 ARNG members from more than twenty-five states for NTC exercises. At the CMTC, 1,900 Guardsmen participated in battalion-level exercises. Fort Polk hosted 7,750 ARNG personnel for live-fire and force-on-force brigade exercises at the JRTC. Fully 15,000 Guard personnel attended one of the four training programs at Fort Leavenworth’s CAC. Participation rates for the active component’s 479,426 personnel are even higher, with each active Army battalion expected to rotate through the NTC or JRTC during each commander’s tour.
The apex role of CTC maneuvers in unit training is made clear in the training strategy for the ARNG’s enhanced separate brigades. A four-year program is considered the base for all Guard units. Most of those units do not systematically participate in CTC maneuvers, but the enhanced separate brigades have a higher priority for both equipment and training. In these brigades, two aligned four-year programs provide an eight-year training cycle. The first year focuses on crew, squad, and platoon proficiency. In the following year, the training emphasis moves up to the platoon and company levels, and then to the company and battalion task force in the third year. The fourth year of the sequence develops company-through brigade-level operations. For enhanced separate brigades, years five through seven of the sequence replicate years one through three, culminating during year eight in a live-fire rotation at either the NTC or JRTC that marks the pinnacle of their training cycle.
The NTC hosts ten training rotations each year—nine for active Army brigades and one for a National Guard enhanced separate brigade. But the realism of NTC exercises has suffered from improved capabilities and changing doctrine. When the NTC was established in 1981, Army brigades engaged hostile forces at ranges of one to twelve miles. Current weapons systems can fire on enemy targets sixty miles away. The pace of tactical operations has more than doubled in the intervening years, from ten to more than twenty-five miles per hour. The exercise area at Fort Irwin is no longer large enough to permit entirely realistic brigade-sized exercises. As a result, during 1999 the Army maintained its efforts to procure 174,461 additional acres bordering the facility. Environmental concerns over the safety of the desert tortoise and the Lane Mountain milkvetch, two endangered species found on Fort Irwin, continued to disrupt the planned expansion of the NTC during FY 1999.
The NTC still hosted its scheduled annual rotation of ten brigades. Five
three-battalion, heavy-light task forces; three three-battalion light-heavy
task forces; and one two-battalion task force from the active Army engaged
the opposing force of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Irwin.
One National Guard enhanced separate brigade also completed a training
rotation in the California desert. One Guard enhanced separate brigade and
seven three-battalion, task force–size brigades from the active Army rotated
through the Fort Polk JRTC facilities. A ninth scheduled rotation there
enabled the 75th Ranger Regiment to practice large-scale operations.
The other CTC locations made their own contributions to the Army’s combat readiness during FY 1999. In Hohenfels, the CMTC conducted two mission-readiness exercises in support of continuing operations in Kosovo. The site also hosted five three-battalion brigades and one two-battalion, light-heavy task forces for their CTC rotations. At Fort Leavenworth, the Combined Arms Center’s Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) continued to prepare field grade and senior officers for the challenges of warfare. The BCTP directed two corps-level exercises, seven divisional exercises, and eight joint task force exercises. In addition, the National Guard rotated twelve brigade staffs through battle command and battle staff training exercises at the CAC during FY 1999.
CAC rotations, however, are only one aspect of the Army’s continuous effort to train its personnel. The Combined Arms Training Strategy establishes the requirements for unit, soldier, and leader training in both the active and reserve components. Battle-focused training management software assists commanders from company through brigade levels in creating unit mission statements and identifying crucial tasks for unit-level training. To meet those needs, Tiger XXI, the simulation in training for advanced readiness computer program, enables heavy units to combine live and virtual training at the battalion staff, company, and platoon levels. The Tiger XXI software became the ARNG’s primary unit training program in FY 1999.
The Army continues to organize and participate in exercises around the world to complement unit training and CTC rotations. These exercises differ widely in their scale and format. Local exercises, such as the eleven-day Lightning Thrust Bronco that placed the 3d Brigade Combat Team in a simulated peace enforcement operation, test unit skills and give soldiers the opportunity to develop their abilities in a complex and realistic environment. At the other extreme, international combined arms exercises like Tandem Thrust 99 test and develop the Army’s ability to operate with the other American armed services and allied forces. For Tandem Thrust, the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry, and the 45th Corps Support Group deployed to Guam and the Mariana Islands. There the two units joined other elements of the U.S. Pacific Command and allied contingents from Australia and Canada for a command post and field exercise. Tandem Thrust involved
twelve thousand personnel, eighteen ships, and 110 aircraft from the three
nations in the largest joint-combined military exercise ever held in the
Western Pacific region.
Exercises do not have to involve entire field units or even address the threat of combat to contribute to the Army’s mission performance. In FY 1999, six defense coordinating officers and their staffs—four from First Army and two from Fifth Army—joined National Guard personnel and representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal and local government offices to practice disaster preparedness in STAFFEX 99. Defense coordinating officers work with FEMA and other agencies to meet domestic crises. For STAFFEX 99, an earthquake north of Memphis, Tennessee, a disaster four times the magnitude of 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, provided the simulated crisis confronting the nearly two hundred participants.
Operational deployments themselves have the welcome benefit of providing or encouraging additional training. And some operations, like FY 1999’s NEW HORIZONS, combine both training exercise and operational mission in a single package. In the case of NEW HORIZONS, a scheduled annual training exercise expanded into a humanitarian relief mission in the wake of hurricanes Mitch and Georges. Stricken populations received badly needed assistance, and participating U.S. personnel were able to develop and use their skills in an operational setting.
In FY 1999, the Army engaged in operational deployments across
the mission spectrum. At home and abroad, Army personnel undertook
humanitarian support, disaster relief, law enforcement, peacekeeping, and
peace enforcement missions in support of the National Military Strategy.
On an average day in FY 1999, the Army had approximately 109,000
forward-stationed personnel and 31,000 soldiers operationally deployed
in more than sixty countries. These numbers fluctuated in response to
global events. On 26 August 1999, for example, fulfillment of the Army’s
missions required the operational deployment of 27,397 soldiers—22,748
active Army, 2,701 ARNG, and 1,948 U.S. Army Reserve (USAR)—in
To meet the challenges of such widespread, large-scale commitments, the Army continued to draw on the reserve components to provide essential support and services to forces deployed in contingency and peacekeeping operations around the world. With ten active and eight reserve-component divisions, the Army was able to meet its mission requirements, but doing so placed heavy demands on some units. This is an understandable consequence of the number of annual deployments having more than
tripled since the end of the Cold War when the Army fielded eighteen
active and ten reserve-component divisions.
The Army carefully tracks the amount of time each unit spends on out-of-station operational deployments. The deployment tempo (DEPTEMPO) is a count of every day the unit is deployed away from home, simply defined as each day the soldiers do not sleep in their own bunks. The DEPTEMPO is subdivided into four categories: local training, off-installation training, joint exercises, and contingency operation participation. The chief of staff, Army (CSA), established an annual DEPTEMPO goal of 120 days per unit when the Army began monitoring the DEPTEMPO in 1997. Unit DEPTEMPOs exceeding 180 days must be approved by the CSA. In FY 1999, the Army tracked the DEPTEMPO for 1,462 reporting units. A total of 126 units (8.6 percent of the total reporting), exceeded the 120-day goal. The DEPTEMPO for fifty-four units (3.7 percent of those reporting) passed the 180-day mark. Those fifty-four units included eighteen in Bosnia, two in the Sinai, and one in Saudi Arabia.
The training and operational commitments of the reduced Army increase the personal demands placed on military and civilian personnel. Some units bear more of a burden than others because of their special skills. A list of the specialties most often deployed in FY 1999 appears in Table 15.
The Army tries to minimize the impact of a high DEPTEMPO on units and soldiers. Individual units are rotated through contingency operations rather than remaining deployed until the operation concludes.
Field artillery Firefinder radar operator
Field artillery meteorological crew member
Fighting vehicle infantrymen
Psychological operations specialist
AH-64 armament/electrical systems repairer
M1 tank armor crewman
Units deployed for a given mission are selected from throughout the
Army to prevent forces in any one region from becoming overburdened.
Army civilians and contractors are used, where appropriate, to relieve
the strain on uniformed personnel. Reserve-component units routinely
augment deployed active Army forces and reduce overall DEPTEMPOs,
particularly in critical support functions. During FY 1999, the National
Guard and Army Reserve deployed 8,628 uniformed personnel, in 344
units, to the Bosnia-Herzegovina area of operations. There they performed
a variety of missions, including those within the following functional
areas: civil affairs, psychological operations, public affairs, firefighting,
military history, rear-area operations, fire support, light infantry, aviation,
logistics, military police, medical service, and maintenance. In Kosovo, an
additional 211 soldiers, from 27 reserve units, executed civil affairs, rear-area
operations, medical public affairs, and maintenance missions.
To aid the individual soldier in dealing with operational demands, the Army has a policy to stabilize soldiers’ domestic lives on their return from deployment. If they have been deployed for at least thirty consecutive days, soldiers are granted a period of uninterrupted home duty when the deployment concludes. Army policy provides for one month of duty at the soldier’s permanent station for each month of temporary duty or temporary change of station. To the maximum extent possible, soldiers within that stabilization window will not be redeployed.
Army personnel are deployed for a wide variety of purposes, including disaster relief. The ARNG remains the nation’s primary contingency force for wide-scale domestic disturbance or natural disaster, a role it was called to fulfill several times in FY 1999. In fact, the fiscal year had not even begun when the first natural disaster struck, a disaster that would occupy the Guard for most of the year. During the period 15–29 September 1998, Hurricane Georges struck seventeen Caribbean islands and affected the lives of more than thirty million people. The tropical storm swept over island after island in the northern Caribbean, killing at least four hundred people and causing damage amounting to billions of dollars. In some instances, as with the small island of St. Kitts, Georges destroyed the crucial winter tourist season and the sugar crop, thus devastating the local economy. Many residents were left homeless by the storm: more than one hundred thousand in the Dominican Republic, at least eighteen thousand in Haiti, more than seventeen thousand in Puerto Rico, and three thousand (10 percent of the population) on St. Kitts.
Georges also struck directly at the U.S. mainland. Making landfall on 28 September between Biloxi and Pascagoula, Mississippi, the hurricane drove nine thousand people into emergency shelters and left 230,000 people without power. Waves up to twenty-five feet high and winds of eighty-five miles per hour struck the Alabama coast, forcing the mandatory
evacuation of two Alabama counties. Emergency shelters cared for 4,675
people driven from their homes, while 177,000 people were left without
electricity. Louisiana recorded two storm-related deaths and power outages
affecting 260,000 people. New Orleans’s Superdome stadium provided
emergency shelter for fourteen thousand people. Florida experienced the
worst disruptions. State authorities issued evacuation orders affecting
1.4 million people throughout the state. Two people were killed by the
storm. The Florida Keys and at least 150,000 people in the Miami and
Fort Lauderdale regions were left without electricity. Six hundred Florida
National Guard personnel deployed to impose a nighttime curfew in
stricken areas of the state.
National Guard units in all the affected states responded to the crisis immediately in their state capacity, and the Army launched federal relief operations as the new fiscal year began. Within the continental United States and in the Caribbean basin, food, water, ice, medical supplies, and personnel from all branches of the armed forces began to flow to the devastated islands and coastal communities. The effort was not a month old, however, when disaster struck again. Hurricane Georges had proven unusually persistent throughout its life cycle as a tropical storm. Hurricane Mitch proved to be unusually powerful. Sustained winds in excess of 180 miles per hour earned Mitch a rating as a category five hurricane, the fourth most powerful hurricane ever recorded. At its peak for some thirty-three hours on 26/27 October, Mitch passed through the western Caribbean before stalling off the coast of Honduras. By 2 November, at least ten thousand people had died in floods and mudslides across Central America. More than two million residents were left homeless in the wake of the storm. Mitch crossed the Caribbean, and the track of Georges, to strike southern Florida early on 5 November before passing into the Atlantic and losing strength. Damage from the second great storm of the 1998 hurricane season exceeded eight billion dollars.
The U.S. Army again rose to the challenge. Under the direction of the commander in chief of U.S. Southern Command, Operation NEW HORIZONS, a scheduled training exercise, quickly expanded into what President Clinton called “the largest humanitarian assistance mission since the Berlin Airlift.” Beginning in January 1999, one new joint task force would be launched every thirty to sixty days. At the operation’s peak, four ARNG battalion-plus–size task forces and a forward command element, totaling more than two thousand Guard members, were involved in the region. When the operation concluded on 4 August 1999, a total of 20,800 reserve-component personnel had participated in NEW HORIZONS, accompanied by personnel from the active Army and the other services. National Guardsmen built three medical clinics, four schools, and four wells in Honduras. ARNG engineer units also repaired an important bridge
and fifteen miles of damaged highway. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
sent two hundred personnel, accompanied by 224 U.S. Marines, to help
replace the ninety-three additional bridges destroyed in Honduras alone.
FY 1999 brought other humanitarian challenges to the Army. Tension in Yugoslavia between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo resulted in a growing refugee problem in the Balkans by March 1999. To assist the Republic of Macedonia in dealing with the influx of displaced people, the United States agreed to accept twenty thousand refugees from Kosovo in the spring of that year. The U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) at Fort McPherson, Georgia, assumed command of Operation Provide Refuge and in early April selected Fort Dix, New Jersey, to host the Kosovar refugees. The USARC chose the Fort Dix Army Reserve installation partly because of the facility’s historical success as a power-projection center, able to expand and adapt rapidly to new demands. Responding to the challenge, the Fort Dix garrison received prompt reinforcements from other Reserve formations and active Army soldiers from the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. With the influx of new personnel, Fort Dix quickly converted from garrison routine to full mobilization. For example, the company-size dining facility expanded to four battalion- and three company-size facilities. On the morning of 6 May, the first 447 refugees landed at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, and proceeded to their temporary quarters at Fort Dix. Between 6 May and 9 July, the installation processed 4,025 refugees, more than a quarter of the 13,989 Kosovars admitted to the United States during this time.
Unfortunately, the Yugoslavian conflict could not be resolved solely through humanitarian assistance to refugees. Acting through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the United States and its allies launched Operation ALLIED FORCE to disrupt the forces that Yugoslavia’s president Slobodan Milosevic was using against the Albanian civilian majority in Kosovo. NATO air strikes began on 24 March and continued until 10 June 1999. On that day, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 formally authorized a peacekeeping force, confirming the agreement reached by NATO and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 9 June. Beginning on 11 June, the United States maintained approximately seven thousand personnel in the Kosovo Force that was executing the NATO peacekeeping mission, Operation JOINT GUARDIAN. President Clinton soon mobilized Army Reserve personnel to support JOINT GUARDIAN under a presidential selected reserve call-up.
As the two hundred reservists mobilized by the president’s order arrived in Germany to fill positions vacated by active Army personnel deployed to Kosovo, they encountered other Reserve personnel supporting another Balkans mission. Operation JOINT FORGE, begun in FY 1998, is the continuing NATO-led Stabilization Force peacekeeping mission in
Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Germany, Bosnia, and Hungary, twenty-three
hundred Army reservists supported the sixty-nine hundred U.S. personnel
of JOINT FORGE during FY 1999.
Army personnel continued to provide support for Operations NORTHERN WATCH and SOUTHERN WATCH, enforcing the no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq. U.S. and British aircraft attacked that nation during December 1999 in Operation DESERT FOX, an effort to compel Iraq to comply with the arms inspection requirements agreed to at the end of the Gulf War. The Army provided support for the raids as part of a combined joint operation under the U.S. Central Command.
The Army sustained its support of domestic security by participating in counterdrug activities as mandated in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 1989. More than three thousand soldiers from both the active and reserve components assisted federal, state, and local drug law enforcement agencies (DLEAs) during FY 1999. Other Army assistance activities included operational support, facilities, maintenance, intelligence analysis, linguistic support, engineer support, equipment, training, and planning assistance. To facilitate such cooperation, 338 soldiers and Department of the Army civilians were assigned to various counterdrug joint task forces. The majority of the training support requested by the DLEAs during FY 1999 was provided by the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), the National Guard Regional Counterdrug Training Academy, the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training Academy, and the National Interagency Counterdrug Institute. The DLEAs also commonly requested training from the U.S. Army Military Police School and instruction on intelligence preparation of the battlefield.
The Army Reserve deployed 565 personnel to complete 115 counterdrug support missions in FY 1999. USAR activities ranged from constructing roads and fences along the Mexican border to providing intelligence analysts and linguists to foreign and domestic DLEAs. The Army National Guard assigned twenty-five hundred to thirty-five hundred personnel each week to support operations that included aerial and ground reconnaissance, road and fence construction, other engineering projects, marijuana eradication, cargo inspection at ports of entry, transportation, translation, intelligence analysis, and drug demand reduction support activities. In the active Army, the 10th Mountain Division and the 82d Airborne Division provided aerial reconnaissance along the southwestern border. The 3d Infantry Division provided aviation support to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and local authorities in the Bahamas, while other units rendered similar assistance elsewhere.
The active Army and the reserve components devoted considerable aviation and other equipment to the counterdrug mission, including the loan of rotary and fixed-wing aircraft to the U.S. Customs Service. The
Army loaned, leased, or transferred more than $50 million in equipment to federal, state, and local DLEAs in FY 1999. In addition to OH–58 and UH–1H helicopters, this equipment included weapons, night vision gear, and communications and electronic equipment.
The U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) is
responsible for the planning and execution of unconventional warfare,
foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, and direct actions in
support of U.S. strategy. Traditionally associated with the Special Forces,
or Green Beret and Ranger formations, Army special operations forces also
include the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and psychological
operations, civil affairs, signal, and combat service support units. The last
two functions are the responsibility of the 112th Special Operations Signal
Battalion (Airborne) and the 528th Special Operations Support Battalion
Ground combat elements of Army special operations forces in FY 1999 included seven Special Forces Groups (five in the active Army and two in the ARNG) and the 75th Ranger Regiment. Civil affairs units are primarily USAR formations. The 96th Civil Affairs Battalion was the only active component unit in FY 1999, supplemented by four USAR civil affairs commands containing twenty-four battalions in eight brigades. Similarly, the active Army’s one psychological operations (PSYOP) group of five battalions was distinctly outnumbered by the USAR’s contribution of eight battalions organized into two PSYOP groups.
In training special operations units, the USASOC recognizes four truths about special operations. First, humans are more important than hardware. It is the quality and training of special forces personnel rather than technical superiority that gives them their unique capabilities. Second, quality is better than quantity. Special operations forces are almost always outnumbered. Their military effectiveness arises from superior personnel and superb training, two keys to success that cannot readily be replaced or improved by mere numbers. Because of their reliance on carefully selected and thoroughly trained personnel, special operations forces are subject to a third truth: They cannot be mass produced. Even the elite few who possess the aptitudes and qualities of a special operations soldier need to complete lengthy training programs to be effective. Arising out of the need for such carefully selected, highly trained personnel is the fourth truth of special operations forces: They cannot be created after emergencies occur.
Special operations forces are called to a variety of missions. In FY 1999 1st, 3d, and 5th Special Forces Groups, in conjunction with the U.S. Army
Military Police School, trained 1,778 DLEA personnel. Civil affairs and psychological operations units, largely from the Army Reserve, conducted operations in Bosnia and Kosovo. Special operations units participated in joint, multinational, and unilateral exercises, in addition to the Combat Training Center program. A total of 33,912 Special Forces personnel deployed to 120 countries on operations and training exercises in FY 1999.
The success of special operations, precision strikes, and virtually
every other military mission depends on accurate and timely intelligence.
The U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) provides
national- to tactical-level information connectivity and intelligence support
to Army commanders. In FY 1999, the INSCOM emphasized information
systems in the effort to build the capabilities necessary to support the
intelligence requirements of Force XXI while developing AAN initiatives.
It is not surprising that the effort is named Intel XXI. At the end of FY
1999, the INSCOM identified several projects for further development.
These projects included Trojan Classic, a system providing tactical and
strategic intelligence to the leaders of the Army’s major commands.
Trojan Classic also is intended to assist in maintaining and developing the
signals intelligence skills of intelligence personnel while helping build and
maintain threat databases.
All such systems within the Department of Defense are being developed to create a unified system-of-systems approach to U.S. intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. The resulting smooth flow of information between sensors, commanders, and soldiers will enable U.S., allied, and coalition forces to strike rapidly and decisively at extended ranges and otherwise shape the battlefield. The Airborne Reconnaissance Architecture, the Future Imagery Architecture, the Integrated Overhead Signal Intelligence Architecture, and the Space-Based Infrared System are efforts directed toward that goal, developing interoperable digitized intelligence systems. Force XXI and AAN will enjoy an ISR strategy that integrates imagery, signals, and measurement and signatures intelligence into a single intelligence picture.
The Army’s increasing reliance on computers and network-based information brings with it the possibility of external penetration for the purpose of espionage or sabotage. To meet that threat the Army initiated a study for the CSA on the viability of an institutionalized Information Technology/Information Assurance Corps. Although not affiliated with the INSCOM, the Army’s existing information assurance program does include a counterintelligence mission similar to that anticipated for part of the proposed corps. In FY 1999, the Army acquired more than
five hundred intrusion detection systems and several hundred gateway and Internet Protocol blocking technologies to help secure information systems.
The threat of weapons of mass destruction did not fade away with
the end of the Cold War, and nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC)
issues retained their decades-old prominence in the Army of FY 1999.
Protecting Army personnel from accidental or deliberate exposure to
dangerous radiation, biological threats, and hazardous chemicals has
become a routine concern. The federal government meets the broad
spectrum of NBC threats at all levels, from laws and regulations governing
the handling of hazardous materials to training for NBC warfare.
In FY 1999, the DOD focused on a threat from the middle of the spectrum—bacillus anthracis, the anthrax bacterium. At least seven nations, including Iraq, possessed anthrax weapons in FY 1999. The disease is the simplest and most common bacterial agent employed in biological weapons. Left untreated, the inhaled form of anthrax has a fatality rate that can approach 99 percent. Although heavy doses of antibiotics administered immediately after exposure may defeat the disease, treatment for inhalation anthrax postponed until symptoms occur is far less effective. The fatality rate for patients treated after becoming symptomatic is near 80 percent. With that in mind, the DOD began vaccinating all uniformed personnel against anthrax in March 1998.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the anthrax vaccine for human use in 1970. A full human vaccination requires six doses over eighteen months, with annual boosters thereafter. Reports of mild reactions to the injection have persisted since its introduction, but severe reactions occur less than once per one hundred thousand doses, and reactions requiring hospitalization occur less than once per two hundred thousand doses. No long-term side effects or fatalities have been associated with the vaccine. In exchange for what is most commonly a minimal or nonexistent reaction, those people vaccinated appear to receive significant protection against the disease. A substantial body of scientific evidence derived from animal experiments and studies of people working with imported animal hair, and thus occasionally exposed to the disease, demonstrate that the vaccine is effective. It provided the best long-term, large-scale protection against anthrax available in 1999.
Despite the obvious drawbacks of protective garments or post-exposure medication as alternatives to immunization, controversy over the need for the DOD’s vaccination order and what some people perceived as a high risk of adverse reactions mounted in FY 1999.
Lack of public knowledge about anthrax and vaccination procedures
fueled the debate, complicated by a flood of misinformation appearing
on the Internet and rumors that administration of the vaccine to military
personnel during the Gulf War was in some way related to later health
problems. As a result of the confusion, some Army personnel refused
the vaccination order.
As of 6 October 1998, just five days into FY 1999, the Army had given the first shot in the six-shot series to more than thirty-seven thousand personnel. An additional fifty-six hundred soldiers had received the fourth shot by that date. Eight soldiers had refused to obey the order to receive the vaccination, the beginning of a disturbing trend. Disposition of those soldiers, through nonjudicial punishment, administrative discharge, or other means, remained an open question as the vaccinations continued. By the end of FY 1999, the Army had announced no clear policy for the specific offense of refusing anthrax vaccination. Local commanders were left to apply the Uniform Code of Military Justice and guidance in the Manual for Courts-Martial and Army regulations to the general case of refusal to obey a lawful order. Most transgressors received administrative discharges or nonjudicial punishment under Article 15 of the Uniform Code.
The Army made its greatest strides in protection against the threat of NBC weapons in FY 1999 by creating special units to combat the relatively new threat of terrorists employing weapons of mass destruction. In response to the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996, the secretary of the Army established the Consequence Management Program Integration Office (COMPIO) in January 1998. That office developed the concept for a new National Guard formation, the Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team (WMD-CST). The first ten units of that formation became operational in FY 1999, with each state slated to receive one by FY 2003. The Army Reserve, in conjunction with the COMPIO, began fielding and training chemical defense companies with specialized hazardous materials response equipment and mass casualty decontamination equipment.
The WMD-CST units are composed of twenty-two full-time National Guard personnel of diverse specialties. In the case of a suspected nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological (release of radiation without nuclear detonation) event, the local WMD-CST unit would immediately assess the incident and begin providing expert advice to civilian agencies. As the incident response proceeded, the team’s role would shift to providing the interface between civil and military responders required for effective cooperation. Through the new National Guard units and the upgraded Army Reserve companies, the Army is much better prepared to face the changing NBC threat.
The danger posed by weapons of mass destruction is intimately linked
with their most prominent means of delivery. In FY 1999, the Army
continued to maintain and develop systems to detect, warn against, and
intercept ballistic and cruise missiles. The U.S. Army Space and Missile
Defense Command (SMDC) is responsible for the Army’s activities relating
to the military threats and advantages associated with spacefaring. The
SMDC directs the activities of Army Space Command as a subordinate
command and the Space and Missile Defense Acquisition Center, the
Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab, the Space and Missile Defense
Technology Center, the Force Development and Integration Center, and
the Army Space Program Office as subordinate elements. For a major
Army command, the SMDC remains quite small in scale. In FY 1999, it
consisted of only 606 military and 1,029 civilian personnel.
But the SMDC plays a larger role in national defense than its size indicates. The DOD has designated it as the leading proponent for the ground-based elements of national missile defense. It is also charged with developing a theater missile defense for the Army and integrating both weapons systems and space-related capabilities into the service as the Army’s designated proponent for space. The importance of theater missile defense was apparent at the beginning of FY 1999, as U.S. policy grappled with recent nuclear tests in India and Pakistan and the development of longer-range missiles by Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan.
Through the SMDC, the Army improved the nation’s ability to defend against such missile threats. The first demonstration of the National Missile Defense program’s hit-to-kill ability against intercontinental ballistic missiles was scheduled to occur during FY 1999. Program delays forced postponement of the exoatmospheric kill vehicle test until early October 1999, after the end of the fiscal year. Other missile defense programs made more obvious progress. Continued development and testing of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile, with the ability to intercept targets at twice the range of earlier versions, expanded the Army’s theater ballistic missile defense capabilities in FY 1999. The Theater High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) program, intended to supplement the advanced Patriot missile by extending theater defense capabilities to higher altitudes and fielding the first interceptor specifically designed to defend against theater ballistic missiles, advanced the Army’s defensive capabilities. The THAAD achieved two successful intercepts in FY99 testing. Both the PAC-3 and THAAD intercepts were hit-to-kill, with the interceptors physically striking their targets. The Army’s success in what has been called “hitting a bullet with a bullet” demonstrated the effectiveness of the hit-to-kill technology.
But not all missiles approach their targets on ballistic trajectories.
Cruise missiles are a difficult target for air defense systems because of
their small size and low altitude, which combine to limit detection ranges
and response times. One solution to that problem is the modification of
an existing forward air defense system developed by the Army Materiel
Command’s Aviation and Missile Command—the Avenger, which places
eight turret-mounted Stinger missiles on a high-mobility, multipurpose,
wheeled vehicle. In early 1999, the Army exercised an option to begin
procuring an upgrade kit for the Avenger. The upgrade will provide “slew-to-cue” capability, directing the modified
platform toward a target before its onboard fire-control system even detects the target. An electronic link with
other sensors will provide the necessary information and shave precious
seconds from Avenger’s response time. By harnessing information network
technology, the slew-to-cue upgrade will increase the Army’s ability to
provide theater defense against cruise missiles.
The SMDC made significant progress in an innovative cruise missile defense system during FY 1999. The Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS) is a tethered aerostat equipped with a sensor array that enables it to see over the horizon, unlike land- or sea-based radar. It can thus detect low-flying cruise missiles much earlier than can other sensor systems. In exercises conducted in March, the JLENS for the first time provided a link between an offshore Navy Aegis cruiser and a land-based Patriot air defense system located at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The Army Acquisition Executive approved the JLENS for an acquisition category II program later that month. During the Roving Sands ‘99 training exercise, the JLENS successfully tracked multiple low-altitude targets at a range of two hundred miles.
Truly space-based technologies are becoming ever more important as the services digitize, providing crucial communications links and support for intelligence, navigation, and missile early-warning systems. The SMDC established the Force Development and Integration Center in FY 1997. The center addresses a mission given to the SMDC without corresponding resources: the integration into broader planning and development activities of doctrine, training, leadership development, organizational, materiel, and personnel functions related to space systems, national missile defense, and theater missile defense. The center’s efforts produced several notable achievements during the fiscal year, including the Army’s May 1999 announcement of the selection of the first officers designated as space operations officers. Officers designated in that field assist in managing and planning space capabilities and in integrating them into the Army. The center also drafted the Army’s Theater Air and Missile Defense Master Plan and initiated the Army Space Mix Study to investigate potential space capabilities for the Army in the coming century.
In FY 1999, there were several other developments in the Army’s pursuit of space capabilities. The Office of the National Missile Defense TRADOC System Manager was created and chartered in the fourth quarter of FY 1999 as a subordinate element of the SMDC. Its charter authorized the office to act as the Army’s representative, manager, and integrator for the entire spectrum of doctrine, training, leader development, organizational, materiel, and soldier products associated with the land-based National Missile Defense system. And the SMDC Battle Lab’s iridium telephone system became fully operational in November 1998. Supported by a constellation of seventy satellites, it is a truly global telephone system that improves the Army’s communications capabilities anywhere in the world.