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Logistics leaders outline force design changes.

During the Army Sustainment Symposium, held in Richmond, Virginia, this May, key Army sustainment leaders laid out how Army units will change to become the Army of 2020.

Brigadier General John R. O'Connor, the Deputy Chief of Staff; G-4, for the Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), said that no later than fiscal year (FY) 2015, force structure reductions and equipment retrograde are expected to facilitate increased readiness and the ability to conduct home-station training. In the years that follow, FORSCOM's predominant readiness focus will be contingency mission sets.

"No later than FY 16, sufficient joint, intergovernmental, multinational, and interagency capabilities will be available to corps and divisions," said General O'Connor. "Not later than [FY] 17, end strength decreases for the Active component will be at 490,000, Army National Guard 450,000, and USAR [the Army Reserve] at 205,000."

To support Army structure changes, the "Army 2020" effort shapes the force to meet the operational environment with this smaller end strength. Major General James L. Hodge, the commanding general of the Army Combined Arms Support Command, explained that under this design all brigade combat teams (BCTs) will include a third maneuver battalion. According to General Hodge, maneuver commanders also want a brigade engineer battalion (BEB) in each Stryker, infantry, and heavy BCT. "So we're looking at converting special troops battalions into BEBs for those formations," said General Hodge.

He noted that reductions in engineer vertical and horizontal capabilities inside of the BCT are being considered. So are eliminating military police and combat observation/lasing teams from the BCTs and migrating those capabilities to echelons above brigade.

Within the sustainment community, moving capabilities out of the brigade support battalion formations is being considered for water production, infantry troop transport, bulk fuel, and some distribution provided by heavy expanded-mobility tactical trucks.

"We'll migrate that out of the BCT in order to help keep the force size where we want it," said General Hodge. "And we'll move those capabilities to echelons above brigade."

In regard to fuel distribution, General Hodge noted that there is concern that so much echelons-above-brigade capability resides in the Reserve component, including petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) planning at the expeditionary sustainment command and theater sustainment command levels.

"Some of the specific gaps associated with it are early-entry tactical receipt distribution, mission command, POL. liaison, quality assurance and quality supervision, the engineer oversight that you need when you put in the IPDS (the inland petroleum distribution system), and of course, some technical expertise at all echelons," said General Hodge.

This is why a force design update (FDU) is currently underway for POL. Also undergoing review is the military occupational specialty 92Y (unit supply specialist) force design, which is expected to improve property accountability as units return to the unit maintained equipment program.

"We've identified through our processes that we have a significant gap in terms of something as simple as the basic number of Soldiers who are in company-level supply rooms," said General Hodge. "This FDU gets at a phased approach of getting the right numbers of our Soldiers to work in the supply rooms to handle the tremendously significant number of transactions that they have to handle."

Army Acquisition Corps Continues to Grow

Despite the overall downsizing trend the Army will see in corning years, the Army Acquisition Corps is expected to double its workforce by the end of fiscal year 2013.

The corps continues to seek qualified officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) to be part of its ranks. Officers should be in their 6th or 7th year of service and be a captain who is branch qualified in another specialty in order to transfer to functional area 51. On the NCO side, the Acquisition Corps is seeking sergeants and staff sergeants with less than 10 years of service who are in balanced or overstrength military occupational specialties (MOSs) to transfer to MOS 51 C (acquisition NCO).

Interested Soldiers should send a reclassification packet through their appropriate human resources channels. The Army Acquisition Support Center at Huntsville, Alabama, holds quarterly boards to select the best-qualified Soldiers.
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Title Annotation:HEADLINES
Publication:Army Sustainment
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2012
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