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Deployment of Members of the National Guard and Reserve in the Global War on Terrorism
DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
Use of the reserve components in support of overseas contingencies has increased significantly since September 11, 2001 and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. Although the number of reserve component members on active duty has declined over the past few years, from a peak in May 2003, the current level still remains far higher than in decades past. This level of effort is expected to continue as long as the reserves are used as part of the rotational force supporting these ongoing operations. These circumstances have evoked considerable concern over whether such use can be sustained by the service members called to duty and, equally important, whether such use might affect the viability of the all- volunteer force over the long run. Thus, the Defense Science Board, under direction by Congress, examined the issue of length and frequency of the deployment of members of the National Guard and reserves in the global war on terrorism. The findings and recommendations resulting from this study are as follows The task force was impressed with the dedication and professionalism of the members of the National Guard and reserves. They are performing to a very high standard under great strain. The task force is very concerned for their future if the strain is not relieved. Given current levels of operational demand, todays Army active, National Guard, and reserve force structure will not support DODs policy mandating dwell times of one year deployed and two years not deployed 12 for the active force and one year mobilized and five years not mobilized 15 for the reserve components. End-strength increases currently authorized will not be sufficient to meet the established goals. Task force discussions with representatives of the National Guard, the reserves, employers, family members, and the state governors demonstrated a consensus that 15 dwell time would satisfy their needs for predictability and sustainability.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE