National Guard Special Forces: Enhancing the Contributions of Reserve Component Army Special Operations Forces
RAND ARROYO CENTER SANTA MONICA CA
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This study was undertaken to help the commanding general, U.S. Army Special Operations Command USASOC, develop options for enhancing the contributions of U.S Army National Guard ARNG Special Forces by making them a purpose-driven force rather than simply a copy of the active component AC forces under his command. The intent was to provide data to inform deliberations regarding the potential future direction of ARNG Special Forces. First, we examined and described the policy framework for ARNG Special Forces. This framework establishes the latitude available to USASOC in creating a purpose-driven ARNG Special Forces. Second, the research sought to determine the strengths and weaknesses of ARNG Special Forces Groups. This effort involved conducting surveys, interviews, and a literature review to support comparison of AC and National Guard attributes, capabilities, capacities, and authorities. This comparison is the basis for subsequent recommendations, based on a consensus between the AC and ARNG Special Forces on those missions and tasks for which the National Guard units are well suited. Third, the research developed a menu to offer USASOC as recommendations for developing options to enhance ARNG Special Forces contributions to USASOC. These options emphasized missions e.g., Afghanistan village security and units e.g., ODA and ODB that lie within the ACARNG consensus on the most suitable employment of ARNG Special Forces.
- Military Forces and Organizations