How to Maintain an Operational Reserve? Further Engaging Army Reserve Component Forces in the Coming Decade
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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As Active Army end strength declines and policy makers favor operationally relevant Army Reserve Components, Army planners and lawmakers must consider employing Army National Guard and Army Reserve units in enduring missions, such as the Sinai or Kosovo, and in overseas partnership exercises. Over the past thirteen years Army Reserve Component units have deployed on numerous occasions and developed leaders and soldiers who are more ready for future mobilizations and deployments than their predecessors of the 19th and 20th centuries. To maintain this level of Reserve Component readiness, the Army must continue employing these units in overseas operations to maintain unit readiness and leader proficiency and relevance. To do this, Congress will need to provide the Army with budget predictability, enabling the Army to fund the additional pay and allowances associated with mobilizing Reserve Component units for overseas missions. This flexibility will allow the Army to meet ongoing mission requirements, while minimizing the risk involved with tying Active Army forces in those ongoing missions instead of having those units available to meet crisis situations in Korea, Eastern Europe, or Africa. If national leaders desire to avoid over-stressing the Active Army and maintain reserve component readiness, they should resource the operational reserve that they profess to desire.
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