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Fort Stewart to increase its deploying units by 66 percent
Army News Service ^ | Jan. 21, 2004 | Sgt. 1st Class Marcia Triggs

Posted on 01/21/2004 12:43:25 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl


 
Fort Stewart to increase its deploying units by 66 percent

By Sgt. 1st Class Marcia Triggs

(Editor's note: This is the second in a series of articles on Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker's focus areas. This one discusses "Modularity.")

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 20, 2004) - "It's like breaking China," said the commanding general who has proposed to make his division larger, diversify his brigades and turn all his Soldiers into riflemen.

Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga., seized Baghdad and helped in the stabilization of Fallujah. They know what tactics work against an unconventional enemy, and what vulnerabilities make American troops targets.

Their task now is to turn their three brigades into five rapidly deployable "brigade units of action" that are able to plug into any division and independently fight a high intensity conflict.

"The chief told me that he wants five maneuver brigades ... to respond to all the needs of combatant commanders when a crisis occurs, and he said that he wants it to happen ASAP," said Maj. Gen. William Webster, 3rd Inf. Div. commanding general, referring to instructions given to him by the Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker.

Part of Schoomaker's instruction was to see if the reorganization could take place using existing resources within the division. However, the proposal on the table now would cause the division to get larger by about 2,000 to 3,000 troops, said Webster. The brigade numbers would stay the same, but combat troops would decrease by about 10 to 15 percent, he added.

Each brigade unit of action will have one fewer company-size element and less artillerymen, Webster said. However, it will have more military policemen, better command and control assets to talk to each other over long distances, and more certified troops to call in close air support, he added.

The transformation of the mechanized division will require more than requesting more troops and equipment; the Soldiers are in for some tumultuous times because they are going to have to break precious ways the Army used to do business to create a new organization.

"Soldiers don't mind breaking things," Webster said, "but in the beginning it will be difficult because there will be some frustration and confusion. It's not something that they can't do, but it will be a big challenge.

"They will need to get their equipment combat ready again. Junior leaders will have to learn a number of new tasks and then retrain a lot of new Soldiers. There will be engineers, medics, artillerymen and a host of other Soldiers who will be assigned to a brigade commander who is not accustomed to taking care of Soldiers with their job specialties."

Change has begun, and one of the first lessons learned from Iraq that is being implemented into the reorganization is making sure that every Soldier is comfortable being a Soldier first, Webster said. Soldiers must be confident and competent with their own weapons and be able to pick up their buddies' weapons, he added.

There is a program in place now were Soldiers will be shooting a lot more ammunition and using a lot more simulators than before, Webster said. Everyone from the journalists and the mechanics to the brigade commander will have the same level of confidence along with being able to live and defend themselves in the field from the front to the rear," he added.

"The enemy is learning from us," Webster said, "and they know that not all of our vehicles are armed and that not all of our Humvees are armored, and they're looking for vulnerabilities to strike with explosive devises and rocket-propelled grenades.

"So we want our Soldiers and their vehicles to exude a fearless confidence that would make the enemy think twice before attacking a convoy or command post."

Webster is working with the Army staff to acquire more machine guns and grenade launchers to put on vehicles, so on the battlefield there will be more crew-served weapons to attack or defend.

While in Baghdad the division had to secure high value assets and set up numerous checkpoints to prevent terrorist attacks. Security missions alone started to absorb Soldiers and equipment all over the city. Webster's goal is to train more Soldiers to fight, so that combat Soldiers don't have to be used to secure a service support unit.

Besides changes to training tasks, other challenges at the division level will be overcoming the chaos that will occur when every unit identification code is affected. UICs are alphanumerical codes that help supplies flow to units. It's a system that allows personnel actions to occur, training readiness to be recorded and money to be budgeted.

"We are going to perform a very complex process of moving property from one UIC to another," Webster said. "I predict that some parts we order for one company will show up in another company. We're just going to have to make sure that things don't go awry."

In order to make sure that this massive restructuring project meets the Army chief's guidelines, a division staff was created. Lt. Col Eric Wesley is the chief of Reorganization, G7, and he served as the executive officer for the division's 2nd brigade combat team during the push into Baghdad.

"We have a near-term mission," Wesley said, "which is to plan and then develop a course of action to increase our deployable entities and ensure that the division doesn't have to deploy every time a brigade-size element does.

"In the meantime, we must remain combat ready. We don't have the luxury of conducting tests, standing down a unit for an extended period of time and experimenting."

This is not a 3rd Inf. Div. initiative, Wesley iterated. This is an Army initiative, and Training and Doctrine Command has the long-term mission, he said.

TRADOC was given the responsibility of focusing on Modularity, which is one of Schoomaker's 16 focus areas, Webster said. Modularity would give smaller units a degree of flexibility and more power. The 3rd Inf. Div.'s role is more immediate, but will keep TRADOC informed to help them with their long-term Armywide reorganization plans, he said.

Previsously, whenever there was a change to be made in the Army it would be handed to TRADOC to do an analysis and within a few years come up with and execute a plan, Wesley said. Now both organizations have parallel guidance.

Reorganize, train, tweak some more and go back and train some more until it's time to deploy again, is the direction Webster has from Schoomaker. The first newly formed brigade unit of action will be trained at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin Calif., in March.

The first three brigades will be fairly easy to reorganize, but standing up the last two will take some time because more people and equipment are needed to make them whole, Webster added.

The 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky., commanded by Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, has the mission of reorganizing next. The 101st Abn. Div. has officially begun to redeploy their more than 18,000 troops after serving in peration Iraqi Freedom.

"What I have initiated to do for (Major) General Petraeus is to let him know what courses of action didn't work for us and what concepts caused the Army staff some difficulties," Webster said. "We will offer them anything that will help them start at a level further down the road than we started."

www.ARMY.mil OCPA Public Affairs Home www.ARMY.mil OCPA Public Affairs Home


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; US: Georgia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 3rdid; army; fortstewart; transformation

1 posted on 01/21/2004 12:43:27 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; TEXOKIE; Alamo-Girl; windchime; Grampa Dave; anniegetyourgun; ...
Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga., seized Baghdad and helped in the stabilization of Fallujah. They know what tactics work against an unconventional enemy, and what vulnerabilities make American troops targets.

Their task now is to turn their three brigades into five rapidly deployable "brigade units of action" that are able to plug into any division and independently fight a high intensity conflict.

Change has begun..."Soldiers will be shooting a lot more ammunition and using a lot more simulators than before"..."we want our Soldiers and their vehicles to exude a fearless confidence that would make the enemy think twice before attacking a convoy or command post."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

 
3rd Infantry Division, ping!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you want on or off the Pro-Coalition ping list, please Freepmail me, Calpernia or xzins. Warning: it is a high volume ping list on good days. (Most days are good days).

2 posted on 01/21/2004 12:44:40 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl ("The chapter of Iraq's history - Saddam Hussein's reign of terror - is now closed." Lt. Gen. Sanchez)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
turn all his Soldiers into riflemen.

That has been SOP with the Marines since the Korean War.

3 posted on 01/21/2004 12:47:10 PM PST by mfulstone
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl; mfulstone
About time, it would seem!
4 posted on 01/21/2004 12:48:35 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
This is the beginning of "transformation." At the suggestion of a FReeper, I picked up "Breaking the Phalanx" which seems to the road map.

The idea is to make a brigade size unit the basic unit of deployment instead of the division. Divisions would be more like corps - a headquarters that can pick up the brigades it needs tailored to the mission. The Brigades will not be just like present brigades, but will have beefed up electronic, chemical defense, civil affairs and other capabilities now in demand. The Brigades will also have their own organic support units of the kinds now assigned to divisions. Air defense and artillery seem to be taking the biggest hits.

5 posted on 01/21/2004 12:59:44 PM PST by colorado tanker ("There are but two parties now, Traitors and Patriots")
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
3rd Infantry Division ~ Bump!
6 posted on 01/21/2004 1:01:56 PM PST by blackie
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Bump!
7 posted on 01/21/2004 1:03:47 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Good post. If I understand right, up until now U. S. divisions have had pretty much the same organization since WWII. The changes describe here make good sense -- seems like a way of getting more flexibility and combat power from the same number of soldiers.

It's good to have grownups in charge at the Pentagon -- not the people who just coast on tradition.
8 posted on 01/21/2004 1:13:11 PM PST by 68skylark
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Arviragus
"Unit of Action" Ugh. Military units don't need bureaucratic sounding names. Better to redefine and use a military word like regiment or brigade.

I agree the two levels of maintenance won't work until there is new equipment. The only way it might work is if the trains had a stock of replacement vehicles and the crews would trade out a damaged vehicle for new, but that's not very compatible with the "just in time" concept.

10 posted on 01/21/2004 1:46:17 PM PST by colorado tanker ("There are but two parties now, Traitors and Patriots")
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
I have a good hunch that there is more to this than just the PR that is being presented.

Looking into this.

11 posted on 01/21/2004 2:11:21 PM PST by Radix (.It is Wednesday, it is Pancakes, and it is only 11 days until Super Bowl XXXVIII.)
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: Arviragus
I saw the other thread. I absolutely agree on "lessons learned," but I have problems with characterizing the logistics plan as a failure. The front line units went farther faster than any mechanized unit in history. Granted they had to stop for a couple of days to resupply, but we ought to recognize successes as well as failures or we'll learn the wrong lesson.

Just in time has revolutionized civilian distribution systems and would work well in peacetime. I also have doubts about it's adaptation into the military because it depends on reliable high speed transport, like air frieght. In war everything is in flux - you know, SNAFU.

The point about integrating communications is excellent. I recall many years ago being in charge of resupply in a field exercise in Germany. I left an ammo supply point to return to the unit, but someone had given me transposed coordinates. Finally, I just guessed where the battalion went based on tactical instincts, switched my radio to the tactical net on high power and cruised until I picked up chatter sounding like my unit. Between the chatter and my map I figured out exactly where they were - I know, not very great radio discipline. But the logistics folks need to know where the combat units are - just look at the 507th's story.

13 posted on 01/21/2004 2:56:06 PM PST by colorado tanker ("There are but two parties now, Traitors and Patriots")
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Arviragus
Sorry I was opaque. I was referring to the comments attributed to the logistics report on the other thread, not to your comments.

No doubt about it - the combat units were moving so fast it was impossible for the logistics units to keep up. General Patton's "like crap going through a goose."

15 posted on 01/21/2004 3:13:33 PM PST by colorado tanker ("There are but two parties now, Traitors and Patriots")
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To: colorado tanker
bttt
16 posted on 01/21/2004 3:50:25 PM PST by getgoing
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To: colorado tanker
Do you like "Battle Group" better than "Unit of Action"?

The PENTOMIC Division

In the late 1950s, the Army reorganized each infantry division into a "pentomic division" with five battle groups in preparation for tactical nuclear war in Europe. These groups were, in effect, large battalions. Each battle group had five rifle companies, a combat support company, and appropriate field artillery and service support. The battle groups were self-sustaining, could be employed singly or in combinations, and remained largely unchanged during the 1950s.

Under the pentomic organization the infantry division lost one 155-mm and two 105-mm howitzer battalions, but a single composite unit, consisting of one 8-inch howitzer, one Honest John, and two 155-mm howitzer batteries, was added to increase its firepower. The infantry division also lost its regimental tank company, but its reconnaissance company was replaced with an armored cavalry battalion. Each infantry division had more than 100 tanks.

17 posted on 01/21/2004 5:00:13 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (The road to Glory cannot be followed with too much baggage.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Never heard of the "Pentomic Division." The more things change, the more they remain the same!
18 posted on 01/21/2004 5:07:29 PM PST by colorado tanker ("There are but two parties now, Traitors and Patriots")
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To: 68skylark; Ragtime Cowgirl; colorado tanker; Arviragus; getgoing
We trained hard
19 posted on 01/21/2004 5:15:13 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (The road to Glory cannot be followed with too much baggage.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
LOL!
20 posted on 01/21/2004 5:25:03 PM PST by colorado tanker ("There are but two parties now, Traitors and Patriots")
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Lol...on the other hand...

....this guy came up with a few new tricks and put them into practice pretty effectively:

8 3ID artillery NCO wins Gruber Award

(^:

21 posted on 01/21/2004 5:29:54 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl ("The chapter of Iraq's history - Saddam Hussein's reign of terror - is now closed." Lt. Gen. Sanchez)
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To: colorado tanker
Most folks haven't heard of the PENTOMIC Division. If they had, we probably wouldn't be trying to reinvent this wheel. The ROAD structure worked just fine last spring, when we still wanted to kill people and break things.
The laws of physics and the blivet principle dictate that you can divvy up a division worth of 30 pounds of horse manure into three 10-lb brigade bags or five 6-lb battle group bags, but in the end you still only have 30 pounds of it.
22 posted on 01/21/2004 5:32:23 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (The road to Glory cannot be followed with too much baggage.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
What seems to be driving this is the obsession with rapid deployment - the same reason they want to ditch the M-1 and Bradley for the Future Combat System. I wish they'd work as hard at upgrading our lift capabilities as they are at changing the best army in the world.
23 posted on 01/21/2004 5:40:06 PM PST by colorado tanker ("There are but two parties now, Traitors and Patriots")
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To: colorado tanker
Objective Force Echelonment
24 posted on 01/21/2004 6:40:42 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (The road to Glory cannot be followed with too much baggage.)
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To: colorado tanker; SLB; M1Tanker
The US Army is getting out of the business of preparing to engage and defeat other armies. Conventional major theater war is no longer seriously considered.

Nation-states and their armies are now seen as less likely adversaries than irregulars, terrorists, war lords and pirates.

The Army is poorly positioned to prosper in a world in which no other armies exist which can challenge it in conventional combat. They are scrambling for relevance in a future of Fourth Generation Warfare, Asymmetric Warfare and operations other than war

25 posted on 01/21/2004 7:25:28 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (The road to Glory cannot be followed with too much baggage.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
I heard the same thing after Kosovo - no more conventional wars, we're only going to have OOTW. Gen. Zinni was pushing that hard. Then we had to fight a conventional, mechanized war in Iraq. Seems to me Iraq proves we need to be capable of both. There are still potential opponents out there who have large conventional armies, like North Korea and China. We may need the conventional force if diplomacy fails with Iran or Syria. Or, what if a future Russian government turns aggressor with dreams of a renewed Russian empire?
26 posted on 01/22/2004 9:33:59 AM PST by colorado tanker ("There are but two parties now, Traitors and Patriots")
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