Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1969
The Army's force development mission encompasses the organization, training, and mobilization of ground forces. To carry it out the Army develops plans, concepts, and doctrine and determines therefrom how forces will be structured, manned, and equipped. In fiscal year 1969 this responsibility was shaped by the immediate influences of the war in Vietnam and the longer range task of matching resources with estimated requirements progressively into the future.
Plans and Programs
The Army Force Development Plan is the principal document that guides the current integration of resources for the Army. It develops in detail the approved force structure, analyzes it for weaknesses, and proposes corrective action. Published annually, it knits together the complex structure, organization, equipment, concepts, doctrine, personnel, and funding needs for the approved land force. The fiscal year 1969 plan was developed from guidance on strategy, objectives, and forces set out in directives from higher authority.
The instrument that sets the guidelines into the future is a 20-year plan that advances annually. The Army Force Development Plan (AFDP) 1970-89 was developed against a background of strategic concepts, estimates, and assumptions, and in the light of Army missions and undertakings. Approved in May 1969, it focused on the 1972 baseline forcedistribution of active and reserve component forces; strength and composition of division forces; requirements for special mission forces; and the adequacy of personnel, materiel, and modernization programs. Certain disparities were revealed: distribution of division initial and sustaining support increments between the active Army and reserves does not match programed strategic lift resources; structural changes have created imbalances in the 48,000-man division force package; there are imbalances between special mission and general support forces; priorities must be set to correct manpower deficiencies; resources must be adjusted to correct equipment deficiencies; civilian to military manpower ratios must be adjusted; and materiel modernization plans must match force development plans. Over-all, the AFDP 1970-89 was more responsive to Army- and Defense-wide planning systems than in previous years, and a number of proposals and recommendations were approved by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
In fiscal year 1968 a Modular Force Planning System was developed to calculate support unit requirements for a theater of operations. Identified as the "battalion slice," the computerized model was developed on the philosophy that all support units in a theater are there to provide supplies, maintenance, and services to combat units whose mission is to engage the enemy. The system produces a fully structured and theater-oriented troop list by table of organization and equipment and calculates total personnel strength, tonnages, cubages, and costs of the force. The model was tested in October 1968 and accepted in February 1969 for Army Staff use.
The use of data from the force accounting system to identify current, programed, and planned personnel authorizations, materiel requirements, and force computations increased greatly during fiscal year 1969. Refinement of the system, purification of its data, relationship with other automated systems, and improved procedures have made it possible to provide the Army Staff with accurate data through which to manage Army resources.
Automation was also applied in another area of force planning during the year. Project Forewon is a research effort to design an automated force planning system for determining Army general purpose land force requirements and capabilities. The objective is to develop a system of computerized models through which it would be possible to examine a wide range of force planning problems more thoroughly and rapidly than is possible with existing techniques and procedures. A second objective is to carry forward basic research in parallel with system design to advance the state of the art. The major models that comprise the system address such functional areas as combat forces, support forces, force costs, and strategic mobility resources. Each model was designed to operate independently. During fiscal 1969, model design, programing, and validation were completed. An extensive test was begun in June and will be completed in September 1969. It is anticipated that the system will become fully operational in fiscal year 1970, to support the Army Planning System.
Training and Schooling
The expansion of the Army and the buildup in Southeast Asia both reached a crest early in fiscal year 1969, and the remainder of the year saw appropriate adjustments in the training picture. The training base was reduced in August 1968 from 590 to 560 basic combat training companies, and as the year progressed, infantry advanced individual training companies were cut from 130 to 110. During fiscal year 1968, 533,100 active Army and 32,510 Reserve Enlistment Program trainees entered the training base. In fiscal year 1969 the totals were 455,800 and 67,472 respectively.
The plan to equip all basic combat training units with the M-16 rifle, a conversion scheduled for completion in fiscal year 1969, had to be modified as a result of diversions to the high priority modernization program for South Vietnamese troops. Thus only units at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and Fort Jackson, South Carolina, were equipped with the new rifle. Conversion is now scheduled to be completed in February 1970.
Since the inception of Project 100,000, under which youths with correctable educational deficiencies or minor physical defects are accepted and given remedial attention, over 146,000 men have been accepted by the Army. About 12 percent of all accessions without prior service fall into this category; 36 percent have a score below fifth grade reading level; 84.3 percent have been given remedial reading to assist them in basic and advanced training. (The remedial reading program was modified in September 1968, when the training was opened to all eligibles and was scheduled to be conducted prior to basic combat training. Those who require remedial training and complete it enter the second week of basic combat training.) Otherwise, these men are trained at the regular centers and schools and in approximately 170 occupational specialties, of which about 150 are related to civilian-type skills and trades. At present about 42 percent are assigned to combat skills and 58 percent in support skills. Over 90 percent of Project 100,000 men are performing adequately in their jobs.
The Army school system continued to meet worldwide requirements for trained personnel. Priority was given to training that supported Southeast Asia requirements. In fiscal year 1969, 413,000 personnel entered Army schools.
The skill development base program has had considerable impact on Army training concepts, manpower management, and the ability of the Army to fill its requirements in grades E-5 and E-6. The objective of the program is to train individuals so that they may perform satisfactorily in their initial duty assignment. This training is undertaken immediately following basic combat and advanced individual training and is normally of 21 to 24 weeks' duration. During fiscal year 1969 approximately 11,600 enlisted men were graduated from 42 courses of instruction and promoted to either E-5 or E-6 under this program. Reports from commanders in Vietnam indicate that these men are doing well in combat.
The Army's civil schooling program, which provides military personnel with advanced education to fill validated requirements for senior staff, technical, and school positions, was expanded during the past year. An average of 990 students were enrolled in the program and 649 completed their studies during 1969 and received degrees. An additional 462 personnel attended short specialized courses at civilian institutions.
As a result of an increased aviation training output of 610 pilots per month beginning in July 1968, the Army now trains more aviators than all of the other services combined. In addition to the 7,561 active Army pilots trained in fiscal year 1969, the Army also trained 150 U.S. Marine Corps pilots and 180 foreign military students.
The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program continues to be a viable one, this year producing over 16,000 officers, the largest number from any source for any service. It also continues to be the least expensive commissioning program in the Army. During the year, new policies and curricula were developed for Senior ROTC that would tailor the program to meet the combined needs of the Army, the institution, and the student. In fiscal year 1969 the program flourished. However, there was a marked increase in the number of anti-ROTC incidents, in addition to certain faculty and student attacks on curriculum content, academic credit, professorial rank, and the availability and use of facilities.
The Officer Candidate School (OCS) program provided the Army with 8,900 commissioned officers during the year. The course for male officers, 23 weeks in length, is conducted at Fort Benning, Georgia, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The Women's Army Corps OCS is 18 weeks in length and is conducted at Fort McClellan, Alabama. Fiscal year 1970 production is presently programed at a level of 9,300 officers for all courses.
A U.S. Army War College nonresident course was initiated in fiscal year 1969. Its purpose is to prepare senior active Army and reserve component officers for command and key staff responsibilities at major military and departmental headquarters. The nonresident course was conceived to supply qualitative augmentation to the production of the regular course at the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. The new course provides added depth to the active Army educational base and fills a void in military education for officers of the Army reserve components. About 200 qualified officers are selected for participation annually, half from the active Army and half from among Ready Reservists not on active duty.
The correspondence study program closely parallels the resident course at the Army War College. Both have the same curricular themethe development of a national strategy and a supporting program. The nonresident course extends over a 2-year period. The studies in the primary areas of strategic appraisal, strategy, and military planning require from three to seven hours per week of the student's off-duty time. A 2-week resident phase at Carlisle Barracks is scheduled in the summer at mid-course. The first class will graduate in the summer of 1970.
Although the primary purpose of all Army training and schooling is to prepare personnel to further the Army's role in national defense, attention is given to their eventual return to civilian life and their future roles as citizens. Project Transition is a program designed to make available to military personnel in-service training and educational opportunities that will increase their chances for employment in civilian life. It is primarily concerned with personnel who were poorly educated or had no marketable civilian skill when brought into the Army and were unable to improve their civilian job potential before separation. Assistance is afforded in vocational skill training, counseling, and educational upgrading; attention is centered on helping personnel attain high-school-level background. Substantial assistance is being received from both the public and private sectors. Length of training courses ranges from two to six weeks with a wide variety of subjects offered. Fifty-five CONUS Army installations are currently participating in the program.
Doctrine and Systems
The size, complexity, and cost of military systems today requires that they be kept under constant surveillance and review. During fiscal year 1969 there were reviews of a number of systems and programs. In the functional area, for example, the first infantry battalion system review was held at Fort Benning, Georgia, to consider the infantry battalion as a combat system, its organization, and its training requirements.
The combat vehicle program was reviewed twice in the fiscal year, with special attention being focused on the M-551 Sheridan, the M-60A1E2 tank, and the main battle tank 1970. The Army aviation program was appraised, an artillery program review was held to formulate development and procurement up through the 1980's, and the air defense program was reviewed to evaluate the Army's worldwide situation in this regard.
An Army small arms program was established in January 1968 to provide direction and guidance over small arms development. Two major conferences were held on this subject during the fiscal year, and in November 1968 the U.S. Army Small Arms Systems Agency began limited operations leading to its eventual assumption of management responsibility for most small arms systems.
During the year a new stock for the M-16A1 rifle was developed and tested; it provides a compartment for the rifleman's cleaning equipment. The XM-203 40-mm. grenade launcher attachment for this rifle was also completed and was tested in Vietnam. Meanwhile, conversion to this new rifle continued. The older M-1 and M-14 rifles are being replaced as the M-16A1 becomes available and the South Vietnamese modernization program is completed.
The development of modern tools of war, whether rifles or tanks, helicopters or missiles, is highly expensive, increasingly technical, unusually complex, and always advancing. Various elements and characteristicsammunition, propulsion, fuel, optics, communications, guidance, protection, mobility, weight, sizeare constantly evolving and changing as technology advances. In major combat vehicles, for example, numerous elements must be blended in appropriate combinations, taking full advantage of, and indeed advancing, the state of the art. Alternatives in any and all component parts of any system must be investigated. The combination that is selected may be the only feasible solution and will usually represent a compromise between competing characteristics. Some lines of developmental investigation will prove fruitless; some development will fall short of expectations; some prototypes will fail to make the grade; some production models will contain bugs. Yet the most unprofitable lines of inquiry and the most unsuccessful test models are not failures; all contribute to the sum of knowledge, help point the way to success, play a part in the process through which the Army insures that materiel placed in the hands of troops will be the best that brains, technology, energy, money, facilities, and time will allow.
Within this context, there were problems and progress in Army combat weapons systems during fiscal year 1969. Several systems received national attention as a result of press coverage, citizen opposition, congressional consideration, and Army action, among them the Sentinel-Safeguard, the Cheyenne helicopter, the main battle tank 1970, and the Sheridan armored assault vehicle.
The Cheyenne (AH-56A) was conceived as an integrated aerial weapons system, a high-speed and heavily armed helicopter to escort airmobile forces and provide direct fire support. Following award of the production contract, technical difficulties arose in the prototype aircraft. On May 19, 1969, when it appeared that production schedules would not be met with aircraft that would meet performance specifications, the production contract was terminated by the Army for default. As the year closed, the Cheyenne program was being evaluated to determine a course of action that would make maximum use of the work to date.
Broad public and congressional attention also centered on the M-551 armored reconnaissance assault vehicle. Named the Sheridan, this is a lightly armored, highly mobile, heavy gun system designed for airborne assault use. During fiscal year 1969 the Sheridan was deployed to Vietnam, Korea, and Europe for combat evaluation and training purposes. The battlefield assessment was completed in May 1969 and the Sheridan was found to be an effective mobile weapon readily responsive to the roles and missions of armored cavalry units. The vehicle performed well in the battlefield test, although problems were identified that will require correction.
Joint development on the main battle tank (MBT) by the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany continued during the year, with the range of problems to be expected when an entirely new tank is being created from the ground up. As in all hardware development, this program has been subjected to inflationary pressures. The MBT is scheduled for production in the mid-1970's and will incorporate the latest advances in engines, transmissions, fire control, suspension, automatic loading, armor protection, and human engineering. It will be manufactured in both countries, using common components and logistical support.
Development continued on a new infantry antitank-assault weapon family. As a result of testing in Vietnam, the M-72 light antitank-assault weapon (LAW) was refined, an improved warhead was produced for use in Vietnam, and new development objectives were set for a future model that would be fielded after 1975. Engineering development continued on the DRAGON medium antitank-assault weapon, and while no serious technical difficulties were encountered, management problems led to a complete program review. And finally, engineering and service testing (less environmental tests) was completed on the heavy version weapon in the family, the TOW. Production had begun as the year closed, with the first missile to be delivered in August 1969 and the first unit to be equipped in September 1970.
The performance of the PERSHING missile system and its readiness to serve in a quick reaction role improved during the 1969 fiscal year. Development and testing of ground support equipment continued on schedule. Service test of the PERSHING IA missile system was completed in August 1968 and the initial production test was completed in March 1969. Deployment in the continental U.S. training base began in April 1969.
In the field of surface-to-surface missiles, the LANCE moved along in the research and development phase while the system launching and transporting equipment reached the technical maturity levels required for production. This missile will replace the LITTLE JOHN, HONEST JOHN, and SERGEANT systems.
Army air defense forces were reduced during the year by 21 active Army and 4 Army National Guard NIKE-HERCULES firing batteries in 10 defense areas throughout the continental United States. The total defenses at St. Louis, Kansas City, and Dallas-Fort Worth were eliminated, while batteries were inactivated in the defenses of New England, New York-Philadelphia, Washington-Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago-Milwaukee, and Los Angeles.
As the HERCULES system will be in the Army tactical inventory well beyond the life cycle projected for it when it was deployed in 1958, it will be modified to extend its usefulness to a later phaseout. The
surface-to-air missile capability (SAMCAP) program was funded in the fiscal year 1969 budget. The program will increase the missile maneuverability and improve the electronic countermeasures capability of the HERCULES system.
The Army has been updating the basic HAWK missile system to make it more reliable, more lethal, and more useful tactically. The improved version will have increased range and altitude. To this end, engineering and flight test programs were completed during the year. The self-propelled version of the HAWK, with capabilities of the basic system, also moved along; training was begun in U.S. Army, Europe, and orders were issued directing the reorganization of the HAWK battalions in that command.
The SAM-D surface-to-air missile system will eventually replace the NIKE-HERCULES and HAWK. Advanced development continued during fiscal year 1969, with favorable indications as to technical progress. Procurement proceeded on the CHAPARRAL-Vulcan system, designed to defend the field Army against low altitude attacks.
In the Army aviation area, initial delivery was made on a 5-year procurement contract for 2,200 OH-58A Kiowa light observation helicopters, a single-engine craft designed to serve in armed reconnaissance, visual observation, target acquisition, and command and control.
In September 1967, the Army was instructed to proceed with the deployment of a ballistic missile defense system, using the NIKE-X program as a platform. Its primary purpose was to provide area protection to U.S. population centers against a possible Chinese missile attack in the 1970's, and additionally to offer an option to defend this country's land-based deterrent forces against a larger Soviet threat, should that occur. The Sentinel ballistic missile defense system, as it came to be known, consisted of five basic components: two types of radars (perimeter acquisition radar and missile site radar) ; two missiles (long-range SPARTAN and shorter range SPRINT) ; and a data processing (computer) system. As a "thin" (limited) deployment, Sentinel was to be installed originally at 17 geographical locations, among which were the metropolitan areas of Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The first site, that at Boston, was to be ready by October 1972, the last in October 1974.
During late calendar year 1967 and early 1968, surveys were carried out on several potential sites to determine the best location for planned facilities. At the same time, certain preliminary engineering was also accomplished. Between July and December 1968, the Army notified
Congress that it was proceeding to acquire land for sites in the vicinity of Boston, Chicago, and Seattle.
However, as a result of opposition to the program and certain changes in the threat, a newly elected administration began a reassessment of the Sentinel system as a part of an over-all strategic posture review. Concurrently, the Secretary of Defense in February 1969 issued a stop order on all land acquisition and site construction activities pending the outcome of the review. Meanwhile, studies were initiated to develop alternative sites away from cities, while research and development was to continue without interruption. In the reformulation of the deployment, basic considerations included a shift in emphasis from the defense of cities to the defense of deterrent forces; expansion of area defense to include the entire continental United States; and the desirability of incorporating any improvements to interceptors and radars, attained through further research and development, in proportion to the developing threat.
On March 14, 1969, the President, after careful and detailed examination of the program, announced his decision for a Sentinel system modified from that evolved by the previous administration. Under a new and measured deployment, it was conceived to fulfill three basic objectives: (1) safeguard U.S. retaliatory forces against advances made by the Soviet Union; (2) safeguard against any attack which Communist China could mount over the next decade; and (3) safeguard against any irrational or accidental attack of a lesser magnitude from any source. The President emphasized the "safeguard" or defensive character of such deployment, and out of the new concept came a new designationSafeguard systemwhich took effect on March 25, 1969. An annual review and assessment of the program would gauge the need for its continuation or expansion, depending upon periodic analysis of the developing threat, technical system advances, and progress in reaching a strategic arms limitation agreement.
The presidential decision attempted in a sense to occupy the middle ground, holding the system's deployment to modest proportions while permitting a cautious flexibility for the future. The reaction in Congress and among members of the scientific community was mixed, forecasting an intensification of opposing views as to the direction the program should follow.
Within the framework of the new objectives, Phase I of the limited deployment is to be at two MINUTEMAN sites only, those at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, and Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The other geographical areas, subject to future congressional consideration, were broadly identified as upper Northwest, central and southern California, southern New England, Wyoming, Missouri,
Florida-Georgia, central Texas, Washington, D.C., and Michigan-Ohio. Appropriate studies were undertaken to validate the tentative system configuration schedules and improve cost estimates wherever possible. In the light of these considerations, a comprehensive system design review was initiated to analyze the effectiveness of the new Safeguard system. The results were forwarded to the Secretary of the Army at the end of May 1969 with a recommendation for approval by the Secretary of Defense.
Throughout fiscal year 1969, considerable progress was made in developing the components of the system. The configuration of the perimeter acquisition radar (PAR) was defined, equipment layout was developed, performance and design specifications were drafted, and a test model was well under way. Construction, started in early 1968 on a prototype missile site radar (MSR), was completed at the Kwajalein Island test area, and the radar installation's data processing and programing activities became partially operational. Static tests were held on the SPRINT missile's ground support equipment and launch procedures, and SPARTAN components were improved for tactical use.
Some $861.4 million of Sentinel funds were made available to Safeguard and applied mostly to research and development, engineering, and production. Another $891.5 million was estimated for fiscal year 1970 funding, while the total Department of Defense investment for the first phase of the programprocurement of components and construction of the Montana and North Dakota siteswas estimated at $2.1 billion. Parallel to the reappraisal that continued throughout the fiscal year, a host of congressional inquiries came to the fore, those in the last quarter especially probing matters of budget allocation. The manpower baseline established by Safeguard encompassed requirements considered essential for limited deployment pending further assessment at the end of 1969.
The ABM program moved back into Congress for approval in its modified form at a time when cost overruns and inflationary pressures were in the national consciousness; when weapons requirements were being balanced against social needs; when estimates of the external threat were being questioned; when arms limitation talks were in the offing; and when there was something less than unanimity in the scientific community over the technical feasibility of the ballistic missile defense system. Controversy centered on all of these issues and the debate in Congress continued heatedly throughout the closing quarter of the year. As fiscal year 1969 came to an end, it appeared that the vote in the United States Senate on deployment of the Safeguard would come before the summer recess.
Return to Table of Contents
Last updated 9 August 2004