Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1977


Operational Forces

The Army during fiscal year 1977 worked to produce a 24-division force ready in all respects for successful operations in conventional warfare. A particular Army objective was to improve force readiness for operations in Europe, where the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact posed a strong threat to NATO. A collateral goal was to promote common doctrine, equipment, systems, and procedures among the diverse NATO forces so that they could function better as a team. Within the limits of new arms control measures announced by President Jimmy Carter and enacted by Congress, the Army also continued to support security assistance programs for developing the military forces of allied and other friendly nations.

Organization and Deployment

The basic structure under amplification was a total force of sixteen divisions in the active component and eight in the National Guard. The National Guard units numbered five infantry divisions, one mechanized infantry division, and two armored divisions. The active component included five infantry divisions, five mechanized infantry divisions, four armored divisions, one airborne division, and one air assault division. Of those sixteen, eleven divisions were stationed in the United States, including one in Hawaii; four were stationed in Germany; and one was located in Korea. Three of the sixteen had been activated during the past two fiscal years, and at the end of that period two of them were still short a brigade each.

While raising the three newest divisions, the Army remained under an authorized strength of about 790,000. Combat spaces for the new units were provided in part by reducing spaces allocated to headquarters and support troops. Since not enough such spaces could be made available to organize the divisions at full TOE (tables of organization and equipment) strength, the Army rounded them out by affiliating a National Guard brigade with each for training and mobilization, as-it had done earlier with one division. Applying the affiliation process more widely, the Army associated reserve component battalions with other fully organized divisions stationed in the United States to augment the divisions' combat power and designated still other reserve component battalions to receive assistance from active component units to improve deployment readiness. Altogether, ninety-six reserve battalions were affiliated as round-out, augmentation, or deployment capability improvement-units--eighty National Guard and sixteen Army Reserve.


Early in the year President Carter directed the withdrawal of American ground combat forces from South Korea over a five-year period. In May the Army began planning for the return of the 2d Infantry Division to the United States and considered its reorganization as a mechanized infantry division.

30 September 1977

Unit    Location
1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) (-)    Fort Riley, Kansas
2d Infantry Division    Korea
3d Infantry Division (Mechanized)    Germany
4th Infantry Division (Mechanized)    Fort Carson, Colorado
5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (-)    Fort Polk, Louisiana
7th Infantry Division (-)    Fort Ord, California
8th Infantry Division (Mechanized)    Germany
9th Infantry Division    Fort Lewis, Washington
24th Infantry Division (-)    Fort Stewart, Georgia
25th Infantry Division (-)    Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
82d Airborne Division    Fort Bragg, North Carolina
101st Airborne Division (Airmobile)    Fort Campbell, Kentucky
1st Armored Division    Germany
2d Armored Division    Fort Hood, Texas
3d Armored Division    Germany
lst Cavalry Division    Fort Hood, Texas
Berlin Brigade    Germany
a 3d Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized)    Germany
3d Brigade, 2d Armored Division (Brigade 75)    Germany
4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized-) (Brigade 76)    Germany
6th Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat)    Fort Hood, Texas
172d Infantry Brigade    Ft. Richardson, Alaska
193d Infantry Brigade    Ft. Kobbe, Canal Zone
194th Armored Brigade    Fort Knox, Kentucky
197th Infantry Brigade    Fort Benning, Georgia
2d Armored Cavalry    Germany
3d Armored Cavalry    Fort Bliss, Texas
11th Armored Cavalry    Germany

a Officially referred to as 1st Infantry Division Forward.

To increase mechanization further to help counter the advantage of Warsaw Pact forces in tanks and armored infantry combat vehicles, the Army planned to convert two other divisions from light to heavy, that is, from foot soldiers to mechanized infantry and armor, and from towed to self-propelled artillery, beginning in fiscal year 1978. One of


the three newest divisions will be included, the 24th Infantry, whose remaining brigade was activated this year with two tank battalions and one infantry battalion, instead of three infantry battalions as previously programmed.

The Army inactivated three artillery battalions in South Korea: the 3d Battalion, 81st Field Artillery, which was the last Sergeant battalion on active duty; the 1st Battalion, 42d Field Artillery, an Honest John unit; and the 2d Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery, a Nike Hercules battalion. This year the 68th Chemical Company was activated at Fort Hood, Texas, the first such activation stemming from last year's decision to establish a chemical defense company in each division because of the Soviet Union's superior ability to conduct chemical warfare. The 68th Company was organized as part of the 1st Cavalry Division with the mission of providing nuclear, biological, and chemical reconnaissance and decontamination support.


In personnel, equipment, and training, all major active Army units met or exceeded readiness goals set for fiscal year 1977. All but the three new divisions (5th, 7th, and 24th) and a reorganized armored brigade (194th) were either fully or substantially ready to execute their combat missions, and those exceptions were expected to reach combat readiness in fiscal year 1978.

The Army also made progress in force readiness, which includes the readiness of units as well as the ability to sustain their operations. Using the direct support system, a recently developed method of distributing supplies from depots in the United States straight to direct and general support commands, the Army eliminated intermediate distribution points, such as overseas depots and United States installations, and substantially reduced delivery time. Filling requisitions from Europe, for example, which previously required from 130 to 150 days, took an average of 51 days this year, close to the ultimate objective of 45 days.

To improve logistics and force readiness, the Army carried forward its Command Logistical Review Team Expanded (CLRTX) Program, an analysis of the logistic system from unit to national inventory control point (begun in April 1976 under the management of the Directorate for Materiel Readiness in the Office, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics). Major command review teams, augmented at times by members of other organizations experienced in particular areas of logistics, assessed all aspects of logistics, including doctrine, training, personnel, and funding in a number of active Army and reserve component commands.

Similar to the CLRTX program, a direct logistical support system was being developed in fiscal year 1977 on the premise that a unit's logistical readiness was affected not only by the traditional functions of supply,


maintenance, transportation, and services, but also by personnel, training, doctrine, and funding. As envisioned, new procedures would force continuous consideration of those interrelated factors. Technical channels of communication would foster a flow of information upward and a flow of guidance and solutions downward through all echelons of command. Key links in the technical channels would be logistic assistance organizations established by the Materiel Development and Readiness Command at division, corps, and major command levels. Those organizations would detect problems, help solve them, if possible, at the user level, and refer unresolved problems to intermediate commands and, when necessary, to the Army staff. At the end of this fiscal year, the new direct support System was being tested at Fort Hood, Texas.

Although with, limited resources, the Army continued during the year to increase materiel readiness through stock replenishment and the modernization of equipment. Both have been problem areas since the end of the Vietnam War. In fighting that war, the Army had been forced to pare funds for modernization and for research and development, draw heavily on stocks in the United States, and pull materiel out of Europe. In addition, the 1973 war in the Middle East occurred before stocks in Europe could be replenished, and many critical items, such as tanks, armored personnel carriers, and self-propelled artillery, had been sent from Europe to Israel. Already a lengthy process, replenishment was also expensive; most of the withdrawn items were based on earlier technology, and modern replacements cost considerably more. Despite great improvement, at the end of the year the Army was still short of such equipment as tanks, armored personnel carriers, and TOW missile launchers. And for lack of funds, war reserve stocks in the United States and overseas also remained inadequate.


The Army directed its main efforts in Europe during fiscal year 1977 toward improving U.S. readiness to meet the Warsaw Pact threat. Those efforts included improving the ability of the four divisions, three brigades, and two armored cavalry regiments to bear the brunt of an opening attack, increasing the Army's capacity to reinforce them rapidly and support them logistically, and continuing to forge an integrated team from the varied NATO forces.

The Army gave high priority in Europe to completing prepositioned sets of unit equipment (POMCUS) and to building up war reserve stocks; but shortages, storage problems, and funding limitations hampered both efforts. Some of the shortages in war reserves, however, were caused by higher stock levels in anticipation of greater battle intensity in any future conflict. The Army planned to more than double the conventional ammunition to be prepositioned in Europe. It also began a study to deter-


mine which organization should manage POMCUS and war reserve stocks, U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR), the current manager, or the Materiel Development and Readiness Command.

Logistical support provided by NATO allies has long been important to Army operations in Europe, primarily in rear areas. This year, USAREUR asked for increased support. Several allied governments, however, objected to U.S. procurement procedures, which required contracts, or letters of agreement, with mandatory clauses for purchases with appropriated funds. Those governments did not consider themselves contractors subject to American procurement regulations but allies using their own resources to further common objectives. As a result, the Army has proposed remedial legislation that will be included in the Department of Defense legislative program for the 95th Congress.

REFORGER 77, this year's strategic mobility exercise for testing U.S. and NATO plans and procedures, was the second consecutive exercise in which troops deployed to Europe were accompanied by some of their major equipment. For the first time the Army sent along heavy tracked vehicles, including main battle tanks. Participating in the exercise were major units of the 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) ; a brigade of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized); a squadron of the 3d Armored Cavalry; the 2d Battalion (Ranger), 75th Infantry; combat support and combat service support units from various Army installations; and several reserve component units. Command-post detachments from the 9th Infantry Division, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and 3d Armored Cavalry also deployed.

The exercise began in August 1977 with the movement of some 37,000 tons of equipment by rail and highway to the Military Traffic Management Command's terminal at Bayonne, New Jersey. The ships carrying the equipment participated in a wartime convoy exercise while en route to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Ghent, Belgium. Unloading of the ships tested terminal facilities in western Europe and host nation support.

Almost 13,000 troops were airlifted from the United States to Ram stein Air Base, Rhein-Main Air Base, and the Saarbrucken Civil Airport in Germany, the Schiphol International Airport at Amsterdam, the Brussels International Airport, and the Luxembourg International Airport. From these terminals, the troops moved by air and road to various locations in Germany and participated in field training and command post exercises with USAREUR and NATO forces. The purposes of the exercises were to test the ability of forces to move quickly to critical areas; to examine the effectiveness of transportation and supply systems; to practice command, control, and communications procedures; and to investigate further the standardization of doctrine, procedures, equipment, and armament among NATO forces.


To give a NATO orientation to program planning, weapons systems acquisition, and the preparation of annual budgets, NATO focal points were established, as directed by the Department of Defense, in the Army secretariat and on the Army staff. The Under Secretary of the Army and the Vice Chief of Staff were made responsible for these matters. Organized to support them was the Department of the Army International Rationalization Office within the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans. Intended as a clearing house for Army matters pertaining to NATO and international standardization, that office was made responsible for coordination with the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, major Army commands, other services, and other government agencies.3

NATO cooperation in the field of medicine was marked by agreements on administration, equipment, supply, treatment of battle casualties, and preventive and protective measures related to missile operations. NATO also adopted the revised U.S. handbook, Emergency War Surgery, and accepted two allied publications dealing with casualties and medical support during nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare operations.

Facilities required to support NATO military forces as a whole were funded through the NATO Infrastructure Program. The U.S. share for 1977, provided through Military Construction, Army, authorization and appropriation acts, was $92.6 million, including $76 million in appropriations, $4 million in recoupments, and $12.6 million in unobligated money from earlier appropriations.

The Pacific and Far East

President Carter's decision to remove American ground combat forces from the Republic of Korea within five years was accompanied by strong assurances that the withdrawal would not jeopardize Korean security or the regional balance of power in the Far East. Planning for the move, which was to begin in 1978 with about 6,000 troops of the 2d Infantry Division and other Eighth Army units, therefore included measures to strengthen and modernize South Korean forces and to withdraw in phases. The headquarters and two brigades of the 2d Infantry Division, for example, were to stay in South Korea until the last phase of the withdrawal. Army logistical, intelligence, and communications personnel remaining on the peninsula and other U.S. land, sea, and air forces located close by would thereafter provide continuing evidence of American readiness to help defend South Korea.

Meeting in Seoul in July, U.S. and South Korean officials agreed that a combined command would be established before the first phase of the American withdrawal was completed. They also decided that combined military exercises would be continued and expanded. Further,


the officials agreed that the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission would remain in Korea to monitor the military armistice agreement of 1953.

Discussions also developed a priority list of military equipment needed to strengthen the South Korean Army. Subject to congressional approval, some of that equipment would be transferred at no cost from withdrawing American units. Congress would also be requested to continue South Korea's foreign military sales credit at a high level of $275 million per year to allow that country to obtain other needed equipment through the security assistance program, Through foreign military sales procedures, South Korea bought the missiles and associated equipment of the Honest John artillery battalion inactivated there this year.

An additional source of support for the Republic of Korea was the 1976 amendment to Section 514 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which reestablished the use of Defense funds for stockpiling materiel in support of allies. For fiscal year 1977, the Army was allocated $125 million for stockpiling additional ammunition in South Korea and began moving the stocks from Japan and the United States. The Army was also allocated $224 million for fiscal year 1978 for adding ammunition to the war reserve stockpile for South Korea. These allocations were approved in the 1977 amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

Last year, the U.S. Army in the Pacific developed the Westpac III report enumerating the forces, bases, and war reserves needed from 1978 through 1982 in the Pacific. That report was revised this year to take into account the forthcoming withdrawal of ground combat forces from South Korea.

The Western Hemisphere

On 7 September 1977, after more than twelve years of negotiations, President Carter and the Republic of Panama's head of state, Brig. Gen. Omar Torrijos, signed the Panama Canal Treaty and the Treaty Concerning the Permanent Neutrality and Operation of the Panama Canal. The treaties provide for the dissolution of the Canal Zone, new operating and defense arrangements, and for ensuring the canal's neutrality and accessibility. Senate hearings were under way at the end of this fiscal year.

The security of the canal is currently the responsibility of the United States, with Canal Zone police handling internal security and military forces providing external defense. Under the proposed treaty, police functions would become the responsibility of the Panamanian government. The Panama Canal Commission, an agency of the U.S. government, would continue to provide security for its operating facilities. Forces of the U.S. Southern Command with forces of the Republic of Panama would defend the canal. According to the terms of the treaty, U.S. forces


would have primary defense responsibility for the remainder of the century. American plans also provide for rapid reinforcement of the U.S. Southern Command in the event of an emergency. After expiration of the treaty on 31 December 1999, the provisions on permanent neutrality and operation would still allow the United States to protect its interests.

Command and Control

The Worldwide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS) provides communications among the President, Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, commanders of unified and specified commands, and forces in the field. A plan for improving the system, approved by the Office of the Secretary of Defense during fiscal year 1976, called for the Army to complete certain features by 1985. This year, the Army worked on jam resistant communications (satellite terminals); an improvement in the Alternate National Military Command Center; a European Command operations center at Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers, Europe; and mobile vans equipped for rapid and reliable command, control, and communications in a crisis environment. The Army also supported other military services and Department of Defense agencies in their work on the plan. In a related project, the prototype WWMCCS intercomputer network reached the point of experimental use. The Army used it successfully in Elegant Eagle, a command post exercise sponsored by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

During the past year, the Army began to prepare an Army Command and Control Master Plan to guide the development of a system capable of handling both strategic and tactical requirements. The plan is scheduled for completion by mid-1979, the system by 1985.

A command and control management structure was created in May 1977 with decision-making authority at the top and responsibility for operations decentralized down the chain of command. At the top, the Army Command and Control Council, chaired by the Under Secretary of the Army, was responsible for policy and program decisions. A general officer steering committee, headed by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, was to establish objectives, evaluate existing and planned programs, and recommend priorities to the council. A working group with representatives from the steering committee would assist in preparing reports and analyses of progress. In command and control planning elsewhere, U.S. Army, Europe, finished a master plan in May 1977 for developing an improved command and control system by 1984, and the master plan of Central Army Group, Central Europe, moved toward completion in January 1978.

The joint ground and amphibious operations program was reorganized by the Secretary of Defense to become the OSD/JCS program for achieving joint interoperability of tactical command and control systems.


The Army Chief of Staff continued as executive agent and an Army major general was appointed program director and given authority to make program decisions which would be binding on the participating services and agencies. A systems engineering and architecture office consisting of a chief and nine professional staff members was established within the Army to carry out the program responsibilities of the executive agent and the program director. The joint program has been expanded to include development of joint message standards for the joint Information Distribution System. The first of five technical interface design plans, the joint interface standard for intelligence systems, was completed in draft form. In addition, a joint interface test force was established at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.

Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear Matters

Renewed emphasis on chemical warfare preparedness led this year to the establishment of the Secretary of the Army's Chemical Warfare Program Steering Group. That group proposed to set up a directorate within the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans or expand the chemical division within that office. Because of constraints on manpower, however, the final solution was to add six spaces to the U.S. Army Nuclear and Chemical Agency (USANCA).

The Army established USANCA at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, in December 1976 as a field operating agency under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans. Consolidating the Army Nuclear Agency, then located at Fort Bliss, Texas, and the Army Nuclear and Chemical Surety Group at Fort Belvoir, the new agency supervised the Nuclear and Chemical Surety Program and monitored Army nuclear and chemical weapons systems.

The surety program, set out in Army Regulation 50-6, went into effect on 1 January 1977. It improved security standards and included specific policies and procedures for the safety of personnel and for the physical security and transportation of lethal chemical agents and munitions. During this fiscal year, work to improve physical security began at twelve storage sites, ten in the United States and two overseas. Some $81 million was to be spent over four years. Clear zones, perimeter barriers, perimeter lighting, and intrusion detection and prevention systems would be improved and guard forces increased.

To reduce costs by consolidating stocks, the Army this year made three depot-to-depot movements of chemical agents and munitions without incident. Cost savings realized from the consolidations amounted to more than $7 million.

The Army this year allocated to major field commands substantial funds for chemical equipment. For the forces in Europe and those in the United States that would deploy to Europe in the early stages of an emer-


gency, the Army obligated nearly $40 million for such items as protective clothing, filters for masks, detection kits, and decontamination devices and solutions.

A review of overall national strategy called for by President Carter confirmed theater nuclear forces as essential to deterrence and flexible response on the battlefield. Based on a study conducted at the Army Combined Arms Center, the Training and Doctrine Command published for the first time the doctrine for tactical nuclear operations in Field Manual 100-5. Two studies, the Battlefield Nuclear Force Mix Analysis, completed last fiscal year, and the 155-mm. Modernization Analysis, finished early in 1977, led to decisions on the stockpile levels of artillery-fired atomic projectiles (AFAP). The Army also decided to continue development of an 8-inch AFAP and to begin developing a 155-mm. AFAP. In addition, the Army began a long-range program to improve nuclear storage sites by installing intrusion detection systems, better lighting and communications, and protective facilities for guard forces. Over $49 million was committed this year to improving sites in the NATO area.

The Department of Defense and the Public Health Service identified in fiscal year 1977 six cases of leukemia among former Army members who had participated in a 1957 nuclear weapons test in Nevada. Statistically, up to six cases of leukemia could have been expected in that group without exposure to test radiation. But The Surgeon General of the Army requested an interagency meeting to discuss the possible medical effects of exposure to atmospheric nuclear weapons testing and to determine the methods for any necessary epidemiological studies.

Military Support to Civilian Authorities

Carrying out its statutory responsibilities, the Army responded to 1,781 requests for assistance from the Secret Service this fiscal year. That total, about double the annual average, reflected the increased activity of the Secret Service during the latter part of the presidential election campaign and the inaugural ceremonies. Assistance consisted mostly of explosive disposal, but the Army also provided helicopters and crews, vehicles and drivers, and medical support. Besides supporting the Secret Service the Army helped the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Customs Service interdict the flow of illicit drugs. Assistance included equipment loans, such as aircraft and electronic sensors, the training of personnel, and administrative and logistical support. Equipment was also lent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Force.

Army and Air Force units supporting the Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic (MAST) Program flew 8,652 hours this year evacuat-


ing 4,011 patients. The Army also established a MAST site in Houston, Texas, manned by the 273d Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) of the Army Reserve, and took steps to bring aeromedical units of the National Guard into the program.

The Army participated in major disaster relief operations during fiscal year 1977, six foreign and five domestic, usually at the request of the Department of State or the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration. The most important operations during the period were in the northeastern United States during severe cold weather and in the aftermath of devastating spring floods in Appalachia. (Additional details are in the Civil Works section of Chapter 11.)



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Last updated 27 August 2004