Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1986
Structuring the Force
In response to a broadening spectrum of threats, the Army has been restructured to capitalize on technology and to employ the AirLand Battle doctrine in diverse and distant geographic settings. This effort has resulted in the creation of a balanced force of heavy, light, and special operations units streamlined to execute that doctrine. The restructuring has been accomplished within a deliberately fixed active component end strength necessitated by considerations of national demography. With a need to commit a reasonable portion of limited resources to force modernization, readiness, and sustainment, the Army has integrated reserve component units with the active force to a degree unprecedented in recent history.
The Army continued the process of creating lighter forces that are more deployable and more suited to meeting probable crises. Having completed its conversion to the light infantry design in the previous fiscal year, the 7th Infantry Division (Light) underwent a year-long certification in 1986. Lessons learned from this experience will be applied to the other light divisions' conversions. In Hawaii the 25th Infantry Division changed over to the new design during the year.
Activated as a new division in fiscal year 1985, the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) continued its growth in 1986. Availability of facilities, particularly family housing, at Fort Drum, New York, determined the pace of this growth. One of the division's infantry brigades moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, where it will be stationed until adequate facilities are available at Fort Drum in fiscal year 1989. The 10th Division continued building its combat structure during the year by activating two infantry brigade headquarters, four infantry battal-
ions, and one field artillery battalion. Additions to the division's combat service support structure, begun in 1985, also continued. The division will have the 27th Brigade of the New York Army National Guard as a roundout brigade.
During the fiscal year, the Army activated the 6th Infantry Division (Light) at Forts Wainwright and Richardson in Alaska. This new division was formed around the existing 172d Infantry Brigade, which was already stationed in Alaska. The 205th Separate Infantry Brigade, U.S. Army Reserve, headquartered in Minnesota, will round out the division. Security of strategically critical sites throughout Alaska and the Aleutian Islands is the 6th Division's primary mission.
Completed in 1986 was the reactivation of the 29th Infantry Division (Light), Army National Guard-the Army's tenth National Guard Division. Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the division is based on the assets of the 116th Separate Infantry Brigade (Virginia) and the 58th Separate Infantry Brigade (Maryland). Like the 7th, 10th, and 25th divisions, the 29th Division will have a smoke/decontamination chemical company at corps level.
In 1984 the Army approved new force designs for the air assault and airborne divisions. Based on the light infantry division force design, the airborne and air assault division structures incorporate modifications for unique mission requirements and the need for specialized training. The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) began conversion to the new design during the year, and the 82d Airborne Division is scheduled to convert in fiscal year 1987. When the changeovers are completed, both divisions will be more readily deployable and will possess greater tactical mobility; improved reconnaissance capabilities; a broader range of communications assets; organic nuclear, biological, and chemical decontamination capabilities; and smoke support.
Reorganization of the Army's heavy divisions along Division 86 lines also progressed during the year. Army design models provide for an armored division of about 16,800 members (6 tank battalions and 4 mechanized infantry battalions) and a mechanized infantry division of approximately 17,100 (5 tank battalions and 5 mechanized infantry battalions). The design includes an increase from 3 to 4 in the number of tank and infantry companies assigned to maneuver battalions. These companies are being equipped with the Abrams tank and the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. The division support command provides a forward support battalion to each brigade
and a main support battalion within the division rear area. A long-range surveillance detachment has been placed in the divisional cavalry squadron. Infantry squads and 155-mm. howitzer sections have been reduced to nine men each. The eight-inch howitzer batteries have been moved to corps, and a multiple launch rocket system battery has been retained as a divisional general support weapon. During fiscal year 1986 heavy forces in both Europe and the continental United States continued conversion to the refined unit designs as required new equipment was fielded and facilities became available. Reserve component affiliation with selected active units continued, with roundout units converting to new unit designs at about the same time as their associated active component units.
The 2d Infantry Division in Korea completed its conversion to a special design during fiscal year 1986. This division formerly contained 2 tank battalions, 3 infantry battalions, and 1 mechanized infantry battalion; in its new configuration, it has 2 tank battalions, 2 mechanized infantry battalions, and 2 air mobile battalions. The new design answers the unique requirements of this forward deployed division and provides increased firepower through the use of modern equipment while staying within required space authorizations.
Also completed during the year was the conversion of the 9th Infantry Division. Formerly this division was comprised of 1 tank battalion, 3 infantry battalions, 1 light motorized battalion, 1 light attack battalion, and 2 light combined arms battalions. With its new design, the division contains 5 heavy combined arms battalions, 2 light combined arms battalions, and 2 light attack battalions. Tactics and equipment emphasize high tactical mobility combined with extensive firepower-for example, the use of High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled vehicles equipped with TOW missiles. At the same time, the division retains strategic mobility more comparable to the light divisions.
Integral to the employment of the newly structured divisions under AirLand Battle doctrine is greatly increased responsibility for the corps commander in fighting the deep battle. The Army's largest tactical organization, the corps will be the primary instrument for achieving operational objectives. The corps commander must integrate the major operations-close, deep, and rear-of the battle.
To provide the corps commander the assets necessary to fight, control, and sustain simultaneously these three operations, the Army is redesigning the corps structure. Revisions thus far accomplished or proposed include increasing the strength of the command operations battalions and area signal battalions in the corps signal brigade; transferring division Chaparral missile system, and adding Hawk missile system battalions to the corps air defense artillery brigade; strengthening the corps military police brigade; providing intelligence personnel within the corps; transferring eight-inch field artillery cannons to the corps and converting cannon artillery battalions to three 8-gun batteries; adding a multiple launch rocket system battalion and a target acquisition battalion with remotely piloted vehicles to corps artillery; and adding attack helicopter battalions to the corps aviation brigade.
Special Operations Forces
Special Operations Forces complement conventional capabilities across the spectrum of conflict, but are uniquely suited for limited objective operations at the lower end of the spectrum. Revitalization of these forces is a high Army priority. During fiscal year 1986 the Army increased the manning level of the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, by 122 spaces (886 this year, compared to 764 in 1985), and improved the 1st Special Operations Command by activating a support battalion and a signal battalion, and increasing manning levels in military intelligence units.
The reserve components provide a substantial contribution to Army Special Operations Forces. Fifty percent of the special forces and 90 percent of the psychological operations and civil affairs units are in the reserve components. In 1986 planning progressed on equipment modernization that will improve the fighting ability of the reserve component Special Operations Forces. Mobilization requirements for some reserve component Special Operations Forces will be increased, with additions planned for special call-up authority.
In May 1984, the Army and Air Force Chiefs of Staff agreed to a transfer of all Special Operations Forces rotary wing support aircraft to the Army. The Deputy Secretary of Defense vetoed the agreement, however, in December 1984. Subsequently, the two services agreed to a transfer of missions in this area. Both services have worked to develop appropriate implementation plans that allow for necessary growth in avia-
tion capabilities. The Army continued to plan for activation of a Special Operations Aviation Brigade composed of both active and reserve component aviation units. Despite the 1984 veto of the aircraft transfer, this issue remained unresolved at the end of fiscal year 1986.
Because manpower staffing standards are developed at the work center level of detail, they are an important tool for management decisions throughout the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution system cycle. The new Manpower Staffing Standards System establishes the basis for determining manpower contingencies, measuring effectiveness, and improving personnel utilization. The system also provides credibility for Army manpower requirements when the Department of Defense, Congress, and the General Accounting Office examine them. Manpower requirements for 415,000 spaces-approximately two-thirds of the table of distribution and allowances spaces in the Army-will be determined using the system. In fiscal year 1986 standards were approved for 14,000 spaces, studies were begun on 24,000 spaces, and 65,000 spaces were formally scheduled for study. These accomplishments brought the totals to 91,700 spaces covered by approved standards, 98,000 spaces under study, and 94,600 spaces scheduled. By the end of the fiscal year, 22 percent of the goal of 415,000 spaces under approved standards had been achieved.
Also during the fiscal year, Army Functional Dictionary codes were used for the first time to support the table of distribution and allowances portion of Total Army Analysis in developing the Army's programmed force structure. Use of the codes allowed the Army staff to compare manpower requirements throughout the Army with those in the major commands, and thus provided a better information base for making force structure decisions.
The Army Authorization Documents System was employed in the creation of modified table of organization and equipment documents for designated medical units in four major commands. This system supplies data on organization, personnel, and equipment to support units in performance of their assigned missions.
Return to Table of Contents
Last updated 17 November 2003