Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Army Looks Forward to R & R

The Army has been stressed for the last 6 years as it has been sent to fight our wars. So far, recruits have answered the call to an unprecedented degree. We didn't know if volunteers would fight a war for so long. Our people came through.

And the Army has adapted and won in campaigns to overthrow the Taliban, defeat Saddam's military, defeat the insurgencies and terrorism campaigns in Iraq, and held the line in Afghanistan.

With the Iraq drawdown after victory looking to relieve the stress more than escalation in Afghansitan adds to stress, the Army is going to get a break:

The Army's vice chief of staff said by 2011, Soldiers should find themselves spending twice as much time at home station as they do deployed.

"2011 is definitely a transition year for the U.S. Army -- that is a year we see ourselves getting back into balance," said Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli. "We define balance as 12 months deployed, 24 months or greater at home. That's the interim goal for us in 2011."

The general told the House Armed Forces Committee readiness subcommittee March 16 that it will likely be the larger part of the Army that will reach that goal next year, but Soldiers with some military occupational specialties, such as Soldiers in aviation, might reach it later.

The break will allow individual soldiers to recover from the stress of combat tours and break the accumulation of stress that leads to PTSD. A long break can literally reset the clock on this source of combat loss for many of our troops.
The break will also allow the Army to regain conventional warfare skills. We've been focused so exclusively on counter-insurgency that I don't think anybody other than our Army in South Korea could fight conventionally on short notice.
But that COIN focus paid off, and our troops emerged victorious, experienced, and deadly. When trained for conventional combat, they'll be the most potent conventional army on the planet.