US Army Chief sets readiness as top priority 41304161

Defence & Security News - (USA)
US Army Chief sets readiness as top priority
US Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley testified on 7 April before the Senate’s Armed Services Committee. During his speech he outlined the priorities set by the Army in winning the wars of the future.
US Army Chief sets readiness as top priority
Gen. M. A. Milley testifying at the US Senate Armed Services Committee (Photo: US Army)

While there are many issues for consideration, readiness is the most important of all according to the general. His intention is to have a combat ready force, available for deployment, rather than a force that would meet the manpower and equipment numbers but would not be ready to take over its missions.

Manning and equipping are still of vital importance in facing the challenges of the future, nevertheless readiness is the top priority. For this reason he asked the Senators to support the modernization efforts. These will be implemented in five areas, namely aviation; C2 networks; integrated air and missile defence; combat vehicles and emerging threats program. Going further into that, he mentioned that for readiness to reach the highest possible levels, the Army would focus on three areas. These are improving the quality of home-station training, increasing the aviation flight hours and provide realistic training to the National Guard formations.

He considered National Guard of extreme importance in the overall Army’s force structure, due to the capacity limitations of the Army. For this reason, all Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) will undergo training at the Combat Training Centres (CTC), both at the continental US and abroad. Furthermore, the Army Chief plans stated that the total number of National Guard BCTs would increase next year to four per year from two that it is now.

General M. A. Milley was asked by the Senators to provide details on the Army’s readiness and the future risks. He said that until now the US Army has sufficient capability and readiness to tackle counterinsurgency / counterterrorism threats. However, emerging threats of high military risk, in other words those requiring additional time to execute and higher cost in casualties, is the main concern for the future. Such high-end threats may come from China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, as he said.

Moreover, he mentioned that one third of the Army’s combat formations, combat support and combat service support are “ready to go”, while moving up to two thirds “would require some amount of time to bring them up to a satisfactory readiness status.”