By the Numbers II

The cupboard is nearly bare:

The deployment of Reserve and National Guard and even Active Duty units is much broader than portrayed here. Detachments of nearly every reserve component unit are engaged in various homeland security missions. In other cases, like that of the 53rd (FLARNG) Brigade, the subordinate battalions (and even companies) are detached from their brigades and attached to other units for deployment. This is an advantage to the army, which regards battalions as plug and play components of larger units, but can inhibit the teamwork built up in the broken up units.

What appears to be missing from the force rotation, is the federalization of selected units of the National Guard to reestablish the strategic reserve of the United States. The returning divisions are rated at the lowest level of readiness for combat (as is appropriate after returning from combat), four others are committed in Iraq, and 2 are preparing. That leaves very little in the strategic reserve pool for crisis response. Good candidates would be the 29th Infantry Division (Light) (Virginia) and the 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized), (California).

That’s from a StrategyPage report on where our divisions are currently stationed, what their duties are, and where they’re preparing to deploy. Remember, a unit just home from combat isn’t immediately available for deployment elsewhere. They must first rest, re-arm, re-equip, and re-train. That’s why our strategic reserve is down to a mere two National Guard divisions.

And yet Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld still thinks we should reduce the Regular Army from its current ten overworked divisions, down to seven.