[ Triad Online Home ]                                                                                    November 25, 2005

Army Reserve restructuring, BRAC 2005 recommendations to bring challenges

By Rob Schuette, Triad Staff 

      Kenneth Williamson, the chief executive officer of the U.S. Army Reserve, said many challenges will occur during the restructuring of the Army Reserve.  Williamson spoke to attendees of the Fort McCoy American Society of Military Comptrollers Green Tree Chapter meeting Nov. 17.

Photo: Chief Executive Officer of the Army Reserve Kenneth Williamson speaks about Army Reserve restructuring during a presentation at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Chief Executive Officer of the Army Reserve Kenneth Williamson speaks about Army Reserve restructuring during a presentation at Fort McCoy . (Photo by Rob Schuette)

      Williamson also included the impact of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) recommendations, which became law Nov. 9, in the presentation. Williamson assumed his position as chief executive officer of the U.S. Army Reserve in August 1998.  Prior to assuming his current position, he was the U.S. Army Reserve deputy G-1 (Personnel).

      "A lot of what I want to share with you is a conceptual approach to let you know how dynamic it is,"  Williamson said. "A lot of it is correct, but some of the terms have changed (and some of the time lines may change)." He is providing executive oversight of integrating the Army Reserve's transformation with BRAC 05.

      "The train has moved out of the station, hop on board, there will be many whistle stops along the way," Williamson said.  "Our commander chose to use BRAC as a way of causing (irreversible) change to occur in the Army Reserve."

      And as if this wouldn't be challenging enough in normal times, Williamson said, the restructuring is occurring while the nation continues to fight the Global War on Terrorism.  The Army leadership structure allows the combatant commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan to run their missions and responds to and builds capabilities to meet their requests, which also can impact the restructuring actions and time lines.

      The future of the Army Reserve will include many challenges, such as inactivations of some units, activations of other units, and the restructuring of the Army Reserve force to meet mission needs, he said.

      As for Fort McCoy's role in the restructuring, the Army Reserve leadership recognizes the Fort McCoy mission and its role as a Power Projection Platform (PPP).

      "You do such a good job of preparing Soldiers for us," he said. "Some of the changes will affect the types of units coming through here and the missions (they do). It also changes some of the higher headquarters checking on them."

      Williamson said BRAC 05 is scheduled to occur between Fiscal Years (FY) 06 through 11.

      The Army Reserve planned and is initiating restructuring in FY 06-07 to enable us to compete for BRAC funding early in the process.

      After funding is determined, the Army Reserve plans to have the actions completed within four years, he said.

      A broad time line to implement the plans will be developed in the next few weeks, Williamson said.  One of the things that will occur is the 11 Regional Readiness Commands (RRC) and three Regional Readiness Groups will stand down.

      Regional Readiness Sustainment Commands (RRSCs) will be established at Fort McCoy; Fort Dix, N.J.; Fort Jackson, S.C.; and Moffett Field, Calif. Each of the four  RRSCs will provide support services, such as administration and base operations functions in their respective region. Fort McCoy's RRSC is scheduled to perform many of the functions that the 88th RRC of Fort Snelling, Minn., currently performs, but will not perform command-and-control functions.

      The command-and-control functions currently provided by the 88th RRC will be retained at Fort Snelling or transferred to another organization established there to handle them, he said.

      The Army Reserve, under the leadership of Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, commander, U.S. Army Reserve Command, has been an active player and full partner in these developments and has coordinated with the Army on the Army Reserve structure design after BRAC rather than being told what its future shape and role will be.

      A major area being studied is how to efficiently align Soldiers to newly created units that will meet the required personnel strength and skills to accomplish unit missions,  he said. 

      Currently, many Soldiers have to be cross-leveled to help units meet their mission requirements.

      The new system will address these concerns, he said, and better position the Army Reserve for future success.

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