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US Army Forced Into 'Extreme Tiered Readiness,' Chief Says

Oct. 23, 2013 - 02:53PM   |  
By MICHELLE TAN   |   Comments
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The Army will have to move into an 'extreme tiered readiness model' as it struggles to train and equip soldiers amid the ongoing fiscal crisis, the service's top officer said Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno. (Mike Morones / Staff)
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The Army will have to move into an “extreme tiered readiness model” as it struggles to train and equip soldiers amid the ongoing fiscal crisis, the service’s top officer said Wednesday.

“A very small portion of forces will be ready” as the Army deals with the fallout of sequestration, the recent government shutdown and the ongoing budget battle, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said in an interview with This week in Defense News.

“What we’ve been forced to do is cut readiness, cut modernization,” Odierno said. “We still have brigades, but if we ask them to go, they’re not [ready]. That’s not acceptable to me.”

Odierno’s blunt message is something he has repeated throughout the Association of the United States Army annual meeting this week in Washington, D.C.

“Between now and 2019 we have significant risk,” Odierno said, adding that the Army is “unbalanced” during a time when the world is “incredibly uncertain.”

This week, senior Army leaders said only two brigade combat teams are combat-ready — that’s in addition to those preparing to deploy to Afghanistan or rotate to Korea.

Those two brigades are part of the 82nd Airborne Division, which is tasked as the global response force.

Tiered readiness is a strategy to “mitigate this period of uncertainty,” Gen. Daniel Allyn, commanding general of Forces Command, told Army Times.

The Army had to choose between spreading limited resources across all its BCTs or prioritizing, he said.

“We’re going to have a very severe divide between the haves and have nots,” Allyn said.

It will become more and more challenging to train armored brigade combat teams, which cost more than training infantry and Stryker BCTs, he said.

The Army’s goal is to get seven brigades into combat-ready status by June — this will include two of each type of brigade and an aviation task force, Allyn said.

“We’re going to get as much readiness as we can get,” he said.

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