Military Downsizing

Topics: South Korea, Korean War, United States Army Pages: 18 (6251 words) Published: January 26, 2012

What Options Might the Pentagon Consider When Discussing the Downsizing of the Services as Well as Change Overseas Basing Richard Giadone
Columbia Southern University
MBA 5652 Research Methods

Permanently stationing forces overseas gives the U.S. military a strategic advantage--but at a price. That price is paid not only in terms of budgetary cost but in terms of the personnel, units, and equipment needed to support forces stationed outside the United States. We will compare the U.S. forces stationed in Europe and East Asia against the monetary and personnel cost of keeping them there.   Forward Based Versus Forward Deployed Forces

The U.S. forces can be maintained overseas on either temporary or a permanent basis. Units or personnel that are in a foreign country on a permanent basis are said to be forward based or forward stationed. In contrast, units and their associated personnel that are in a foreign country for a limited time, typically six months or a year, while taking part in exercises or operations are said to be forward deployed. (An example of such forces is those now deployed in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom.) Although the distinction may appear to be minimal, it has important consequences for military forces and personnel. Forward Based Units

Units that are permanently based outside the United States remain in place while individuals assigned to the units come and go. For example, the 2nd Infantry Division (2nd ID) has been stationed in South Korea since the 1950s, as a result of the Korean War armistice. While the division, with its headquarters and subordinate units, remain in place, some 13,000 Army soldiers rotate through it on one-year unaccompanied tours. The services are now allowing families to accompany service members to Korea for two Running Head: WHAT OPTIONS MIGHT THE PENTAGON CONSIDER

year tours. Korea has an 8% personnel turnover each month. And, 20% of all Soldiers on assignment to Korea never show. In other locations, such as Germany, U.S. military personnel serve three year tours with units stationed there and can bring their families with them. With the help of allies, the United States has built up large infrastructures overseas to support forward stationed units, assigned personnel, and their families. Almost all overseas bases that permanently house large numbers of U.S. service members include all of the amenities of bases in the United States, such as commissaries, chapels, exercise facilities, and post offices. In addition, in places where families may accompany service members, the Department of Defense (DoD) has established schools for military dependents. In Germany alone, DoD runs 70 schools for more than 30,000 children who are dependents of U.S. military personnel and DoD civilians. Another aspect of forward based units is that personnel serving with them are considered on permanent assignment instead of temporary duty and thus undergo a "permanent change of station" (PCS) when they move from an assignment in the United States to an assignment overseas. In a PCS move, service members can take along their household goods (including automobiles) at the government's (taxpayer’s) expense, regardless of whether they are accompanied by family members. The fact that personnel are assigned to, and move in and out of forward based units on an individual basis creates continual turnover in those units. With the three-year tours common in Germany, one-third of the individuals in a particular unit will turn over every Running Head: WHAT OPTIONS MIGHT THE PENTAGON CONSIDER

year and the entire population will turn over in three years. Moreover, when individuals complete a tour with a forward-based unit, they are generally assigned to a different unit in the United States than the one they served in before going overseas. Forward Deployed Units...
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