Army announces unit rotation plan for Bosnia

WASHINGTON (Army News Service) – The Army has announced three of the next six Stabilization Force rotations for service in Bosnia will be commanded by Army National Guard divisions. The rotation plan is another step in the Army leadership’s stated intent to complete full integration of the Active and Reserve Components.

Active and Reserve Component units from the continental United States will rotate to Bosnia for six- to 12-month periods under a single integrated-command structure, commanded by either an Active or Reserve Component division headquarters, Army officials said.

The units selected for rotation in Bosnia are Texas’ 49th Armored Division in March 2000; Virginia’s 29th Infantry Division (Light) in October 2001; and Pennsylvania’s 28th Infantry Division in October 2002. (The Signal battalions belonging to these brigades will deploy with them: 249th Signal Battalion with 49th Armored Division; 129th Signal Battalion with 29th Infantry Division (Light); and 28th Signal Battalion with 28th Infantry Division.) The Army set a historical precedent earlier this year when it designated 49th Armored Division as the headquarters for Active and Reserve Component forces participating in SFOR 7, officials said.

All units for SFOR rotations 8 through 12 will be drawn from Active Army/National Guard divisions and a mix of Active/Reserve units. Each rotation will incorporate units from the Army National Guard’s 15 enhanced separate brigades, or eSBs. These brigades are higher-priority combat units that would be the first called to active duty in the event of mobilization.

ARNG.GIF (77910 bytes) Army National Guard divisions and enhanced separate brigades.

The 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Stewart, Ga., will serve as Task Force Eagle headquarters for SFOR 8 and SFOR 9 from October 2000 to October 2001. It will command two battalion-level task forces for each rotation.

The SFOR 8 battalion task forces will be composed of companies from 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized), 30th Infantry Brigade (eSB) (North Carolina National Guard), 45th Infantry Brigade (eSB) (Oklahoma National Guard) and 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

During SFOR 9, the battalion task forces will be composed of companies from 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized), 48th Infantry Brigade (eSB) (Georgia National Guard) and 25th Infantry Division.

The 29th Infantry Division (Light) (Virginia National Guard) will serve as Task Force Eagle headquarters for SFOR 10 from October 2001 to April 2002. The battalion task forces will be composed of companies from 29th Infantry Division, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y., (its active-duty teamed division) and 155th Armor Brigade (eSB) (Mississippi ARNG).

The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky., will serve as Task Force Eagle headquarters for SFOR 11 from April to October 2002. The battalion task forces will be composed of companies from 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 116th Armor Brigade (eSB) (Idaho National Guard) and the 76th Infantry Brigade (eSB) (Indiana National Guard).

The 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (Pennsylvania National Guard) will serve as Task Force Eagle headquarters for SFOR 12 from October 2002 to April 2003. The battalion task forces will be composed of companies from 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized), its active-duty teamed division; 218th Infantry Brigade (eSB) (South Carolina National Guard) and 25th Infantry Division.

The rotation plan will increase the Army’s readiness by providing better linkages between the Active and Reserve Components, providing predictability for soldiers and units, and mitigating the effects of operational tempo, Army officials said.

The rotation plan builds on the earlier relationships established between Active and Reserve Component divisions and within the two Continental Army headquarters with the National Guard Bureau and the State Adjutants General. Known as "teaming," this concept formally pairs a Reserve Component division with an active Army division.

Under the SFOR rotation plan, Active and Reserve Component divisions will form "AC/RC mission-capabilities teams." These teams will share responsibility for carrying out the SFOR mission.

Currently, Active Army divisions routinely train with their Reserve Component team partners and will play a key role in the prerotation training of its Reserve Component team partner. The ultimate goal is to improve combat readiness by providing training and mentoring for the Reserve Component unit.

First Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, is 49th Armored Division’s Active Component teamed division. Unit officials said 249th Signal Battalion has been teamed with its active-duty counterparts since January 1999, and that soldiers from 3d Signal Brigade as well as 13th Signal Battalion (supporting Signal battalion for 1st Cavalry) have helped get the 249th Guard soldiers ready for Bosnia.

Since 1989, the number of Army deployments has grown by more than 300 percent, yet the Army’s Active and Reserve Components have shrunk by more than 40 percent. The missions of the post-Cold War environment, coupled with downsizing, make increased use of the Reserve Components necessary, Army officials said.

With some 54 percent of the Army now in the Reserve Components, the Army routinely calls upon the National Guard and Army Reserve to meet mission requirements in support of the national military strategy.

Signal elements of this story contributed by Army Communicator editor Lisa Alley.

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04/04/12
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