The merits of incorporating GF capabilities into the GFM process have not been seriously challenged and have been informally endorsed at the action officer and staff director level at JFCOM.161 The difficulty in adding GF capabilities to the JCRM has also been recognized as requiring a major effort. Moving forward on this initiative as a joint policy issue would require formal endorsement and sponsorship at HQDA, in concert with a joint partner such as JFCOM, supported by parallel efforts to obtain the cooperation or non-opposition of the other services.
The GF has adopted a variety of mitigating strategies to help ameliorate the negative impact to performing primary missions due to capacity shortfalls caused by the increasing demand on capabilities used to support operations. These approaches have had a favorable impact on reducing risk to primary missions, but have not fully eliminated the negative effects of diverted capabilities. Contractor support will likely remain the most pervasive and responsive means of addressing capacity shortfalls and rapidly responding to new tasks, but its utility will be highly sensitive to declining budgets, as well as future policy guidance.162
This study has periodically reinforced the significance of frequently voiced concerns that the GF is not structured or resourced to support operations. Thus, one of the major consequences of the increase in GF support to operations is the risk created to the performance of primary GF missions. Whether tasked to provide individual personnel to fill positions in validated joint manning documents or serve as advisors, to deploy teams with unique capabilities, to execute new tasks associated with supporting ARFORGEN, or to divert capabilities for other validated requirements, GF organizations must somehow compensate for the loss of capacity or capability previously dedicated to primary mission performance. This chapter describes some of the mitigating strategies that GF organizations have employed or that may be available in the future.
a. Capacity. The simplest strategy to mitigate the negative effects described above is to increase the capacity of those elements of the GF that are being tasked to commit capabilities to support operations. As this study demonstrates, the Army has already increased capacity by creating a variety of new organizations to perform critical support functions, such as the REF, contracting support brigades, JTCOIC, and the 162d Infantry Brigade (foreign security force-training team) at Fort Polk, Louisiana. The drawbacks to this approach are time, funding, legislative or policy constraints, and the process of institutionalizing new organizations when needed. The same drawbacks exist in establishing new military and civilian personnel authorizations within existing structures.
(1) The most pervasive and effective means of compensating for GF capabilities diverted to operational requirements is the use of contractors. In theater, huge numbers of contractors hired through supplemental funding bills perform critical GF-like functions in support of operations, encompassing functions which military assets simply cannot carry out due to internal resource constraints or shortfalls in expertise, such as life support, base construction, base operations, infrastructure improvement, transportation, maintenance, sustainment, security for other U.S. government agencies, restoration of essential services, and so on.163 The volume of the requirements for this support even exceeded the capability of LOGCAP and drove the expansion of Army contracting capability as described in chapter 2. At times, the size of the contractor establishment in Iraq nearly equaled that of the U.S. joint force. In making its case for the expansion of Army contracting capability in 2007, the commission report noted that there were 160,000 contractors on the battlefield in Iraq in November 2007.
(2) GF organizations in CONUS have also relied in many instances on contract support as a backfill strategy for diverted capacity, and as augmentation to support new requirements that have emerged as a result of ongoing operations.164 Contractors man almost all of the new Army organizations mentioned in this study; in many cases, contractors comprise the largest component of their personnel. Provided funding is available, contractors have significant advantages over other approaches. Normally, they can be emplaced rapidly, they provide a more flexible workforce than DA civilians, they can be reduced in number or terminated easily when requirements are reduced or eliminated, and they often present a level of expertise and experience that exceeds that of the government personnel in the offices that they support. On the other hand, the replacement of uniformed personnel by contractors in certain areas, such as the training and education arena, is an undesirable necessity. In some areas, contracted staff and services will be less expensive than what the Army can replicate with government personnel; in other areas, they will be more expensive.
(3) Although this study does not include a detailed examination of contractor support, the use of contractors appears to be indispensible in peacetime and conflict. DOD policy confirms the reliance on contractors in official documentation, including DODI 3020.37. The DODI states that components will "rely on the most effective mix of the total force, cost, and other factors considered, including active, reserve, civilian, host nation, and contractor resources necessary to fulfill assigned peacetime and wartime missions."165 The instruction directs contractors to use all means at their disposal to continue to provide their services during periods of crisis, and instructs components to develop and implement plans and procedures to assure noninterruption of essential services, as well as contingency plans to replace incumbent contractors if their continuing support is in doubt.
(4) Presidential administrations have also resisted legislative constraints on how contractors can be employed, a recent example of which is a Statement of Administration Policy, published in September 2008, which objected to legislation that would have denied the use of contracted services to perform private security functions or detainee interrogations in Iraq and Afghanistan.166 An interesting aspect of applying contract support has been the policy issue of military strength caps in-theater. In some cases, such strength caps have not had to include the deployed contractor population, leading to a further reliance on contractor support to maintain capabilities and capacities.
(5) A major challenge to relying on contractors to help provide surges in capacities or adding new capabilities in support of operations in the next few years is the current Administration's policy to reduce overall Federal Government use of contracts and contractors. The official goals for this effort have been published by the Office of Management and Budget, focusing on saving money and improving in-house government capabilities. A clear desire is "ending the overreliance on contractors." Near-term goals in savings in Federal contracts are 3.5 percent for FY2010 and percent by the end of FY2011 (out of about $500 billion in contract spending). Part of this will be accomplished in converting contractor support positions to full-time Federal Government employee positions. All Federal departments and agencies are expected to contribute to meeting such goals, to include DOD.167
(6) Currently the DOD workforce is 39 percent support service contractors. DOD's expectation is to reduce this to the pre-2001 level of 26 percent over the next 5 years, applying an in-sourcing initiative introduced in the FY2010 budget. Note that other Federal agencies that might support their in-theater missions through contracted support are facing expectations to reduce their overall contracted workforce. The Army's concern is to ensure a balanced total workforce of military, government civilians, and contractor personnel that appropriately aligns functions to the public and private sector. While this administration initiative is focused on the steady-state workforce and reliance on contracts, this basic policy has repercussions to any initiative to establish contracted means to surge capabilities in-theater or backfill DOD deploying personnel. Taken along with the reduction in supplemental funding that has been a prime mechanism to surge contract support for ongoing operations, the Army will face major issues in its ability to apply contracted support for operations in the future, beyond such in-place means as LOGCAP, despite clear evidence that such support is an effective, sometimes critical, requirement.
c. Internal organizational adjustments.
(1) GF organizations have employed a variety of internal adjustments to compensate for loss of personnel to temporary deployments of individuals and teams. Some of these adjustments include maintaining battle rosters for personnel, cross-training personnel across related functions, shifting workload internally, and maintaining off-the-shelf TDAs and MTOEs for subelements that might be needed to support requirements on short notice. They also include taking action to increase official personnel authorizations, seeking individual augmentees from the RC (normally through approved augmentation TDAs), and prioritizing primary mission tasks to determine which tasks may have to be postponed, fulfilled partially, or dropped as a result of diverted capabilities. Statutory guidance must also be accounted for when dealing with Total Army assets, such as the ARNG reserve program.
(2) IMCOM is applying an assessment and management process to help balance primary mission support and support to operations. With regard to prioritizing primary mission tasks to determine which tasks may have to be postponed, fulfilled partially, or dropped as a result of diverted capabilities, IMCOM has developed a decision tool that matches more than 500 core installation management tasks to the resources required for their execution. The tool further prioritizes those tasks according to significance and defines cut lines based on the availability of resources. The decision tool enables IMCOM senior leaders to quantify the effects of variations in annual resource plans in terms of mission tasks and to make decisions regarding the optimized use of available resources.
(3) A few GF organizations are also using the DOD personnel force innovation (PFI) program as a backfill option. The program allows Guard and Reserve personnel to apply for active duty tours, working for various DOD agencies and using either their reservist or civilian skill sets to qualify, where regular active duty personnel are not available and PFI reservists are more cost effective than civilian employees or contractors. Those selected for PFI duty are placed on fulltime active status and receive active duty pay, allowances, and benefits. DOD agencies fund the active duty costs of tours by reimbursing the ARNG or USAR member's service. Agencies also fund all temporary duty costs and moving expenses. Tours can be stateside or overseas, for a period of a few weeks or as long as 3 years. Applicable career fields depend on vacancies, as advertised on the DOD PFI Web site, which can range from food service to medical specialties to information technologies.168
d. DOD civilian expeditionary workforce (CEW).
(1) The relative paucity of deployed DOD civilians in support of OEF and OIF is another distinctive feature of those conflicts. "Since 2001, more than 16,000 civilians have served in direct support in combat zones. Approximately 1,600 DOD civilian employees have deployed to Afghanistan and 6,500 civilian employees to Iraq."169 This scale of civilian involvement pales when compared to the contractor workforce in theater, the number of uniformed individual augmentees deployed annually, or the relative size of the DOD civilian workforce against the number of uniformed personnel. This huge reserve of human capacity has not been tapped effectively as a source of capability for operations.
(2) In January 2009, OSD reissued DOD Directive (DODD) 1404.10 to establish a new policy to expand the use of civilians to support operations. The policy directs the establishment of an "appropriately sized" subset of the DOD civilian workforce to be pre-identified, organized, trained, and equipped in a manner that facilitates the use of their capabilities for operational requirements. It identifies expeditionary requirements in terms of combat operations, contingencies, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, emergency operations, drug interdiction, restoration of order, and stability operations. A central goal of the program is to reduce the burden currently borne by the uniformed military to fill approved joint manning documents and other personnel requirements by distributing that burden to civilians.170
(3) The program applies to OSD, the military departments, the Office of the CJCS, the Joint Staff, COCOMs, defense agencies, and DOD field activities. The CCS is specifically enjoined to ensure the maximized utilization of DOD civilians as a sourcing solution. The directive requires COCOMs to include support by DOD civilians in future plans and joint manning documents, and directs components to determine and maintain a CEW subset. The directive defines four CEW categories.
(a) Emergency-essential. Position-based designation to support the success of combat operations or the availability of combat essential systems.
(b) Non-combat essential. Position-based designation to support expeditionary requirements in other than combat or combat support situations.
(c) Capability-based volunteer. An employee who may be asked to volunteer, to remain behind after other civilians have evacuated, or to backfill other DOD civilians who have deployed to meet expeditionary requirements.
(d) Capability-based former employee volunteer corps. A collective group of former DOD civilian employees (including retirees) who have agreed to be listed in a database as individuals who may be interested in returning to Federal service as a time-limited employee to meet expeditionary requirements, or who can backfill deployed emergency-essential or capabilities-based volunteer civilians.
(4) Personnel in the first two categories are designated as key employees in accordance with DODD 1200.7. Accordingly, they are required to sign a workforce agreement regarding eligibility for deployment as a condition of employment. Personnel rotate in and out of an available pool based on a 6-month window. Deployment may not exceed 2 years, but personnel may volunteer and be approved for consecutive tours if desired. The CEW directive also establishes broad readiness metrics with respect to employee capabilities, training requirements, medical and psychological fitness, and administrative preparedness. It requires components to refine and implement the metrics to ensure readiness.
(5) As of May 2009, HQDA G-1 had initiated the first phase of action (essentially analysis of the requirement) to comply with the directive.171 Next steps were to include:
(a) The issuance of a draft Army instruction on CEW by the end of FY2009.
(b) Expansion of recruiting efforts to nongovernment applicants.
(c) Piloting a deployment and readiness index to four functional communities of civilian employees (financial management, information technology, logistics, and medical).
(d) Developing CEW orientation and training curricula for civilian personnel offices.
(6) Currently, it is unclear to what extent GF organizations may have to respond to the CEW directive or the degree of utility that it will present. However, it is reasonable to expect that if the program is implemented effectively, it will undoubtedly expand the pool of civilians available to meet expeditionary requirements. (This should not be confused with other options currently being used, such as the recall-to-active-duty program, which could be another way to provide augmentees with military or civilian acquired skills; CEW is meant to leverage the skills of the DOD civilian workforce, and most notably allow GF assets to deploy capabilities without the need for augmentation.)
e. Force designs.
(1) Some GF organizations have created assets to both reduce the impact on primary mission accomplishment when demand to support operations increases, and to provide more effective and focused support. Two examples provide possible templates for future designs, where applicable. The ACC's expeditionary contracting command is designed to deploy assets that provide required contracting support in-theater. These assets are standing organizations that are meant to be deployed. When not operating in-theater, they carry out tasks in CONUS which support ACC missions, ensure readiness, and provide training. But such work is not their primary mission.
(2) The ARSC is an integrated set of augmenting teams designated to support a wide variety of logistics and acquisition organizations when these organization must surge capacity, both in CONUS and deployed. With standing manning in each of these teams, both supporting and supported elements can establish long-term relationships and regularly train and operate together, In most cases, the ARNG and USAR augmenting teams are colocated with their supported entities. Because the ARSC is organized around a set of common occupational specialties, better personnel management, and cross-leveling is allowed.