a. The term expeditionary mindset emerged during the course of the GF seminar, 3-6 March 2009, one in a series of learning events under the UQ 2009 program. The term refers to a desirable culturally-based outlook within GF organizations characterized by a well-developed sense of sensitivity and responsiveness to the needs of operating forces in ongoing operations, including adapting to rapidly changing conditions. In addition, responsive support to no-notice or short-notice crisis response in CONUS or to areas outside the U.S. requires such a mindset. Certainly, the innovation and adaptation described within the chapter both represent and help to institutionalize an expeditionary mindset, as does the development and promulgation of FM 1-01 and the manner in which the GF has molded itself and responded to the requirements of ARFORGEN.
b. To these drivers, it is also possible to add the beneficiary effects of the assignment of operationally experienced personnel to GF organizations, particularly at the more senior levels, and the influence of GF personnel returning to parent organizations following temporary assignments as individual augmentees to operating forces. It has become clear that many GF senior leaders have been and are continuing to take their organizations in that direction, demonstrating institutional commitment to GF support to operations.
2-5. Lessons learned
a. As noted earlier, the ways and means by which GF organizations have and are adapting to operational requirements through the expansion of their expeditionary capabilities is as diverse as the GF itself. The examples cited in this chapter are significant and representative of similar initiatives by other GF organizations, including some described elsewhere in this study.46 Nevertheless, the following common elements can be derived from the collective experience of the GF organizations discussed above.
b. The vast majority of organizational initiatives described in this chapter would likely not have been undertaken without the availability of supplemental funding – enduring innovation and organizational adaptation cannot be produced without costs in personnel and funding. In short, significant initiatives that enable GF organizations to deploy and maintain capabilities in theater require flexible and readily available resourcing.
c. The current force design and resourcing process is time-consuming and adds significant delay to the establishment of new organizations, both in staffing of proposed initiatives, and then in execution once they have been approved by decisionmakers. During those extended delays, manning and equipping expeditionary capabilities out of the GF inevitably winds up assuming an ad hoc character, dependent on volunteers, taskings, and reprogramming of funds. This obstacle appears to be one that could be mitigated with a concerted effort at HQDA. The timelines depicted in the discussions above further raise the question of whether or not Army culture will accommodate other ways and means to address these kinds of delays, such as deliberate, purposeful identification of possible initiatives and earlier initiation of innovative change within the GF. The historical experience of OEF and OIF is that the Army seldom anticipates an operational need prior to its actual appearance in the conflict environment.
d. Deployable GF capabilities will most often benefit from having organic mobility and communications equipment, pointing toward the development or modification of MTOE organizations as the most effective organizational solution. Although life support and security can generally be obtained from supported operating forces without imposing a significant burden, removing the requirement for supported organizations to provide mobility and communications gear is significant. Communications interoperability is an imperative. As such, it will often create a requirement for GF government agency elements to have training on systems that they routinely do not operate.
e. The practice of maintaining force design update documentation on hand in anticipation of future requirements of a nature similar to those described above appears to be a prudent and non-resource intensive means of shortening timelines and being better prepared for future contingencies.
f. Adaptable, tailored, GF subordinate operating force units can provide a useful baseline for rapid adaptation. This "blended" organizational model also supports improved integration of major functional capabilities and offers direct links from national strategic to tactical levels for more efficient and rapid response, more capable reachback, and clear identification of responsible agencies along such functional lines. The evolution of sustainment management and support in the Army and joint forces is a prime example.
g. The RSG structure intended to accommodate the IMCOM expeditionary BASOPS concept may prove to be a feasible candidate as a means to provide support and services to similar GF initiatives that are deployed on a regional basis (and based out of expeditionary installations).
h. The long-term existence of expeditionary capability created to meet operational requirements remains an open question. Historical experience suggests that organizations created or adapted significantly in some fashion to meet even long-enduring operational requirements normally suffer inactivation soon after a conflict ends.
Generating Force Reachback Support to Operations
a. The entire GF appears to be well-postured to provide comprehensive reachback support to operations in support of deployed joint and Army forces, as well as to other U.S. government agencies and partner nations. The depth, breadth, and responsiveness of reachback capabilities have expanded during the course of recent operations and have been enhanced by the development of an expeditionary mindset within GF organizations. However, because there is no mandated requirement or uniform mechanism for tracking reachback support, the Army lacks the capability to measure either the demand signal, the work performed, or the resource cost to the GF in this area.
b. Reachback is an approach to providing major support to operating forces, and is not a formal system in the Army or DOD. Individual organizations devise the means to establish reachback for the functions that they oversee or contribute to, adhering to internally developed standards. This complicates the means to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of reachback efforts across the force, as well as cost versus benefit.