Strained, Army Looks to Guard for More Relief

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 — Strains on the Army from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have become so severe that Army officials say they may be forced to make greater use of the National Guard to provide enough troops for overseas deployments.

Senior Army officers have discussed that analysis — and described the possible need to use more members of the National Guard — with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s senior adviser on personnel, David S. C. Chu, according to Pentagon officials.

While no decision has been made to mobilize more Guard forces, and may not need to be before midterm elections, the prospect presents the Bush administration with a politically vexing problem: how, without expanding the Army, to balance the pressing need for troops in the field against promises to limit overseas deployments for the Guard.

The National Guard has a goal of allowing five years at home between foreign deployments so as not to disrupt the family life and careers of its citizen soldiers. But instead it has been sending units every three to four years, according to Guard officials.

General John P. Abizaid, the senior American commander in the Middle East, said that the number of troops in Iraq, currently at more than 140,000, could not be expected to drop until next spring at the very earliest.

That disclosure comes amid many signs of mounting strain on active Army units. So many are deployed or only recently returned from combat duty that only two or three combat brigades — perhaps 7,000 to 10,000 troops — are fully ready to respond in case of unexpected crises, according to a senior Army general.

An internal Army document that was provided to The New York Times notes that the demand for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has greatly exceeded past projections that predicted earlier troop reductions. According to the document, the Army needs $66.1 billion to make up for all of its equipment shortfalls. Referring to the units that are to deploy next to Iraq and Afghanistan, or are in training, the document shows a large question mark to indicate their limited readiness.

The Army had to offer generous new enlistment bonuses of up to $40,000 to attract recruits into such dangerous jobs as operating convoys in Iraq.

Article in full
New legislation or a new executive order needs to be signed before the Guard can be deployed repeatedly. As it is, they can grab you for 24 months (cumulative, not consecutive), and that's it. If a unit re-deploys, they cannot force a Guardsman to go with the unit again unless he volunteers to 'COTTAD', which is basically signing a waiver which places him under a different sub-section of Title 10 Active Duty. I was asked last week if I was interested in a second tour, this time with an infantry unit. I politely declined, nothing more can be said.

Funny thing about that COTTAD, if your over your 24 months you start collecting an extra US$1,000.00 per month. If your in a Combat Zone , that plus all your Regular Pay(BAH, HF, etc.) is all tax Free.

Now You've got NG's in A-Stan, Iraq, Kuwait, Sinai, Kosovo, Mexican Border, Airports, Subways in NYC, etc. It's probably the Most Federal use since Korea. My Bn. completed 2 deployments since 9-11-01 and we've still got a very heathly Re-enlistment rate. Of course my state just lost all Tanker slots, Nothing like trying to re-train a 19K20 to be an 11C20 in a Light Inf. Bn.
This is very similar to what is happening to the Terriotorial Army (TA) in the UK, who are experiencing a serious recruitment and retention problem.
yeah, but is the British TA's, RAuxAF & RNR's pay tax free? is it s###, in fact they are taxed more as it is classed as a second occupation.
tax man is a money grabbing b###ard, as we all know.

serve your country (instead of being a chav scrout) in addition to a regular civiy job & get clobbered for extra tax.

if they are mobalised, they will I assume get taxed at the normal rate, as it would become their normal job for the duration of the call-up.
Toooooo true!

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