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Army Realigns Headquarters, Centralizes Base Operations

Army Realigns Headquarters, Centralizes Base Operations

By Gary Sheftick.

Washington D.C. -- (ANS) December 18, 2001 -- The Army will streamline its staff at the Pentagon and centralize installation management, Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White announced today at a Pentagon press conference.

Secretary of the Army Thomas White explains the realignment of Army headquarters at a Pentagon press conference and briefs reporters on a centralized system for installation management in which funding for garrison operations will come directly from Department of the Army instead of through major commands.

Photo by Gary Sheftick

Funding for installations will come directly from the Pentagon instead of through major commands under the new centralized system, White said. He explained that this will not only standardize funding levels, but free up the MACOMs to focus on their primary missions.

Garrison commanders will report to the Army's assistant chief of staff for Installation Management through eight regional directors under the plan. Each of the new geographic regions will have 20-26 installations.

"That's probably the most controversial part of this transformation," said Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John Keane about eliminating MACOM staffs from the day-to-day concerns of installation management. "It dramatically changes the way we do business."

At the Pentagon, White said his Secretariat will be aligned with Army Staff directorates. The principals of each ARSTAFF element will become the military deputy to the corresponding assistant secretary. And the principal staffs will be renamed G1 through G8. For instance, the deputy chief of staff for Personnel will answer to the assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. And DCSPER will be called G1.

The deputy chief of staff for Intelligence will be G2. Operations and Plans will be G3 and the deputy chief of staff for Logistics will be G4. The director of Information Systems for Command, Control, Communications and Computers will be G6 and the deputy chief of staff for Programs will be G8.

"By the way, the staff was organized by these names by Gen. Pershing," White said, "and then again by Gen. Marshall... This is going back to Army tradition."

White said the realignment will streamline the Secretariat. He said while the Army in the field has been cut 40 percent over the past decade or more, the Secretariat has grown. He pledged to "put the Secretariat on a diet."

White said he expects 700 to 800 positions to be eliminated in the realignment, but said the purpose was not to cut people, but to streamline the decision-making process. In fact, he said the military positions eliminated at the Pentagon will be redistributed to the field. The money saved by eliminating redundant civilian positions will help fund priority Army requirements, he said.

White said about 10,000 positions could be transferred to major commands under the realignment.

The transformation will create a new Contracting Command and place recruiting under an Accessions command as part of TRADOC, the Army's Training and Doctrine Command. Information management will be centralized under a single portal, Keane said, referring to Army Knowledge Online.

White said one thrust of the realignment is to "centralize and clean up the lines of authority where there have been too many cooks in the stove." Another goal, he said, was to realize efficiencies.

The centralized installation management could yield economies of mass for base utilities, housing and other functions, officials said.

The realignment plan was based on a four-month study, White said, and is part of the larger Army Transformation that began in 1999.

"No successful corporate headquarters in the world today is organized the way we are in headquarters, Department of the Army," White said when he initiated the review in late June. "We currently have two separate staffs, often performing some of the same or similar functions."

Under the realignment plan, the Secretariat and Army Staff organizations will function as a unified staff in executing Army policy, planning and resource management responsibilities, while maintaining their separate and discrete identities as required by Title 10.

"We have stopped short" of physically combining the ARSTAFF and Secretariat, White said.

A part of the realignment, though, will be the formation of an Army Executive Office, consisting of the secretary of the Army, under secretary of the Army, chief of staff of the Army and vice chief of staff of the Army. That office will eliminate two separate decision-making channels, according to the plan.

The realignment will also more fully integrate the Army National Guard and Army Reserve into key positions of authority to better accommodate key issues and concerns of all components with a single integrated staff, officials said.

"We are one Army today," White said, adding that 18,000 reserve-component soldiers are mobilized "doing everything from homeland security to deployed in CENTCOM," referring to the U.S. Central Command, responsible for waging the war on terrorists in Afghanistan.

The realignment will begin this month and actually be implemented next summer, White said. The U.S. Army Audit Agency will monitor the implementation and account for alignment resources.

A task force consisting of about 30 senior civilian and military members conducted the study. They were tasked to examine all aspects of HQDA functions, to include: acquisition, headquarters management, human resources, information management, logistics, installation and facilities management, operations, training, intelligence, requirements development, resource management, external affairs and civil works.

Specifically, the task force was to recommend staff realignments to enhance effectiveness by more assigning responsibility and authority within functional areas more judiciously; eliminating unnecessary duplication of effort; optimizing the use of technology; and incorporating better business practices and organizational concepts that have proven successful in major corporations where appropriate, said officials.

The resulting streamlined Secretariat staff will retain responsibility for formulating policy and providing strategic direction, as well as overseeing the execution of Army plans and programs.

The Army Staff will continue to prepare plans, supervise their execution and coordinate activities Army-wide in support of Title 10 functions and combatant command missions.

"The level of individual performance and dedication is very high, but we need to ensure those great individual efforts yield the best result," White said last June. "My goal is to reshape the two staffs into a more fully integrated headquarters that maintains civilian oversight and runs much more efficiently."

A similar review of Army organizations below HQDA level is scheduled to be completed by next spring, officials said.

At the press conference, Secretary of the Air Force Jim Roche also announced plans to realign the Air Staff with the Air Force Secretariat.

(Editor's note: ARNEWS senior correspondent Joe Burlas contributed to this article.)


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).