«INTRODUCTION I am not an expert on military manpower, nor am I an academic like many who presented papers in this symposium. Perhaps I was asked to ...»
Reserve units, aircrews, maintenance crews and support personnel required little to no post-mobilization training before performing their respective missions. All activated reserve flying units mobilized in 24 hours or less, and were prepared to deploy or did deploy in less than 72 hours.
There were three primary reasons for this success: First, the Air Force holds its reserve units, both Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, to the same readiness standards expected of active units.
Second, the Air Force provides its reserve component with funds, equipment, and full-time personnel that allow for greater training opportunities than the Army does. While the Air Force provides fewer flying hours to the Air Reserve Component than to active units, it still gives the reserves relatively more training hours than the Army gives “ground miles” to its reserve units—an average reserve/active ratio of 0.64 for the Air Force and 0.29 for the Army. This difference translates directly into cost savings. Air Force reserve units are only one-third less expensive than their active counterparts, while Army reserve units are two-thirds less expensive than their active counterparts.
Third, the vast majority of Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve officers and enlisted personnel have prior active duty experience.
Over the last two decades the proportion of prior service to non– prior service has shifted from 30/70 to 70/30.27
NATO AND KOSOVOThe story of reserve participation is yet to be written for the U.S. participation in the NATO campaign against Yugoslavia. Certainly without the existence of the Reserve component of the U.S. military, the
options for President Clinton would be greatly reduced. One newspaper reported on April 15, 1999:
The 1.5 million men and women in military reserve and National Guard units are so integrated into the missions of a scaled-back active duty force that no combat operation can go on for long without ______________
27Ibid., pp. 56–57.
176 Emerging Threats, Force Structures, and the Role of Air Power in Korea their support.... The Defense Department’s request to activate what is likely to be tens of thousands of reservists to fulfill specific combat-support and civil-affairs functions should reach the president in a matter of days.... More than 50 percent of all Air Force refueling is done by reserve crews, and a significant amount of airlift capacity is handled by reservists, too.28
RESERVISTS AS CIVILIANSAn issue that has not yet been mentioned is what happens to a reservist’s job when he is mobilized. Of course the government wants his reemployment rights to be protected. An attempt to ensure protection was made in 1994 when President Clinton signed the Uniformed Services and Reemployment Rights Act. This law rewrote previous legislation and strengthened the provisions ensuring that reservists cannot be refused hiring, denied promotion, or fired because of their military service.
To meet the Air Force’s operational requirements, the Air Force has asked its personnel to volunteer for an extraordinary range of activities. Some exposed the reservists to hostile action. This degree of reliance on the willingness of reservists to respond quickly became a topic of great concern to the Air Force Reserve’s senior leadership.
Some theoretical limit must exist on the amount of support reserves will provide on a voluntary basis. With each additional crisis, the senior leaders’ concern became more palpable.
Events, however, have not yet revealed this point. A survey conducted by the Headquarters AFRES revealed that, as of February 1995, approximately 80 percent of all reservists were willing to volunteer more time than they had in the past, although only 65 percent of aircrew personnel expressed a willingness to do more.
The survey revealed that most were more willing to volunteer for short periods (one to four weeks) perhaps once or twice a year for overseas humanitarian and domestic relief missions. Most expressed ______________
28“Part-Timers Part of Equation For U.S. Military Operations,” Boston Globe, April 15, 1999, p. 28, by Mary Leonard, Globe Staff.
Maximizing Manpower Utilization 177 concerns that longer or more frequent service might cause problems with their employers.29 Even with the law supporting the reemployment rights of reservists, military leadership would prefer non-compulsory support of employers. The Department of Defense has organized the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Its statement of purpose is to work with employers, reservists, military leadership, and 54 (state) volunteer committees to build and maintain a strong base of support for the role of the National Guard and Reserve in our Nation’s defense. Their material can be accessed worldwide through their Web site at http://www.ncesgr.osd.mil.
It is a wise man who learns from his own experiences, but it is even better if one can learn from others’ experiences. Korea’s military needs and experience are quite different from those of the United States. However, as a case study, the two-hundred-year experience offers many lessons for those who want to study them.
A model closer to Korea’s is the Israeli Defense Forces. Both Korea and Israel are small countries with regional concerns. A very good, brief summary is given as Appendix A in a RAND publication and is abridged below.
ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCESPurpose. The Israeli Defense Forces are structured and trained for conflict. The IDF also performs another significant function more closely related to police activities than to combat: patrolling Israelioccupied territories.
Active/Reserve integration. Because of its small size, Israel cannot afford to depend on large standing forces. Instead, reserves account for approximately 80 percent of the IDF. The Israeli Reserve Forces are unusual among reserve forces in that they are the country’s most important operational components rather than being follow-on and reinforcing forces.
29Op. Cit., Cantwell, p. 382.
178 Emerging Threats, Force Structures, and the Role of Air Power in Korea The basic combat formation in the Israeli army is the brigade. Some IDF reserve brigades round out active divisions and others form allreserve brigade divisions.
Manning and training. Israel has universal military service. Males typically serve three years on active duty and unmarried females two years. After leaving active service, all males serve in the reserves until age 55.
Reserve combat units are commonly composed of people who served together on active duty and remain together throughout the lifetime of their unit. Crews perform their refresher training and annual training together for several years, learning each other’s abilities and personalities.
Typical reservists serve about 45 days per year. Of these, 30 to 35 days are spent on active duty. Half of the active duty time is spent training for wartime missions and the other half on operational missions, e.g., border patrols and patrols in Israeli-occupied territories.30
CONCLUSIONMilitary manpower represents a vast expenditure of resources for most countries. This expenditure is generally productive only during a period of armed conflict. When an all-out effort is needed, the cost of winning a conflict does not seem material. But in the absence of hostilities, expenditures on military preparedness might seem illused.
Korea is experiencing an economic downturn that has unmasked a number of societal problems. Use of reserve forces seems to offer a way to reduce military expenditures without damaging military capabilities while at the same time uplifting the economic well-being of the nation.
Money invested in the reserve forces can go beyond the purpose of maintaining military strength. It can raise the skill levels of the reservists which can enhance manpower resources of the nation.
Reserve forces can be utilized for nonmilitary objectives of creating
and maintaining national infrastructures, and reservists can be trained to be used for meeting national emergency situations.
One of the problem/opportunity areas for Korea is the need to develop an aerospace infrastructure for the future. Korea has lagged behind some other Asian countries in developing aerospace facilities and production capacities. There is a convergence of a national need and a military need in this respect.
Korea’s military planners have undoubtedly faced the difficulty of aligning what they see as military needs with what the civilian politicians see as priorities. It might well be useful to look at the experience of the U.S. military in facing the same kinds of problems.