Regionally Aligned Forces: The Way Forward

  • Lieutenant Colonel Jesse T. Pearson

The U.S. Army has established its Regionally Aligned Forces (RAF) policy as a way to provide the Combatant Commanders (CCDRs) with tailored, globally responsive, regionally engaged, and consistently available forces. In order to more fully realize the potential of RAF and maximize the utility of Army forces to the CCDRs, the Army must address four issues. First, the Army must conduct an effective information campaign to communicate the value of RAF to internal and external audiences. Second, the Army must establish long-term RAF unit alignment with the Combatant Commands (CCMDs) and reduce RAF unit rotation. Third, the Army should assign active component CONUS-based Army divisions to the Geographic Combatant Commands (GCCs) instead of brigade combat teams (BCTs). Fourth, the Army must clarify RAF funding responsibilities. These changes will increase the value of the RAF policy and Army forces to the Nation.