Transforming the Reserve Component to Meet Future Operational Demands

  • Colonel Dominic J. Wibe

Designated as an operational force the Reserve Component is poised to support the Army and the joint force in routine operations. With a continually shrinking force the Army must look to provide capabilities once asked of BCTs and other units on the battlefield. The theater army’s role in protection is discussed along with current force structure in the RC to conduct protection missions. Five recommendations are made to cover the gap in protection: create a theater protection command (TPC); re-designate theater engineer commands as TPCs; re-designate maneuver enhancement brigades (MEB) to expeditionary protection commands (EPC); increase the three Army Reserve MEB/EPCs to five; re-designate existing military police commands as expeditionary Internment/resettlement commands (EI/RC) while creating two additional. The recommended changes in force structure will produce an integrated command structure able to coordinate and provide protection and produce readiness during peace time.