Tooth-to-Tail Ratio in USAREUR & Seventh Army
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Project FENDER

Project CHASE

Nunn Amendment



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Project FENDER
(Source: Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1973)

Under Project FENDER, the ratio of combat units to support units was improved without increasing U.S. Army strength in the theater. This so-called "tooth-to-tail" relationship was achieved through mergers, reductions, inactivations, and an aver-all streamlining of headquarters and logistical functions.

Personnel economies were used to improve the combat forces, two tank battalions and an airborne battalion combat team were activated, and a 105-mm artillery battalion was converted to a 155-mm. battalion.

Nunn Amendment (Public Law 93-365, Section 2)
(Source: Benefits and Problems Associated with Improving the Ratio of U.S. Combat Troops to Military Support Personnel in Europe, GAO Report, 1978)
Army Combat Increases in the European Theater

Under the provisions of the Nunn Amendment, the Army increased its combat strength in Europe by 13,683 spaces as follows:

  Two mechanized brigades (note a/)  
  Attack helicopter company  
  Two field artillery battalions  
  Authorized level of organization increases in exiting units  
  Three construction engineer battalions -- converted from support to combat  
  Total combat personnel increases (note b/)  

a/ Includes 1,328 support positions for Brigades 75 and 76.

b/ Army combat increases exceed the support reductions shown in chapter 2 by 180 spaces.

New units added

The new Army units deployed to Europe under the Nunn Amendment were drawn from elements of the Army's force in the United States. For example:

-- Brigade 75, which began deploying to Europe in March 1975, was the 3d Brigade of the 2d Armored Division from Fort Hood, Texas. It was temporarily stationed in three major training areas in Germany: Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, and Wildflecken. Eventual plans called for the permanent stationing of Brigade 75 in the northern area of Germany.

-- Brigade 76, a brigade of the 4th Infantry Division Mechanized from Fort Carson, Colorado, deployed in March 1976 and is stationed in the V Corps area at Wiesbaden, Germany.

-- The 235th Attack Helicopter Company based at Giebelstadt, Germany, deployed from Fort Knox, Kentucky, between March and June 1976 and is assigned to USAREUR's 3d Infantry Division (VII Corps).

-- Two field artillery battalions arrived in Europe in October 1976 from Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Both battalions are stationed in Augsburg, Germany, and are assigned to the 210th Field Artillery Group (VII Corps).

Army officials reported positive impact from deploying these units. For instance, the arrival of the two mechanized brigades increased USAREUR's force by about two-thirds of a division; the addition of the TOW-Cobra helicopters (note 1/), considered to be one of the most effective antiarmor weapons in USAREUR's arsenal, doubled VII Corps' tank killing capability; and the field artillery additions provided needed conventional firepower to defend the corps area against self-propelled Warsaw Pact firepower.

Changes in the existing force structure

The authorized level of organization (ALO) of various combat units -- the number of personnel spaces permitted to be filled in relation to total spaces authorized for wartime was increased by 2,488 spaces in fiscal years 1975 and 1976. We discussed the effect of these increases on combat capability with key officials of the 1st Armored Division, 1st Infantry Division (Forward), 2d and 11th Armored Cavalry Regiments and the 3d Infantry Division. Units assigned to these organizations received more than one-half of the total ALO combat space increases under the Nunn Amendment.

Examples of ALO increases and comments of military officials interviewed on the effect of such increases on combat capability follow:

-- Tank crews increased the antiarmor firepower and provided a greater opportunity for battalion commanders to use division artillery resources and improve command and control in the forward battle areas (note 2/).

-- Track vehicle mechanics improved and expanded maintenance capability.

-- Liaison officers improved integration of battalion firepower and coordination of movement to target areas.

-- Radar operators increased surveillance capability to detect threat and insure survivability of the battalion.

-- Artillery crews increased capability to provide 24-hour operation of howitzer elements.

-- Armor vehicle launch bridges/personnel increased the unit's bridging capability threefold.

-- Attack helicopter pilots provided the necessary pilots to insure full manning of existing TOW-Cobra antitank helicopters.

General orders were issued with the approval of the Assistant Secretary of Defense to convert three USAREUR engineer battalions (2,340 spaces) from support battalions to combat battalions. The conversion of these battalions to combat engineer battalions (heavy) added a wartime mission and related equipment to the battalions. While the newly designated battalions will retain their peacetime missions, they will also have the wartime missions of combat engineer support, reinforcement for division engineers, and infantry combat operations as required. These battalions have been authorized added firepower, principally antitank weapons, small arms, and communications gear.

1/ TOW is a missile. It means "tube launched, optically tracked, wire guided."

2/ USAREUR-wide personnel space increases provided an estimated additional 69 tank crews.

Army Combat Support Functions Adversely Affected

Force structure changes over the past 10 years and the requirements of the Nunn Amendment have altered the composition of USAREUR. As a result of the Nunn Amendment, USAREUR formed a capabilities study group to examine the impact of the amendment on its capabilities to fight a [DELETED] conventional war. The group's evaluation identified weaknesses in ammunition distribution, transportation, and maintenance. As a result of its findings, the Commander-in-Chief, USAREUR, requested that the Department of the Army Concepts Analysis Agency determine whether USAREUR could execute its wartime mission. A major objective of the Concepts Analysis Agency study, called the USAREUR Wartime Support Capability (WARSCAP) study, was to identify and measure imbalances between wartime demands and critical support capabilities. The study, initiated in December 1974, was completed in November 1975 and considered the personnel changes that would be made in compliance with the Nunn Amendment.

A major observation of the WARSCAP study was that [DELETED]

The study noted that [DELETED] of war would affect such things as (1) ammunition handling capability, (2) tracked vehicle maintenance, (3) antitank missile system maintenance, (4) petroleum distribution, and (5) hospital and medical evacuation activities. The study identified the following actions which could be taken to strengthen combat support capabilities and thereby to improve force effectiveness:

-- Revising priorities for earlier deployment (note 1/) to Europe of planned support structure spaces, specifying top priority to ammunition companies.

-- Increasing host nation support.

-- Selective trading of combat for additional support units in USAREUR's mobilization day force.

During our review, we noted support reductions actually made which resulted in

-- less engineer resources to deliver bridge replacement spans and barrier material, (note 2/)

-- fewer personnel to integrate command and control of artillery firepower resources,

-- fewer military police to provide supply line security and execute traffic control and movement, and

-- less reception group personnel to facilitate employment of incoming forces.

Details of these matters follow.

Deactivation of a panel bridge company

USAREUR's nondivisional engineers supporting the corps are organized into two engineer brigades. The 7th Engineer Brigade, a VII Corps unit, deactivated its 809th Panel Bridge Company (101 spaces and equipment) in June 1976 as a Nunn Amendment reduction. [DELETED]

[Large section DELETED]

Some VII Corps units for which the 7th Engineer Brigade provides barrier haul do not know how this shortfall will be covered. According to the 7th Engineer [DELETED]

Ability to adequately command and control corps artillery assets has been reduced

In addition to the artillery assets assigned to the various divisions, each of USAREUR's two corps has its own artillery. Within each corps, the artillery battalions are subordinate to field artillery groups. The groups responsible for command and control of each battalion in turn report to a single corps artillery headquarters which is under the command of a general officer, the corps artillery commander.

In view of manpower reductions called for by the Nunn Amendment, USAREUR proposed to reduce 440 spaces at the group level. However, the V and VII Corps Commanders maintained that the group's role to command and control assigned battalions during wartime is essential and therefore suggested eliminating 355 spaces at the Corps' Artillery Headquarters. The Commander-in-Chief, USAREUR, approved this alternative and the Corps Artillery Headquarters, both V and VII Corps, were deactivated in June 1975.

A residual force consisting of a fire support element was retained to provide corps artillery commanders with sufficient command and control to coordinate artillery fire. However, the residual force is apparently insufficient to provide that mission. Command and control, a function of the headquarters prior to the deactivation, was transferred to the groups. The corps artillery commanders must also rely on the group staff to conduct effectiveness evaluations, thus placing an increased burden on the group staff.

According to the VII Corps Artillery Commander, Army doctrine specifies that each group should command and control from three to four battalions. We were told that each group presently has six assigned battalions. Corps officials also indicated that each group may receive an additional artillery battalion in Fiscal Year 1978. This proposed addition, coupled with the diverse fire support missions of the battalions and their wide geographic placement throughout the corps' area, compounds the group's problem of command and control. The VII Corps Artillery Commander also noted that the group can no longer rely on headquarters' staff for assistance in artillery training.

We believe that the foregoing indicates a possible overextension of the group's span of control. That is, increasing the workload without additional personnel could adversely affect the group's ability and that of its battalions to perform effectively in wartime.

This point was further discussed in VII Corps' 1975 Annual Report which indicates that headquarters deactivation caused some degradation of the artillery capability needed to provide required fire support to the corps, a lack of responsiveness in implementing new doctrine, and a degradation of the corps' ability to plan and conduct corps-wide artillery exercises. According to one general officer, the artillery can still do its job. However, the deactivation of the headquarters has been detrimental to corps artillery readiness.

In discussing this reduction with Headquarters, USAREUR officials, we were told that the effect of the headquarters deactivation would not be known until a time of war. They also commented that there is currently some talk of obtaining an additional group for each corps.

Military police reductions

USAREUR reduced 470 military police (MP) spaces in fiscal year 1976 in V Corps, VII Corps, and the 21st Support Command because of the Nunn Amendment. The USAREUR Provost Marshal reported that

"*** the decision to plan for a reduction in MP spaces within this command was made only after all other options had been carefully reviewed. The fact that over 13,000 combat support and combat service support spaces had previously been recommended for reduction before MP spaces were considered is an indicator of the importance this [Headquarters) HQ assigns to the law enforcement mission especially within the communities."

In general, the impact on peacetime operations appears minimal. For example, we were told by a division provost marshal that MPs in one company are now working longer hours and conducting fewer patrols. A VII Corps MP commander stated that community law enforcement was not terminated but has lessened.

However, our discussions with MP officials indicated that existing shortages of MP and the MP reductions under the Nunn Amendment have had an adverse effect on wartime capabilities. Before the Nunn Amendment reductions, the following MP shortages were reported. The 21st Support Command was reported to be [DELETE] short to perform its wartime mission of providing lines of communication security and traffic management. In addition, one of V Corps MP battalions, also responsible for providing lines of communication security and traffic management in wartime, was reported to be [DELETED] short. The same V Corps battalion which was reduced by one MP platoon under the Nunn Amendment appears to be relying on receiving reinforcements shortly after hostilities erupt as a means of fully carrying out the wartime missions of the battalion.

Deactivation of the U.S. Army Reception Group, Europe

The U.S. Army Reception Group, Europe, was eliminated under project CHASE and afterward credited as a Nunn Amendment reduction. Its mission was assumed by units within
the 4th Transportation Brigade. The Reception Group's mission was to coordinate the arrival of deployed units to Europe in [DELETED] and peacetime. According to officials of the 4th Transportation Brigade, the coordination and movement of deployed units to Europe during the latest REFORGER 3/ exercise was slow. Officials said that the [DELETED] To alleviate these difficulties, the brigade is identifying individuals in Europe who can be used to form reception teams.

1/ We did not evaluate USAREUR'S implementation of actions suggested in WARSCAP to compensate for support structure problems cited in the study, except for planning increased host nation support, which is addressed later in this chapter.

2/ Material such as mines and obstacles to impede the progress of enemy armored fighting vehicles.

3/ An acronym for "Redeployment of Forces from Germany". An annual military exercise provided for under the 1967 British-U.S.-German Agreement.

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