The Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act increases the Total Army end strength to more than 1 million Soldiers.
Across the force, the increase grows the regular Army from 476,000, the Army National Guard 343,000, and the Army Reserve to 199,000. Even with this increase the Army remains at high military risk to respond to near-simultaneous contingencies as required by defense strategic guidance.
This increase begins to ensure the Army has fully manned formations.
The Army will use the end strength increase to improve readiness in existing units, retain select units previously scheduled for inactivation, and address priority capability gaps. The Army will retain the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, the 18th Military Police Brigade Headquarters in Europe, the 206th Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Hood, Texas, the 61st Maintenance Company and a combat aviation brigade in Korea.
Additional force structure decisions include establishing readiness enhancement accounts in all Army components to raise manning and readiness levels in existing combat units, and the creation of new units and personnel increases in existing organizations effecting units in U.S. and overseas.
The end strength under NDAA FY17 helps the Army address force structure gaps by growing critical capabilities such as field artillery, short range air defense, critical logistical enablers, and security force assistance capable units.
To address any future rapid expansion, the Army will build SFA units in order to focus on the advise and assist mission and preserve brigade combat team readiness. These units also serve as the backbone of new brigades if the Army is ever called to rapidly expand.
Readiness is the Army’s No. 1 priority.
The force structure increase strengthens the Army’s readiness by providing more trained and ready Soldiers to rotational units in preparation for worldwide deployments and other contingency operations. Retaining a small number of trained and ready units will have an immediate positive impact on the Army’s ability to support contingencies or current operations. Additionally, such force structure investments begin to fill known capabilities gaps against near-peer adversaries as outlined in the defense strategy and help meet combatant commanders’ operational demands.