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    The Secretary of Defense announce today to be taken to increase the combat readiness of selected Army National Guard and Reserve units in the shortest period of time.

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The Secretary of Defense announce today to be taken to increase the combat readiness of selected Army National Guard and Reserve units in the shortest period of time.These steps will.

    a.Make trained manpower immediately available and minimize the call on new civilian manpower.

    b.Minimize the stress on the training base which is already heavily committed to the buildup of the active Army forces.

    c.Spread over a broad geographical area the requirements for intensified training, possible active duty and possible commitment to combat.

    Composition of Selected Force
    Army National Guard#U.S.Army Reserve#TOTAL
    Independent Brigades#6#0#6
    Total Company and Detachment Size Units#822#160#982
    Total Strength of Selected Force#130,000#15,000#145,000
    The three divisions and the six independent brigades of the Selected Force will be made up of National Guard units from 18 states.The balance of the Selected Force will be designated from combat and service support units from Army Reserve and National Guard units throughout the United States.

    Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio will provide one division; Indiana, Illinois and Michigan a second; and Minnesota, Wisconsin and Oklahoma the third.Each of the three divisions will consist of a division base (division headquarters, division artillery and other combat and service support units) and one brigade from a National Guard division in one state and two brigades from National Guard divisions in two other neighbouring states.

    Three of the six independent brigades will be provided by the present independent brigades in Hawaii; Nebrask and Iowa; and Kansas and Missouri.The remaining three will be selected from three of the National Guard divisions in Texas; California; and Oregon and Washington.

    All 50 States to Furnish Some Units for the Selected Force
    Army National Guard and Army Reserve units have been selected from all of the states so that the requirement for additional training and possible mobilization will be distributed throughout the nation rather than concentrated in a particular region or in a few states.Trained manpower from units not required by contingency was plans will be available to augment immediately the strength of many of the Selected Force units so that intensified unit training can be initiated promptly with the maximum number of trained personnel.The requirement to recruit untrained manpower from civilian life will thus be minimized.

    Selected Force Units to Conduct Intensified Training at Home Stations
    In order to increase combat readiness, units of the Selected Force will be authorized 100% of combat strength, a 50% increase in the number of paid drill periods, and priority for equipment and maintenance.Consideration will be given to advancing the time for annual field training for these units.

    The Overriding and Immediate Requirement for Trained Manpower
    The Army faces three related tasks - building up the active Army, increasing the readiness of Selected Force unites, and maintaining the readiness of the balance of those reserve units required by contingency war plans.

    Due to the large active Army build up, the annual load on Army training centres will be increased from approximately 200,000 to over 400,000.Full utilization of existing barracks facilities, use of tents and opening of new basic combat training centres of Fort Benning and Fort Bliss will allow an increase in the average daily training load from 111,000 recruits last July to over 160,000 recruits next January.However, the Army will have capacity to train only 50,000 of the approximately 163,000 new recruits that would be required to maintain the strength of the reserve at 650,000.Therefore, priority in the training centres has been allocated to meet the requirements of the active Army and the Selected Force.

    At the same time, it is essential to maintain the trained strength and readiness of certain Army Reserve and National Guard units other than those included in the Selected Force.Many of the individuals needed to maintain the strength of these units as well as of the Selected Force must be obtained from trained reserve personnel now in units not required by contingency war plans.

    Accordingly, over six hundred Army Reserve units not required for contingency war plans, with a total assigned strength of 55,000, will be phased out as soon as possible.This action will release trained personnel for immediate assignment to high priority Army Reserve units.Individuals from those units to be phased out may also join National Guard units if they so desire.Individuals who do not become members of Army Reserve or National Guard units, and who have a remaining military obligation, will become members of the Ready Reserve Reinforcement Pool.

    Programmed Strength of the U.S.Army Reserve and the Army National Guard
    As provided in the 1966 Defense Appropriations Act, the Army Reserve will be programmed at an end strength of 270,000, and the National Guard an end strength of not less than 380,000.

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