The Retrograde, Reset, Redeployment, Redistribution and Disposal (R4D) mission in Afghanistan has a lot of moving parts. More than 750,000 major end items worth more than $36 billion are currently in Afghanistan, according to DOD estimates. This R4D effort is expected to cost some $5.7 billion and will require intricate planning, teamwork, creativity and innovation. The Army G-8 will be at theheart of it.
Army AL&T magazine wanted to understand the G-8’s overarching role in R4D better. We sat down on July 25 with Mr. Donald Tison, assistant deputy chief of staff, G-8, and COL Gregg Skibicki, chief, G-8 Force Development Operations and Integrations Division, to discuss the G-8 role in coordinating the reset aspect of the massive R4D effort.
The Army G-8 is the service’s lead for matching available resources to the defense strategy and the Army plan. G-8 accomplishes this through participation in defense reviews and assessments led by the Office of the Secretary of Defense; the programming of resources; materiel integration; analytical and modeling capabilities; and the management of DA studies and analyses. The G-8 team comprises one field operating agency, the Center for Army Analysis; three directorates— the Army Quadrennial Defense Review Office; Program Analysis and Evaluation; and Force Development—and the Army Study Program Management Office.
The team works to plan, develop and resource programs supporting Soldiers by balancing current force needs with future force capabilities. As part of this mission, the team equips the Army through a balanced investment program to provide Soldiers the equipment that they need to succeed in full-spectrum operations, now and in the future. G-8 does so by bringing to the table all the lines of effort to integrate and coordinate activities.
Army AL&T: We understand that the G-8 primarily focuses on the reset portion of R4D. What is the Army G-8’s role?
Tison: G-8 synchronizes activities for the reset task force that looks at the requirements, the resources and the assets. We received our first $17 billion of reset funding [in 2006] when Secretary [of the Army Francis J.] Harvey and GEN [Peter J.] Schoomaker [chief of staff of the Army] were here. MG [Stephen M.] Speakes was the G-8 director of force development. The leadership decided the Army needed a centralized effort to coordinate the reset of Army equipment returning from overseas. Army leadership asked the G-8, since the predominance of the equipment was G-8-related, to put together what I will call a task force. It isn’t really a task force in the conventional sense, but it’s a task-organized team to plan, coordinate and provide oversight for reset operations.
With our integration role, we put together a group that has Army Materiel Command [AMC], G-4, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology [ASA(ALT)], the Army Budget Office [ABO] within the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller [ASA (FM&C)], G-8 and other organizations’ subject-matter experts (i.e., lines of effort) to coordinate the programmatics in terms of the resources and the requirements to get it done.
We have worked reset through a variety of efforts since 2006, in both Iraq and Afghanistan. And, like anything, once you do it for a while, folks get comfortable with how it is done, so you move past the biases of organizations and folks come to the table to make reset decisions. We had a reset task force meeting yesterday and brought up a number of important issues not just about execution, but also how we are looking at fiscal
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