YEAR IN REVIEW: Army drills and Afghan rescue efforts highlight 2021 readiness stories | Item

WASHINGTON – Over the past year, the military has contributed to the Afghanistan evacuation effort in support of the State Department and resettled vulnerable Afghans in the United States and other countries . The service also helped secure the United States Capitol after the January 6 riots and vaccinated most of the soldiers against COVID-19.

In addition, the military established V Corps headquarters at Fort Knox, a forward command post in Poland, and a multi-domain task force and theater fire command in Europe.

Finally, the military successfully conducted a test of the Iron Dome missile defense system in the Indo-Pacific region and made changes to the army’s combat aptitude test to make it more inclusive for the military. whole force. Defender Europe 21, the military-led multinational joint exercise, also hosted more than 28,000 forces from 26 countries.

Welcome to the allies of the operation

Under the leadership of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, US Northern Command and US Army North provided temporary accommodation, support and support at seven military facilities in the United States for visa principal applicants. Afghan special immigrant, their families and others at risk.

This fall, soldiers from the National Guard, Army Reserve and active duty force assisted Afghan refugees resettle in the United States by providing essential support including medical care, transportation and translation services.

As part of Operation Allies Welcome – a comprehensive government effort led by the Department of Homeland Security – soldiers helped provide refuge to Afghans at Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort Pickett, Virginia; Quantico Marine Corps Base, Virginia; and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

The operation is an extension of Operation Allies Refuge, where the United States helped evacuate more than 180,000 American citizens and Afghan allies from Afghanistan.


To stay in compliance with the President’s directive that all DOD members be vaccinated, the Defense Secretary has ordered all military personnel to receive COVID-19 vaccines to protect the health of the force.

As of December 16, 96% of active duty soldiers were fully immunized.

All DA civilians were to be fully immunized by November 22, 2021, active duty soldiers by December 15, 2021, and Army National Guard soldiers and Army reservists by June 30, 2022 .

During the pandemic, urban augmentation medical task forces have been deployed across the country to help with testing and treatment for COVID-19.

ACFT 3.0

The Army Combat Aptitude Test is scientifically designed to transform military fitness and training to reflect combat-related tasks and reduce injury. This will lead to an army in better physical shape, ready to meet the modern demands of today’s battlefield.

The latest version of the Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT 3.0, incorporates two important changes: the inclusion of the plank as a 100-point alternative to the leg curl and the inclusion of an evaluation system with performance categories taking gender into account.

In the previous version of the ACFT, soldiers who could not pass the leg curl were given the opportunity to take the plank test but could only be awarded 60 points for passing. Under ACFT 3.0, soldiers can choose to take the plank test while receiving the 100 points. The bend of the legs remains the main test of a soldiers’ basic strength.

The military is exploring options to categorize performance with a gender-compliant level concept. The long term goal is to create incentives for soldiers to maximize their personal fitness. ACFT, along with Holistic Health and Fitness or H2F, is a commitment to our people by ensuring their readiness to fight and win our nation’s wars while protecting their health.

Defender-Europe 21

The Army has expanded the scope of Exercise Defender-Europe 21 following its success in 2020.

The planners added more allies from the United States and NATO and partner nations and expanded the scope of the annual large-scale exercise. Multinational forces have carried out exercises in more than 30 training areas in a dozen countries.

The Navy and Air Force also participated in the exercise, which used land and sea routes connecting Asia, Europe and Africa.

The Army Security Assistance Brigades and the V Corps – which was reactivated in 2020 – provided resources to support the exercise.

Activation of the 2nd multi-domain working group

The US Army activated Multi-Domain Task Force 2 September 16 at Allen Field at Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden, Germany. A Multi-Domain Task Force which brings together several combat functions.

The task force includes a headquarters element, an intelligence, cyberspace, electronic warfare and space detachment, as well as a brigade support company. The first multi-domain task force was activated as part of a pilot program in 2017 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

Iron Dome Defense System Test

The 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command conducted an experimental deployment of one of the Army’s Iron Dome Defense Systems, or IDDS, at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. The Iron Dome is designed to intercept and destroy short range missiles and enemy drones. There are currently no plans to perform a live fire test of the system.

In addition, the military, together with the Israel Missile Defense Organization, has started deploying the first of the two IDDS. The systems were delivered in 2020 and underwent testing and operator training. The military plans to deploy the two IDDS while continuing to acquire other systems of protection against indirect fire.

Regional aligned readiness and modernization model

The military is aligning itself with the region-aligned readiness and modernization model, or ReARMM, which is a flexible and predictable force generation process to create an army that is regionally and functionally capable of sustaining the military. national defense strategy.

Army Arctic Strategy

In line with the DoD’s Arctic Strategy, the military has released its own Arctic Strategy titled Regaining Artic Dominance. The guidelines outline the military’s plan to generate, train, and equip the force to partner with allied nations in the Arctic. It also details how the service will safeguard national interests and maintain regional stability.

Preparing for operations in the region gives the military the ability to respond to any emergency in the region.

The Arctic region is home to many important assets for the United States and is a prime location for the global projection of power. Improved capabilities in the region will increase the Army’s ability to operate in extremely cold weather and mountainous terrain.

The military plans to lead a war game, establish a multi-domain operational two-star headquarters, improve the materiel readiness of Arctic capable units and improve the quality of life of its soldiers, civilians and families who live and work in the region. These initiatives will ensure the Army’s determination to defend national interests in the Arctic region.

Soldiers deployed to the nation’s capital

Approximately 26,000 members of the National Guard from across the United States supported the security mission in Washington DC during the 2021 presidential inauguration on January 20. About 5,000 members of the Guard remained in the nation’s capital after the inauguration to continue supporting the Capitol Police.

The soldiers reinforced the police in security patrols and at entry checkpoints. In addition, members of the Guard organized training on civil unrest. The guard continued to support the mission until it officially ended on May 23.

Army News Service

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