United States Rapid Deployment Forces


United States Rapid Deployment Forces

In 1977, a presidential directive called for a mobile force capable of responding to worldwide contingencies but to be established without diverting forces from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or Korea. Not until the aftermath of the Iranian revolution in 1979 and the acknowledgment of a Soviet combat brigade in Cuba in that same year, however, did a concerted effort to establish the force envisioned in the directive begin. These events led to President Jimmy Carter announcing before a television audience on 1 October 1979 the existence of the Rapid Deployment Forces, or RDF. The concept was to develop forces that could operate independently, with neither forward bases nor the facilities of friendly nations; geographical areas cited as requiring such cover included Korea, the Persian Gulf, and the Middle East. Conceived as a force with a global orientation, the RDF soon focused its attention and planning on the Persian Gulf region. This narrowing of emphasis was precipitated by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan on 26 December 1979 and the subsequent announcement of the Carter Doctrine with respect to the Gulf region in January 1980. The Carter Doctrine stated that the Persian Gulf area, because of its oil fields, was of vital interest to the United States, and that any outside attempt to gain control in the area would be "repelled by use of any means necessary, including military force."

With evolving interpretations of the RDF's purpose and geographic orientation, the command structure of the RDF has also undergone repeated change. Operation of an RDF headquarters (formally known until 1 January 1983 as the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, or RDJTF) officially began at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida on 1 March 1980. Initially commanded by a Lieutenant General, the headquarters was adjoined to the U.S. Readiness Command (formerly U.S. Strike Command) also located in Tampa. This command relationship proved unsatisfactory, however, as there was no single channel of communication through which the RDF commander could communicate directly to the United States Secretary of Defense on matters specifically relating to the RDF.

On 24 April 1981, Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger announced that the RDJTF would evolve into a separate command with specific geographic responsibilities. The planned change was favorably received in the Congress, though not unanimously. Both the Senate Committee on Armed Services and the Senate Committee on Appropriations expressed their concern" about the absence of an organized effort to plan and provide for possible power projection requirements in other Third World areas which are also critical to U.S. interests." The decision to focus the attention of the RDJTF solely on Southwest Asia — to the exclusion of other areas, such as central and southern Africa — did little to ease this concern. In 1983 the RDJTF became a separate unified command known as the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). The commander enjoys the same stature as other theater commanders, and he reports directly to the Secretary of Defense. His operational planning responsibility is limited to Southwest Asia only. The Department of Defense distinguishes between the U.S. Central Command and the RDF. The Central Command is primarily a planning headquarters; the forces available to it are the RDF.

Sources

* [http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=5057&sequence=0| Congressional Budget Office "Rapid Deployment Forces: Policy and Budgetary Implications"]
* [http://www.rand.org/publications/P/P6751/P6751.pdf RAND Corporation: Origins, direction, and mission of Rapid Deployment Forces]
* [http://www.statecraft.org/chapter13.html Instruments of Statecraft: U.S. Guerilla Warfare, Counterinsurgency, and Counterterrorism, 1940-1990: Ch. 3, The Carter Years]

External links

* [http://public.macdill.amc.af.mil MacDill AFB Home Page] - Official site
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/macdill.htm GlobalSecurity.org: MacDill AFB]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • United States Army Air Forces — Infobox Military Unit unit name=United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) caption=USAAF Shoulder Sleeve Insignia ( Hap Arnold Emblem ) dates=1941 06 20 to 1947 09 17 country= United States of America allegiance= branch=United States Army type= role=… …   Wikipedia

  • Rapid Deployment Force — A Rapid Deployment Force is a military formation capable of quick deployment of its forces. Such forces typically consist of elite military units and may receive priority in equipment and training to prepare them for their mission.Examples of… …   Wikipedia

  • United States Air Forces in Europe — emblem Active 7 August 1945 Current …   Wikipedia

  • United States European Command — Active 1 August 1952 – present Country United States …   Wikipedia

  • United States Central Command — Période 1983 Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • United States Marine Corps — USMC redirects here. For other uses, see United States Maritime Commission and University of St. Michael s College. United States Marine Corps United States M …   Wikipedia

  • United States — a republic in the N Western Hemisphere comprising 48 conterminous states, the District of Columbia, and Alaska in North America, and Hawaii in the N Pacific. 267,954,767; conterminous United States, 3,022,387 sq. mi. (7,827,982 sq. km); with… …   Universalium

  • United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance — Not to be confused with Marine Division Reconnaissance. Main article: United States Marine Air Ground Task Force Reconnaissance Marine Force Reconnaissance The insignia of Force Recon …   Wikipedia

  • United States Air Force — USAF redirects here. For other uses, see USAF (disambiguation). The U.S. Air Force redirects here. For the song, see The U.S. Air Force (song). United States Air Force …   Wikipedia

  • United States Special Operations Command — Infobox Military Unit unit name= United States Special Operations Command caption= United States Special Operations Command emblem dates= April 16, 1987 country= United States allegiance= branch= type= Special Operations role= Provide fully… …   Wikipedia


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.