The U.S. Special Operations Command plans to continue the expansion of Civil
Affairs units. The goal is to add more than 1,000 positions within the next
Discussions also are under way between SOCOM and the Marine Corps concerning
the possibility of creating new Marine Civil Affairs units. A Defense Department
official told National Defense that, so far, those are preliminary discussions
only, and no firm plan is yet in place.
The U.S. Army Reserve added a Civil Affairs battalion in 2003, another battalion
will come on board in 2004, to be followed by another in 2005. A combination
of restructuring existing units and the addition of new Civil Affairs specialists
will result in 1,140 new CA Reserve positions. There are about 6,000 CA soldiers
in the Army, most of whom are in the Reserves and the National Guard.
There is one active duty CA battalion in SOCOM, based in Fort Bragg, N.C. With
currently authorized 215 slots, the battalion is scheduled to grow to 410 positions
by fiscal year 2009, the Defense Department official said. “A major restructuring
is planned for the future,” he said. By fiscal year 2011, the CA active
component will have four battalions, and one brigade headquarters, for a total
of 783 authorized positions.