Mobilization Base Details

Mobilization base is a common military term defined by the United States Department of Defense (DOD). Mobilization refers to assembling supplies for war or national emergencies and Reserve forces for active duty. For a country to respond to an emergency or war situation, its mobilization base must be adequate. The opposite of mobilization efforts is demobilization plans. Demobilization refers to the process of disbanding troops and standing down the armed forces, so they are no longer in combat-ready status.

A country's resources accounted for in its mobilization base include anything required for wartime or emergency needs. Common examples are:

  • State of training
  • Manning levels
  • Modernization of equipment
  • Mobilization materiel reserves and facilities
  • Psychological preparedness of the people

Countries must also take government and industry planning into account. Plans include those relating to:

  • Civil defense
  • Continuity of government
  • Preparedness measures
  • International agreements
  • Standby legislation and controls

For more specifics on preparedness measures, consider the requirements of a natural disaster. Disaster preparedness requires clear communication, personnel training, knowledge of assets, healthcare involvement, and technology fail-safes and protocol. Without plans in place, a natural disaster could create havoc if, for instance, the disaster knocks out the software system of a hospital needed to treat the injured.

Real-World Example Of Mobilization Base

Woodrow Wilson knew the U.S needed a mobilization base to be successful in World War I. Before declaring war on Germany in 1917, the U.S. worked to gather the appropriate supplies, troops, financing, and public support required.

To ensure the U.S Army had enough enlisted men in 1917, Congress passed the Selective Service Act. This Act required men of a certain age to register for the draft. By the end of the war, the U.S. drafted five million men into the army, 1.5 million volunteered, and over 500,000 registered for the navy or marines.

The U.S. also had to make sure adequate supplies could be made available for the war. The Lever Food and Fuel Control Act allowed Woodrow Wilson to create a Fuel Administration and a Food Administration to control product production and distribution during the war. He also created the War Industries Board that controlled raw material shipments and contracts with private producers to develop military supplies.

Significance Of Mobilization Base

A country needs to know its mobilization base in preparation for the possibility of war. The type or degree of an emergency will determine the resources required and level of mobilization regarding military forces. With information on how many resources currently exist and the avenues to gather more, a country can ensure adequate supplies, manpower, and supportive structures for success.

For instance, without the formal international agreements to have allies for war or enter a country for war, unexpected additional conflicts can occur. International treaties also influence resource requirements as agreed peace between countries means war is less likely to break out and fewer resources are needed. Another example, having a plan for a technology fail-safe could save lives. If a hospital can't operate effectively and sees every patient as they arrive during emergencies, people requiring urgent care will die.

History Of Mobilization Base

The idea of ensuring resources for war has been around as long as wars have existed. For example, the Roman Empire carried out many mobilization efforts from 81 to 210 BCE. However, the word mobilization itself was initially used in the 1850s in a military context to describe the Prussian Army's preparation.