European training center welcomes new Commander of Operations Group
October 1, 2009
HOHENFELS, Germany - Col. John M. Spiszer was officially welcomed as the commander of the Joint Multinational Readiness Center's (JMRC's) Operations Group, Tuesday, during an assumption of command ceremony at the airfield, here.
"John is uniquely qualified to command JMRC. He's responsible for training soldiers all across Europe, said Brig. Gen. Steven L. Salazar, guest speaker and Commanding General of the Joint Multinational Training Command, the higher headquarters. "He has recent and considerable operational experience and is very familiar with Germany. He has a personal operational tempo that reflects the pace and commitment of our Army and its families."
Having deployed two times to Afghanistan, and deployed in support of operations in Iraq, Salazar said, Spiszer has the right kind of experience to be effective. He is a leader that understands the role and sacrifice of military families.
Spiszer comes to JMRC from Fort Hood, having just completed a 12-month tour in Afghanistan. From March 2007 to September 2009, he was the commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. In Afghanistan his unit was responsible for security and stability operations in northeastern Afghanistan, along the Pakistan border. While there, his unit conducted counterinsurgency operations, focused on the security, governance and economic development and information activities.
Previously, from 2006-2007, Spiszer served as the Deputy Director of the Soldier Battle Lab, now known as the Maneuver Battle Lab at Ft. Benning, Georgia. The lab conducts live, virtual, and constructive experiments to gain insights, impacts, and recommended changes to Doctrine Training Leadership Organization Material Personnel Facilities, based on rigorous analytics and inputs from Soldiers and their leaders, as well as emerging technologies and initiatives to support the current and future force.
"He's a leader that knows how to train our formations for war," said Salazar.
The JMRC is a full-service maneuver area that provides live-fire and simulated combat conditions, professional observers and controllers, and a dedicated opposing force, which regularly deploys, to provide challenging realistic training for U.S. and multinational forces. The JMRC is well-known for training.
"I know we've got to start modernizing for the future as the Army starts to look forward beyond Iraq - what direction we are going to go, what hybrid threats are we going to face, and what do we have to train for, that's going to be a big focus of ours," said Spiszer. "As we shift toward Afghanistan, we have to be looking a lot more deeply at that situation there and beyond."
Other priorities include, strengthening relationships with NATO and the multinational partners.
"Being back in Germany was just something we really looked forward to," he said."We love the people, we love the countryside, we love the way Germany is, and we were very excited about coming back."
The commander and his family, all having lived here in Germany, and at Vilseck before are looking forward to another tour in Europe.
"The Army has prepared me - all my career - for this job through my previous assignments," said Spiszer. "I think I'm well-prepared."
To learn more about the Army's largest overseas training command, visit the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command's homepage at http://www.hqjmtc.army.mil