Leaders discuss deployment issues
February 25, 2011
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Fort Carson and Task Force Ivy leaders hosted a two-day U.S. Army Forces Command Rear Detachment Symposium Feb. 16-17 at the 4th Infantry Division headquarters building. The symposium brought together four senior leaders; 19 division, 31 brigade and 10 mission support element leaders; 39 Family readiness support assistants; and five staff members from 51 FORSCOM organizations and units to discuss lessons learned and best practices of rear detachment operations at the brigade level and higher. Brig. Gen. James H. Doty, acting senior commander, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, said the reason for the event was to learn from one another and, in turn, better inform the Army. "What we have done is gathered leaders who have units deploying, have deployed or will deploy, to share experiences and lessons they have learned to try and make the process better for everyone in the Army," said Doty. "We are hoping to get some of this documented and into policy and in doctrinal publications because the Army is always in motion, we change over leaders about every one to two years and what we want to do is not have to start from scratch every time," Doty said. "We have been at war for over 10 years, and it is time to write the cookbook for how to do this," Doty said. "We are hoping to gain from the years of experience of the senior leaders in attendance from across the Army so that we can make things better for our Soldiers. We want to be able to train, deploy and fight our nation\'s wars more efficiently. We want to make the process better, not just at Fort Carson, but for our entire Army." Lt. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg, FORSCOM deputy commanding general and chief of staff, and Maj. Gen. William F. Grimsley, deputy commanding general, III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas, were guest speakers for the event. Bromberg said the leaders in attendance should discuss the challenges faced by the lack of Army doctrine, policy and concrete procedures regarding rear detachments. During his brief, Bromberg spoke about the process the Army is going through to make it possible for Soldiers to have two years at home for every year spent in a combat zone, as well as discussing the Army Force Generation and the changes the Army will be making in the future with regards to numbers of troops. "We need to ensure we are doing the best we can to care for Soldiers and their Families," said Bromberg. Included in the symposium activities were five break-out groups consisting of senior leaders; division-level commanders and command sergeants major; brigade-level commanders and command sergeants major; mission support element directors; and Family readiness support assistants. The five groups met four times throughout the event for more than seven hours, discussing topics such as strategic environment, roles and responsibility, organization, mission, lessons learned and best practices. At the end of each day's activities a spokesperson from each group shared the group's topics of concern and areas of needed attention with the symposium attendees. "If we let it stop here, we have failed in our mission," said Col. Todd Heussner, commander, Task Force Ivy, at the close of the symposium. "The intent is to stay connected and keep working toward our objective," said Heussner. "Our job is to build a bridge so that those who follow behind us can get further than we have gone. Regardless if we get to use the bridge or not, we have to build it so those who come behind us can cross the bridge."