Culture Summit brings nations together, promotes understanding
March 9, 2011
By Amy Sunseri
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. -- Representatives of various nations from around the world came together this week in Sierra Vista to expose others to and promote their cultures and to better understand those of others. The fifth annual Culture Summit wraps up today at the Windemere Hotel and Conference Center in Sierra Vista. The three-day event which began on Monday is hosted by the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and the Training and Doctrine Command Culture Center on Fort Huachuca.
The theme of this year's summit is "Practitioner's Guide to Culture Education and Training."
Over 300 people from all over the world attended. Representatives of Pakistan, Ghana, other nations and the United Nations came to this year's event. The goal was to bring in people who are not like U.S. citizens because the event is about cultural understanding, said Col. Sonny Reeves, TRADOC Culture Center, Directorate of Training, Development and Support.
The summit brings together military leaders, scholars, academics, international business representatives, non-governmental organization representatives, subject matter experts, trainers and educators to discuss practical methods for building cross-cultural competence in the United States Army. The summit also discusses the evolution of culture training and its impact on the way the Army applies culture to current and emerging threats.
"What we're trying to do is take practical things that we need to know, that Soldiers need to know at any level from a private or second lieutenant or general officer, and [determine] how ... you apply these to facilitate success. The last thing we want to do is shoot someone; it's all about being successful," explained Reeves.
Since 2006, the TRADOC Culture Center on Fort Huachuca has served as a center of excellence for culture training and education, research and development. The center provides culture training and education to deploying units, Army schools, specialty programs and several courses at the Intelligence Center on Fort Huachuca.
"The Army's probably ahead of the other services in understanding the importance of culture and language," said Brig. Gen. Gregg Potter, USAICoE and Fort Huachuca commanding general.
Over the three-day period, the summit welcomed keynote speakers and various panels.
Relationships are the key to cultural success, stated Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, deputy commander for U.S. Southern Command while speaking at the summit.
"The importance of our partnerships in developing relationships in all of our work and providing a mutual objective and security around the world I think is absolutely critical," Keen said.
Reeves added that the TRADOC Culture Center and Fort Huachuca thanks the community in offering their services to assist the summit this year.