I Corps CG's conference puts big plans into motion
September 18, 2012
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash.-- Senior leadership of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., gathered to unify I Corps in its first steps in a new direction during a Commanding General's conference at the McChord Collocated Club, JBLM, Sept 12-13.
"It's really important to pull the leadership together and make sure that we are moving toward a vision and that everybody understands their role," said Lt. Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding general of I Corps. "It's also a great way to get feedback and ideas from sister elements across the spectrum on how to achieve that vision."
The conference was the first under Brown, who took command of I Corps in July, and it provided an opportunity for him to discuss developing changes as I Corps focuses on the Pacific region and improving home-station training.
"It's very exciting because it involves everybody at JBLM from medics to engineers and infantrymen," said Brown. "It's a historic time rebalancing to the Pacific."
Units at JBLM are scheduled to participate in exercises in Australia, Korea, Japan and various locations throughout the Pacific as soon as 2013, said Brown.
"This shift has provided really unique opportunities to work with our partners in the Pacific," said Brown who believes that the strength, experience and versatility of I Corps are what make it ideal for the mission. "I Corps serves as the operational force for the Pacific so we help shape relationships with countries there, we help prevent conflict and we build friendships."
The focus on the Pacific is a vision that wouldn't have been possible without the reactivation of the 7th Infantry Division on JBLM, added Brown.
"No place in the history of the United States Army has ever needed a division more than Joint Base Lewis-McChord," Brown said. "7th ID has the training, readiness and oversight of the divisional units here. They can get after the home-station, taking care of Soldiers and allowing the Corps to still be involved but to focus toward the Pacific. It is key to our success."
When the approximate 10,000 Soldiers from JBLM currently deployed to Afghanistan return, it will allow I Corps to increase its orientation to the Pacific while remaining prepared for conflict, added Brown.
"We have to first and foremost provide units and Soldiers who are ready for today's fight. That is our number one priority," said Brown. "We must make sure that we have done everything that we can do to train our Soldiers and to prepare our families for the challenges of combat."
Brown and fellow leaders made plans at the conference to improve preparation for combat by providing realistic training environments and scenarios including more involvement in Advanced Situational Awareness Training.
"It's important to know that this is a learning organization that encourages participation, encourages ideas and empowers," said Brown. "We all need to try everyday to get a little bit better and to set realistic but demanding goals. The most successful people set goals and they often fail but they use those goals to get themselves back on the path to success."
The conference not only gave leaders direction but purpose as well, as they prepare their commands to support I Corps' mission.
"The American Soldier is amazing if they know why they are doing something because then they will accomplish anything," said Brown. "This was my opportunity to tell the leaders why and have them pass it on to their Soldiers to get us all focused toward the vision. It's important to know that these leaders are going to give 110 percent to help chart the future of this organization."