CSA visits Tropic Lightning Division
January 15, 2013
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SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Jan. 15, 2013) -- The 38th Chief of Staff of the Army visited Schofield Barracks Jan. 8-9, to meet with senior leaders and observe how Soldiers have been training in the Pacific.
Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, met with Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, 25th Infantry Division commander, and other leaders to discuss the health of the Tropic Lightning Division, and the challenges of home station training and facilities in Hawaii. The Division's mission in the Pacific was also a key topic of discussion.
"This is a tough time right now," Odierno said. "We are still deploying, we still have combat missions, we are trying to recover from 10 years of war, we are re-establishing training methods, we are re-establishing sustainment methods and we are trying to go forward in a new way. There has probably never been a more complex period in our Army than there is right now."
Since the release of the President's Defense Strategic Guidance in January 2012, the portion of the document referencing the security and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region has generated much interest.
"There are a lot of people in this [area of responsibility] and 36 partner nations. Seven of the 10 largest armies in the world are here. We deal in that human domain on a day-to-day basis, and that's why engagements and exercises and communication are so vitally important to us maintaining peace, stability and security in the AOR," said Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific.
The 25th ID's role in this rebalance/refocus process is to act as the Pacific Commander's Quick Response Force, providing security in a real-world event. Based in Hawaii since its inception in October 1941, the 25th ID Headquarters and units have been involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation New Dawn and is now focused on regional partnerships in the Pacific. During a visit to the Mission Training Complex, Schofield Barracks, Odierno toured the tactical operations center and met with 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team leaders to discuss Army policy, strategy, and how Soldiers are being trained to meet the requirements of the Pacific region mission.
"The missions that you are going to be involved in require leadership," Odierno said. "It requires leaders who can understand and access the environment you are going into, and understand how you are able to use the resources and assets available to you to continue moving forward with the mission. That's a really tough leadership task, but it's one I know you are all prepared for."
The CSA, accompanied by his wife Linda, also visited the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade's Yellow Ribbon Room. Located at the Family Support Group Center on Wheeler Army Airfield, this room is described as a safe and comfortable location where family members and Family Readiness Support Assistants are able to meet, connect and discuss various issues and concerns. It also features an array of amenities to help families keep in touch with deployed Soldiers.
Mrs. Odierno commented on how well the 25th CAB was organized and the participation of all the FRSA's across the brigade. She feels very strong that the benefits of the FRG help the overall health and morale of families during deployments and even in garrison.
Soldiers of the 25th CAB began returning to Hawaii with the first group returning in December 2012. The 25th CAB has served the past year in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.