By Ms. Carroll Kim (TRADOC)October 9, 2008
WASHINGTON (October 8, 2008)-Members of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command presented a panel discussion on Army Modernization at the National Meeting of the Association of the United States Army at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
08:07 - Lt. Gen. Stephen Speakes delivers opening remarks, introduces each panel member and their role in today's presentation:
Aca,!Ac Enabling Full Spectrum Operations: Lt. Gen. Michael Vane, Commanding General U.S. Army Capabilities Integration Center
Aca,!Ac Warfighter's Perspective: Brig. Gen. Abe Abrams, Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center for Collected Training
Aca,!Ac Future Combat Systems - Core of Army Modernization: Lt. Gen. Speakes, Deputy Chief of Staff, Army G-8
Aca,!Ac FCS Program Update: Maj. Gen. Charles Cartwright, Program Manager for Future Combat Systems-Brigade Combat Teams and Mr. Gregg Martin, Future Combat Systems contractor
Aca,!Ac FCS: The Network: Brig. Gen. Brian Donahue, Director, Land/War/Net Battle Command
08:09 - Speakes draws attention to directives from the Secretary of the Army's call to converge on a versatile, expeditionary, agile, lethal, sustainable, interoperable force for the 21st Century.
08:11 - Lt. Gen. Vane begins his presentation on the current landscape with respect to global trends, strategic environment and operational context. This conflict calls Soldiers to become more entrenched in the cultures of the places in which they are deployed, thus requiring more training.
08:15 - Vane discusses how national security is dependent on global security. Success in this area is essentially contingent upon a nation's ability to dominate in land power and new technology through the Future Combat Systems program is working to aide Soldiers in land power.
08:18 - Another way the current conflict has FM 3-0 integrates the need of stability operations and a total government approach to achieve success in the battlefield. In response to this, Army units are being modularized and are prepared to work in the community setting.
08:23 - Brig. Gen. Abrams outlines the current operating environment as nothing that leadership could have imagined before the September 11th attacks. Major combat is carried out at the platoon, squad and company level, and because of the high level risk involved, every patrol turns into a mission. Current forces are also working in complex physical terrain. The urban settings and cavernous mountains are places Soldiers had not been before. Along with combative skills, FM 3-0 demands that Soldiers perform defensive, offensive and stability tasks simultaneously.
08:29 - Abrams also lists necessities for the Soldiers:
- Battle command networked and distributed to Soldier level
o Objective is to ensure that every Soldier's platform linked and enabled to share information quicker and more reliably
- UAS/UGS with live streaming video essential
o Objective is to increase situational awareness and understanding on a real-time basis.
- U.S. Soldier-The most precise weapon capability the Army has
o Objective is to equip each Soldier with the leadership and decision making skills necessary for battle and hone their ability to use the materials provided to them and lead others.
08:35 - Speakes defines the Army Modernization Strategy as a holistic picture of what the Army needs to ensure success in current and future battles.
- Finish "Grow the Army": recruiting a qualified force will continue to be an ongoing effort.
- Focus on future force: to be able to solve problems for the future, Soldiers need to inform leadership of what is needed now. Future Combat Systems has been integrated to meet the needs of Soldiers returning from theater and is centered around how the Soldier functions in current and future warfare.
- Accelerate capabilities to infantry brigade combat teams: infantry brigades are the most in-demand units needed to fight this war, so equipping them and preparing infantry Soldiers for success in the field is a key priority.
- Restore funding to FCS and complementary capabilities: this is an expensive program, but ensuring that Soldiers have adequate materials in the right time.
- Limited modernization for combat and tactical vehicles (tanks, Bradleys and trucks): the Army is working to update tactical vehicles to make them relevant to today's conflicts.
08:40 - MG Cartwright and Gregg Martin recognize the improvement of Manned Ground Vehicles, Unmanned Ground Vehicles, Unattended Systems and Unattended Systems are being synched up the battle command network, which also integrates joint units to increase the quality and timeliness of communication across the Armed Forces
08:49 - Fiscal year 2009 will be dedicated to detail design of the technology while 2010 will bring initial integration although there is an exception. According to Martin, cannon prototypes are being tested now, ahead of the projected timeline.
08:52 - Brig. Gen. Brian Donahue shared the LandWarNet/Battle Command Strategy of prioritize, synchronize and coordinate Army activities to develop. The objective of LandWarNet/Battle Command is to deliver relevant, affordable and interoperable capabilities set to the Generating and Operational Force within the ARFORGEN process.
08:57 - Donahue closed the panel by share decision making is an annual process to develop capability set courses of action. All courses of action must be affordable, interoperable and feasible. Courses of action will vary the application of resources. Decision will be based on relevancy and greatest operational value.