FORT HUACHUCA, Arizona -- Gen. Mark A. Milley, 39th chief of staff of the Army, visited Fort Huachuca Wednesday to get a firsthand look at the missions and training here supporting the nation's defense.

Milley met with leaders from the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Network Enterprise Technology Command, Electronic Proving Ground, Information Systems Engineering Command, U.S. Army Garrison and the 2-13th Aviation Regiment, among others.

"One of the reasons I came down here was to see how I could expand and maximize the capabilities that Huachuca has for the current world situation," Milley said. "You've got intelligence, you have NETCOM and cybersecurity here at Fort Huachuca."

Milley said he had been to Fort Huachuca before, but this day marked his first visit as the chief of staff of the Army.

"We have Soldiers cycling through here at an industrial rate," he said referring to the 10,000 Soldiers trained each year in military intelligence.

"It's not just Army Soldiers," Milley said. "We train Air Force, Navy, Marine intelligence as well as our allied partner nations. Intelligence is absolutely fundamental, critical for the success of the military operations. You can't get there from here without intelligence.

"You have to understand the environment, understand the enemy. That's exactly what the Intel Center of Excellence does."

After calling Fort Huachuca the "heart and soul of the intelligence community of the United States Army," Milley went on to praise NETCOM.

"NETCOM plays a fundamental role in the training, organizing and equipping, but also the managing of the networks for the U.S. Army," he said. "Fort Huachuca and those two organizations here are centers of gravity of two of the most important functions for operating."

As chief of staff of the Army, Milley said in his role he has two fundamental tasks: the readiness of the current force and modernization.

"We have an existing Army, consisting of the regular Army, the National Guard, the U.S. Army Reserves, and I have an obligation to the president, to Congress, to the American people to make sure that force is at a level of readiness that can deliver options for the president to use in the event of conflict," he explained.

His second task is "to look at future readiness, which is commonly known as modernization," Milley continued. "So we have to modernize and improve our current capabilities and adapt to what we predict will be a future operating environment. And that translates into readiness at some point in the future, say 10 to 20 years from now."

Milley said that Fort Huachuca plays a crucial role in achieving both of those tasks.

"Huachuca is the place that I lean on [Maj. Gen. Scott] Berrier to make sure we are producing trained and ready Soldiers, intelligence Soldiers, to make sure we can handle the current operating environment of today," he said.

"Then I lean on NETCOM to do the same thing. When [Maj. Gen. John] Baker comes to me, I want to know from him how are we doing in defending the network and our readiness for network operations."

Milley said there will be dramatic changes to the combat environment in the years to come, and the Army must be prepared for more dense urban combat situations and changes in capabilities, technology and readiness.

"I've leaned on [team Huachuca] heavily to help me understand what the future is going to be about," Milley continued. "[Training and Doctrine Command] and, specifically, the folks here at Huachuca have helped me understand what the operating environment is going to look like in 2025, 2030, 2040."