FORT BENNING, Ga (May 23, 2018) -- The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation's Command and General Staff Officer Course students heard from experts recently about the current operational environment they will step into when they graduate in May.

Two of those experts are graduates of WHINSEC's Command and General Staff Officer Course: Brig. Gen. Dustin Shultz and Navy Capt. Mark AsunciĆ³n.

Shultz, a 2007 WHINSEC CGSOC graduate and the first CGSOC graduate to earn a star, is now the commanding general of the 1st Mission Support Command at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, and the senior federal officer in the Caribbean. She was a first responder during the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and briefed on the lessons learned and challenges of the recovery efforts.

AsunciĆ³n, a WHINSEC CGSOC graduate and currently the director of Africa Command's strategic outreach, delivered a regional overview of Africa that encompassed the threats and trends impacting the continent today.

Fifteen presenters in all addressed all aspects of the challenges military and security force operators will face during the three-day event.

The presentations were organized to address global issues on the first day, situations in different regions of the world next, and finally specific challenges in the Americas.

Gary Phillips, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, gave a global overview that included current and future threats and trends. Dr. Boris Saavedra from the Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, warned of the cyber threat and discussed the 2018 National Security Strategy. Coming in from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Col. John S. Cunningham, Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate, discussed the new FM 3-0 Operations Manual and how doctrine is transforming to meet the threats of the operational environment. Col. Desmond V. Bailey, Concept Development Division, Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, talked about cross-domain maneuver and how the Army is combatting the current threats from the movement and maneuver perspective.

Dr. William Dean from the Air Command and Staff College in Montgomery, Alabama, supplied an academic overview of Africa. By video-teleconference from Central Command headquarters in MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Col. Jesse T. Pearson detailed CENTCOM's strategy toward trends and threats impacting its area of responsibility today. From Hawaii, also via VTC, Col. Kenneth Wanless Jr., Pacific Command's chief of strategy and policy, briefed on PACOM's regional overview of threats and trends. Dr. Doug Davis, director of the International Relations Department and associate professor of political science at Troy University in Troy, Alabama, highlighted the challenges impacting Europe today.

Marine Col. William J. Truax of U.S. Southern Command presented SOUTHCOM's strategy with a focus on the collaboration and interoperability required to fight the transnational criminal networks in the Western Hemisphere and returned to discuss environmental and energy concerns during times of crisis in the Western Hemisphere. Christopher Carper of U.S. Northern Command explored NORTHCOM's strategy, highlighting key issues impacting the Homeland Security plan. Retired Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, former deputy commanding general of SOUTHCOM, formerly commander of Joint Task Force -- Haiti, and who was in Haiti when the earthquake struck, reviewed the lessons learned during the Haiti recovery mission. Honduran army Col. Andres Moncada, the secretary for the Conference of Central American Forces (CFAC), spoke of that organization's six lines of efforts and its interoperability with U.S. SOUTHCOM. Another expert from the Perry Center, Dr. David Spencer, wrapped up the discussions with his thoughts on how the current operational environment will affect the future Operational Environment.