AUSA panel discussion to highlight Army readiness, training and modernization

By Paul Boyce, FORSCOMOctober 8, 2019

AUSA Annual Meeting Panel Discussion Highlights Army Readiness,  Training, Modernization and Total Army Force
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FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Soldiers and military experts from U.S. Army Forces Command, U.S. Army Europe, the U.S. Army's G-3/5/7, the Heritage Foundation and the RAND Arroyo Center will focus on U.S. Army "Readiness through 2022 and Beyond," during a nationally-webcasted presentation.

The Association of the U.S. Army's Annual Meeting 2019 -- occurring Oct. 14-16 in Washington, D.C. -- Contemporary Military Forum will include remarks by FORSCOM Commanding General Gen. Michael Garrett, U.S. Army Europe Commanding General Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, Army G-3/5/7 Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, the Heritage Foundation Center for National Defense's Lt. Gen. (Retired) Thomas Spoehr, and RAND Arroyo Center's Michael Linick. The forum will take place Monday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m.

The panel's focus on Army readiness also will address ongoing Army training initiatives; the strategic roles of the active Army, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve; as well as ongoing efforts implementing the Army's modernization strategy -- to include fielding state-of-the-art equipment to Soldiers and units.

The panel discussion also will feature a question-and-answer period with the audience as part of the Association of the U.S. Army's focus that Monday on Army readiness. To view the panel presentation online, visit:


"I'm really excited with the direction we're going -- winning matters, and we can win by mastering tasks from the bottom of our formations," Gen. Garrett said Sept. 12 at the 2019 Maneuver Warfighter Conference. His Fort Benning, Ga., presentation focused on training and preparing brigade combat teams that are well led, disciplined and trained to win.

"Highly trained squads and platoons are the foundation of ready units," Gen. Garrett told Forces Command leaders during earlier remarks July 30 to Army commanders at Fort Bragg. "Training progression begins by achieving proficiency at the individual, crew and squad level through progressive repetitions and sets, building toward platoon proficiency that is vital to achieving the lethality desired in our more complex collective training events.

"When properly planned," he said, "the successful completion of each successive training activity builds on the last and increases the capacity, motivation, and lethality of individuals and units for more complex and challenging higher-level collective training events.

"As we move toward 2022, Army senior leaders have told us that resourcing priorities will begin to shift from building readiness to sustaining readiness and modernizing the force toward the Multi-Domain Operations-capable force by 2028," Gen. Garrett said. "We will work to balance and synchronize new equipment fielding to ensure that the readiness gains we have achieved are preserved."

Panelists will discuss the Army's current efforts as well as priorities over the past two decades associated with military operations in the Middle East and across the globe.


"Over the last 18 years, the Army completely transformed itself to perform exquisitely in counterinsurgency missions," retired Lt. Gen. Spoehr wrote in an online commentary, "How the Army Must Modernize to Counter Major Military Powers." "It fielded new equipment, redesigned organizations and trained leaders in 'small fights.'"

"Hence, as just one example, the Army's premier combat training center at Fort Irwin, California, transformed itself to replicate urban counterinsurgency scenarios, complete with actors portraying the populace," Spoehr said. "To accommodate the new strategy, however, the Army must pivot to preparing for fights with major competitors. It is now fully engaged in that process, but it cannot be achieved overnight."

Similar to Fort Irwin's U.S. Army National Training Center frequented by Army units based in the United States, U.S. Army Europe Soldiers often train at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, as well as the Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas in Germany. Lt. Gen. Cavioli told Army Times last year about their focus on Army readiness at these facilities and at Army units across Europe.

"U.S. Army Europe is here to support the combatant command, and we accomplish that through readiness, setting the theater and interoperability," Lt. Gen. Cavioli said. "Our number one priority is readiness, which must be sustained through training, personnel and equipment. We set the theater to support operational plans and contingencies throughout Europe and enable an efficient flow of forces as needed, so we must maintain critical capabilities and enhance interoperability."


Panel members, such as RAND's Michael Linick, likely will address the vital roles of the U.S. Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve as part of the Total Army's readiness response to world situations and Combatant Commanders' global needs.

"Because the needs of the United States and the threats it faces are continuously evolving, the balance between the active and reserve components of the U.S. armed forces is a perennial challenge for the U.S. Department of Defense," Linick wrote in the June 2019 RAND report, "A Throughput-Based Analysis of Army Active Component/Reserve Component Mix for Major Contingency Surge Operations."

"Aspects include how rapidly and in what quantity reserve component units can be made ready to deploy to meet the demands of a sudden, large overseas conflict, such as an Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm--like event or a possible conflict on the Korean peninsula."

The report recommends Army "force managers focus investments on maintaining readiness in Reserve Component (RC) units based on the force-flow imperatives. These investments may include not only training dollars but also training seat allocations, overmanning, and other actions that improve the general readiness of units when confronted with a no-notice or short-notice mobilization."

The RAND report also recommends Army planners and the global force managers responsible for allocating specific units to a major conflict contingency force flow use a process that recognizes the advantages of deploying smaller, quicker-to-train RC units in the earlier periods of a conflict and deferring the use of the larger, more-complex-to-train RC formations to later stages of major operations or transition or stabilization operations."

U.S. Army Forces Command, the largest U.S. Army command, provides expeditionary, regionally engaged, campaign-capable land forces to combatant commanders. FORSCOM also trains and prepares a combat ready, globally responsive total force, building and sustaining readiness to meet Combatant Command requirements. Headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C., FORSCOM consists of more than 750,000 Active Army, U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard Soldiers.

Related Links:

2019 AUSA annual meeting and live webcast schedule

U.S. Army Forces Command