FORT BENNING, Ga. — The Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning is hosting the three-day Maneuver Warfighter Conference, September 13-15, at McGinnis Wickham Hall at Fort Benning.
The conference, open to members of the U.S. military, Department of Defense civilians and contractors, and international partners, is future focused.
Maj. Gen. Curtis A. Buzzard, the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning commanding general, explains that focus.
“This year’s conference is about our Maneuver Forces focusing on tomorrow’s fight; here at the Maneuver Center of Excellence we recognize the character of war is changing, but I would argue the nature of war largely remains the same.”
“Focusing on Tomorrow’s Fight” is this year’s official theme for the annual conference and each day will bring speakers and focused discussion: first strategic guidance, followed by current operations, and finally recruiting and training.
“Technology advancements are driving necessary adjustments to our doctrine, organizations, training, and required capabilities,” says Buzzard. “How we fight is changing.”
As the world continues to change and evolve, the Army is adapting how it fights, what it fights with and is acknowledging who it is in preparation for future operational challenges.
Brig. Gen. Thomas M. Felty, commandant of the U.S. Army Armor School and chief of armor, describes what information participants can expect to hear and how it relates to readiness.
“We want [people] to join us at the Maneuver Warfighter Conference to see how [their] maneuver force accounts for an ever-changing operational environment, new equipment, and evolving doctrine, so that we’re ready to fight tomorrow and for Army 2030,” said Felty.
Preparation for large scale combat operations requires the Army to be globally aware and challenge historical assumptions to ensure capability, capacity and lethality match the realities of near peer conflict.
Brig. Gen. Larry Burris, commandant of the U.S. Army Infantry School, chief of infantry, and director of the Soldier Lethality cross-functional team, details how the conference will explore changing operational environments.
“Over the past decade the Army and our nation, rightfully so, have been focused on counterinsurgency and stability operations, now we are focusing on preparing our leaders and Soldiers for tomorrows fight,” said Burris. “At the Maneuver Warfighter Conference we will explore combined arms formations that are ready to execute large-scale combat operations.”
The conference will begin with the Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Christine Wormuth, providing opening remarks Tuesday, September 13, and she will be followed by the Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. James C. McConville, and Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston.
Col. Ryan Wylie, Maneuver Center of Excellence chief of staff, highlights the opportunity the conference offers to participants and the value it provides the force.
“The opportunity that we provide to our workforce and our students [is] to have access to leaders like the Secretary of the Army, Army Chief of Staff, Sergeant Major of the Army, Army Forces Command, Training and Doctrine Command, Special Operations Command and others here. This professional development opportunity is priceless from the perspective of the leadership and those they lead.”
The conference will host attendees from more than 20 military entities from across the globe, allowing participants to receive insight into some of the Army's most influential leaders and thinkers, providing a prime professional development opportunity for junior and more senior Soldiers alike.
“Nowhere else in the Army do this number of senior leaders get the opportunity to interface with junior leaders and middle managers; and they can use that engagement to help shape the force,” notes Dan Duval, a Maneuver Center of Excellence strategic planner and lead planner for the conference.
This conference is just one example of how the Maneuver Center of Excellence continues to invest in people and education to train Soldiers to be more effective, make better decisions, and be the Army of tomorrow, today.
“Collectively, our maneuver forces are prepared to deploy, fight, and win in the crucible of ground combat,” emphasizes Buzzard.
Those wanting to participate must register online and are encouraged to do so in advance. A full schedule of events is available on the website.