FORT BENNING, Ga. — Focusing on tomorrow’s fight was at the forefront of the Maneuver Center of Excellence Warfighter Conference, held at Fort Benning from Sep. 13-15. The conference was attended by military experts from across the force, including the Army’s top generals, senior enlisted Soldiers, and civilian leaders.
“Our theme for the conference is 'Focusing on Tomorrow’s Fight;' central to this are two important points of emphasis. First, the focus on large scale combat operations while still retaining our expertise in regular warfare; we’ve been transitioning to [large scale combat operations] for the last several years. But the Russian invasion clearly reinforces a sense of urgency,” said Maj. Gen. Curtis A. Buzzard, commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, and Fort Benning. “Secondly, we are on a glide path to field the Army of 2030. One guided by numerous studies, experiments and wargames that identified a list of gaps but also informed by Russian aggression in Ukraine.”
Keynote speakers were the Honorable Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston, along with others who gave insight into how the Army can focus on tomorrow’s fight today.
According to Wormuth, to succeed on tomorrow’s battlefield and continue to dominate the land domain, the Army of 2030 will need to be able to do six main things successfully:
"We must ensure our Army can see more, farther, and more persistently at every echelon than our adversaries. Second, the Army of 2030 must be able to converge dispersed, deceptive forces at optimal times to strike hard against enemy targets. Third, we must be able to win the firefight, working with our sister services by shaping the battlefield, providing deep interdiction of lucrative enemy targets, and rapidly attacking massing enemy forces. Fourth, our Army must be able to protect ourselves using integrated, layered capabilities to offset vulnerabilities wherever we can. Fifth, we must be able to communicate and share data rapidly with ourselves, our sister services, and our coalition partners. And finally, the Army of 2030 must be able to sustain the fight to support pulsed operations as well as endurance for a protracted conflict," said Wormuth.
The Army’s modernization plan ensures that its Soldiers have the necessary training, equipment, and leadership to conduct large-scale combat operations alongside allies to defeat any adversary. The Army Chief of Staff examined one group of importance which enables such operations.
“Noncommissioned officers are the backbone of our Army and the ones who train our enlisted force,” said McConville. "We are the greatest Army in the world because we have the greatest noncommissioned officers in the world.”
The Sergeant Major of the Army then offered some advice for the Maneuver Captains Career Course students as they prepare to take command, with a reminder that their job is to get their people ready for combat.
"As a commander, set the priorities for your organization and then fight for them," said Grinston.
Gen. Gary M. Brito, commanding general, Training and Doctrine Command, addressed participants virtually, focusing on engaging the public and showing them what the Army can do.
“Accessions is an Army problem, and we are all in it… There are a lot of great things going on. We need to talk to the public and showcase our Army to the people,” said Brito.
Gen. Andrew P. Poppas, commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command, focused on how the Army must take care of its people to fight and win our nation's wars.
“We are excited about two things that we love — readiness and engaged leadership. We exist to fight and win our nation’s wars, and you can’t do that if you don’t have a mastery of the fundamentals, that’s readiness and engaged leadership that’s taking care of people,” said Poppas.
The conclusion of the conference reaffirmed Army maneuver leaders' commitment to interoperability across the Department of Defense and with partner nations in support of combined arms warfare.
“This conference is all about large scale combat operations and maintaining all-domain overmatch against any adversary,” said Buzzard. “Across the maneuver force we are focused on winning tomorrow’s fight.”