By by Eve Meinhardt/ParaglideJanuary 7, 2010
On Wednesday, Fort Bragg received a visit from Gen. Charles C. Campbell, the commander of United States Army Forces Command.
During his two-day visit, Campbell spoke with many of Fort Bragg's leaders, providing a leader professional development class Wednesday night and speaking with Fort Bragg's sergeant majors at a breakfast with them Thursday morning at the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg Noncommissioned Officer Academy.
Command Sergeant Major Roger Howard, the NCO Academy commandant, said he appreciates Campbell's focus on training the Army's future leaders.
"General Campbell reiterated with us the movement he started as the FORSCOM commander to bring the Army school system together under one umbrella," said Howard. "His vision is the same as ours as senior noncommissioned officers - to have the best Army the world has ever known and state of the art facilities for our future leaders to train in."
Campbell said he appreciates the work the deployed Soldiers are doing as the military shifts its focus to Afghanistan.
"The Fort Bragg Soldier has been carrying a heavy load now for many years and is going to be asked to carry a heavy load into the future as well," said Campbell. "So, we have Soldiers from the great 82nd Airborne 'All-Americans' who are serving (in Afghanistan) along with other Soldiers from the (XVIII Airborne) Corps. In my view, they are making a huge contribution and setting the conditions for successes to be fashioned there in the months and years to come."
He said that the Soldiers would be unable to carry this load without the support of their Families and the Army's civilian workforce, who he called an integral part of the Army team.
"Families have always been key to readiness. In fact, Family readiness is a component of combat readiness and I've encouraged our leaders at every level to be attentive to Family readiness because it's been my experience that when Families are resilient, when they are independent and interdependent, and when they are Family strong that we set the conditions for Soldiers to be focused on the important work they are doing - the important work that associates to preserving this great nation, its values, its liberties and its freedoms," he said.
As Campbell's FORSCOM headquarters prepares to move to Fort Bragg in 2011 along with the U.S. Army Reserve Command, he said that the move is going bring another hugely important mission to Fort Bragg.
"Fort Bragg is one of our premier installations ... it's certainly our largest installation, and may very well be our most complex installation. And this is going to add yet another component of complexity because we're bringing two very significant headquarters here," said Campbell.
FORSCOM exercises oversight of about 280,000 active component Soldiers and the training readiness oversight for the Army National Guard and the United States Army Reserve. USARC is the operating headquarters that oversees about 205,000 Army Reservists across the United States.
In an overflight of the installation, Campbell got a bird's eye view of his new headquarters building and some of the other construction projects happening across Fort Bragg.
"It's really quite remarkable," he said. "We've invested about $3 billion in the military construction program that has unfolded here at Fort Bragg from about 2007 to about 2015. So, that's reflective in my view of an Army that's made a commitment to its Soldiers and their Family members. (An Army) that provides them a quality of life that is commensurate with the quality of service that they are rendering to our nation.
"There are lots of good things happening here at Fort Bragg," he added. "It's a great team up here and I think that this is a wonderful place to soldier and it's a wonderful place to work and it's a wonderful place to recreate and it's a wonderful place to worship. So, it is really a very special place to raise an Army Family and to be Army strong."
Campbell said that while Fort Bragg's Soldiers will continue to be busy in the new year, he appreciates the sacrifices they and their Families make and the challenges they face.
"There are many challenges that we will confront in the new year, but challenges make life interesting and challenges overcome make life meaningful," he said.