By Irene Smith, JIEDDO PAONovember 12, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Army announced the President of the United States' next nominee for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization Nov. 10.
If confirmed, Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero will replace Lt. Gen. Mike Oates sometime in 2011.
Barbero is the Deputy Commander for Advising and Training, United States Forces-Iraq. His current combat experience is a major factor in his selection to lead JIEDDO in its critical mission to rapidly provided counter-IED capability to combat commanders.
The outgoing director summarized the requirement for a new director in his notification to the JIEDDO workforce.
"I believe combat credibility becomes fairly latent at about two years and directly impacts the effectiveness of the director," Oates said. "In May 2011, I will have been out of the combat zone for two years and it is essential that we have a new director with more current combat credibility to effectively advocate for our combat commanders with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Congress and the families of our troops in harm's way."
JIEDDO remains focused on providing capability to the warfighter through threat-specific, pre-deployment training, detection of the devices and understanding the enemy networks that attack U.S. and coalition troops to disrupt the supply chain associated with the IED.
In the last nine months, JIEDDO has been instrumental in the delivery of counter-IED capability to enable the surge forces going into Afghanistan.
According to Oates, the most significant contribution that the director can make is to focus and lead DOD's efforts to satisfy combat commanders' counter-IED requirements.
"Effective advocacy requires combat credibility with the myriad of stakeholders that influence and impact JIEDDO," he said. "The new director, fresh from the combat zone, will bring the essential credibility and advocacy required to focus our efforts during the following years."
JIEDDO's single focus on speed of response to the warfighter is uniquely enabled by Congress and constant support of the senior leadership of OSD. Since assuming lead of JIEDDO in late 2009, Oates has consistently urged JIEDDO to take more risk and maintain a sense of urgency on the mission to support our troops forward deployed.
"I am absolutely confident the dedicated JIEDDO workforce will never fail those in harm's way and I have been very proud to serve as part of the JIEDDO team," Oates said.