FORT BENNING, Ga. - The inaugural Maneuver Conference began today at the Columbus, Ga. Convention and Trade Center.

"This is the first true Maneuver Conference," Maj. Gen Robert Brown, commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, told the attendees as he welcomed them to the conference. "We've never had our Armor brothers here before. It's a great example of the way things should have been done all along."

The conference, hosted by the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, will focus on 21st Century Maneuver Training, and showcase the unity of the Maneuver Force, while highlighting issues affecting the Infantry, Armor, and Cavalry communities.

Some of the topics that will be explored in light of 21st Century Maneuver Training are the training brain, blending the use of live and virtual training with constructive and gaming simulations and leveraging technology to enhance Soldiers' capabilities on the battlefield.

The conference will open with a BRAC update by Brown. He will be followed by the conference's keynote speaker Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general for U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, who will further address the conference's theme, "21st Century Maneuver Training."

The Infantry School commandant, Col. Walter E. Piatt, and the Armor School commandant, Col. Thomas S. James, will also present updates during the conference.

Three Doughboy Award recipients, two 2011 Order of Saint George Gold Medallion recipients and two 2010 Order of Saint George Gold Medallion recipients will be recognized at the Doughboy Awards and Order of Saint George Gold Medallion ceremony at 6:30 p.m..

Throughout the conference, attendees will have access to presentations on current best practices for Live, Virtual, Constructive, and Gaming training and panel discussions on training initiatives and emerging technologies.

Defense Industry contractors will showcase their products in the North and South Exhibition Halls.

The conference will conclude with an open house at the newly renovated MCoE headquarters building.

For more information about the Maneuver Conference please call the MCoE Public Affairs Office or visit the MCoE website