WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2011 -- The Under Secretary of the Army visited Fort Benning and the Maneuver Center of Excellence Oct. 25 to gain situational awareness and ensure the Army is correctly prioritizing, balancing and integrating resources to support the mission of this vital installation.

Honorable Dr. Westphal received updates from the Infantry and Armor School Commandants and visited various tenant units and organizations to speak with Soldiers and leaders throughout the installation.

"I am very impressed with the incredible capabilities here at Fort Benning and the professional manner in which our Soldiers are being trained and educated," Westphal said. "In every unit I visited, I saw dedicated Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians that are committed to ensuring that our Army has the best equipped and prepared Soldiers in the world."

Westphal also received a tour of Fort Benning's newly renovated headquarters building, McGinnis-Wickham Hall, home of the the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE). During the tour, the Commandants for the Armor and Infantry Schools outlined MCoE's efforts to continue evolving and nest shared focus areas between Armor and Infantry schools.

Honorable Dr. Westphal also visited the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) and addressed 70 students and faculty during a roundtable discussion.

"It's critically important that we continue expanding partnerships in areas of mutual interest and expand security cooperation throughout Latin America and the Western Hemisphere. Institutes like this are important because it brings us together and allows us to build relationships and address shared challenges," Westphal said.

Westphal also visited the United States Army Marksmanship Unit, the 75th Ranger Regiment and the National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center.