Monday April 20, 2009
What is it?
The Land Forces Symposium is an annual forum that brings together military leaders from more than 20 countries in U.S. Army Central's area of responsibility (AOR) to discuss common challenges, exchange views and foster security cooperation. During the week-long symposium, senior military leaders from the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia will collectively address issues including regional security organizations, full-spectrum operations and training, disaster relief, interagency operations, provincial reconstruction teams and environmental security concerns.
What has the Army done?
The Army identified an opportunity for militaries in the AOR to meet and identify training needs, equipment and other requirements while discussing future concepts necessary to address 21st century challenges.
This is the fourth year LFS has been held. The 2008 LFS was held in Stone Mountain, Ga., and was co-hosted by Gen. George Casey Jr., chief of staff of the U.S. Army, and Lt. Gen. James J. Lovelace, USARCENT commander. LFS was held in Pakistan in 2007 and the inaugural event was in Atlanta, Ga., in 2006.
Why is this important to the Army?
In addition to providing a venue for senior military leaders to discuss global trends affecting their region, LFS enhances relationships among partner nations, encouraging them to work collectively towards peace and security in the region.
What is planned for the future?
This year's LFS will be held in Mombasa, Kenya, April 20 - 23. Gen. Jeremiah M. Kianga, chief of the general staff of the Kenya Armed Forces, and Lt. Gen. Jackson K. Tuwei, commander of the Kenya Army, will co-host this year's symposium with Gen. George W. Casey Jr., U.S. Army chief of staff and Lt. Gen. James J. Lovelace, USARCENT commander. Gen. William E. Ward, AFRICOM commander, and Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III, U.S. Army Africa commander, will also attend.
The theme for this year's Land Forces Symposium is Land Forces' Challenges in a Full Spectrum Environment and will consist of three panels focusing on:
- Global Trends Impacting the Central Command AOR and the Horn of Africa: Discussion focused on global trends affecting the region and the need to keep pace with the changing environment.
- Full Spectrum Enablers: Full spectrum operations depend on building interoperability among militaries and working with governmental and nongovernmental organizations.
- Multinational Army Training and Preparedness: Ultimately resulting in better interoperability and mutual understanding of the current and future operating environment.
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"My initial impressions are that there are a lot of things that need to come out of country, a lot of vehicles, a lot of bases. The president has said (we are) drawing down to a much smaller force by August 2010. It makes it a little bit of a difficult mission, but certainly not one that's impossible."
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