Thursday March 18, 2010
What is it?
Exercise EAGLE OWL is a two-week United States and United Kingdom combined staff exercise conducted at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., twice annually. The exercise combines about 200 United Kingdom majors from the Intermediate Staff and Command Course (Land) with their U.S. counterparts from the Intermediate Level Education course.
Students and faculty use collaborative discussion and tactical planning at the brigade combat team level in Irregular Warfare and Stability Operations. The most recent exercise incorporated an aggressive guest speaker program including briefings from Human Terrain Systems, a Provincial Reconstruction Team panel, Lt. Col. Cabaniss, a U.S. Marine Corps Battalion commander (USMC BN CDR), just returned from Helmand Province, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen, Ambassador Haqqani, the Pakistani ambassador to the United States, the COIN Center, Dr. Sultana Parvanta, a senior cultural advisor and consultant in Kabul, and Maj. Gen. Bucknall, the U.K. assistant chief of the general staff.
What has the Army done?
In recognition of the United Kingdom's place as the United States' staunchest ally in the war on terrorism, Fort Leavenworth Combined Arms Center, Kan., provides a multitude of training resources and opportunities to the United Kingdom. The Army National Guard's Battle Command Training Center-Leavenworth provides the logistical platform for the exercise and has been instrumental in hosting the U.S. Army's global partners. This ensures a successful combined exercise increasing the knowledge and understanding of the field grade officers of both countries.
Why is it important to the Army?
In light of current operations in southern Afghanistan, where British soldiers fight alongside American Soldiers and Marines, it is critical that the Army leverage the opportunity to learn from each other in combined seminar discussions on irregular warfare, history, and leadership in a small staff group setting. Exercise EAGLE OWL gives British and American officers the chance to increase understanding of U.S. and U.K. cultural and procedural similarities and differences, experience combined planning for irregular warfare, and build professional relationships to facilitate future partnership in combined operations.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future
The Deputy Commandant of Command and General Staff College, Brig. Gen. Ed Cardon, and the Director of the U.K. army division, Brigadier Chris Tickell, have directed the staffs of both schools to develop a new scenario that exposes students to potential operational environments and develops increased knowledge of combined operations under NATO leadership. The scenario development process is ongoing and will be the basis of the next EAGLE OWL exercise in June 2010.
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ABOUT THE ARMY
"While the people are not negative to our forces or the Afghan national security forces, we also, to this point, have not been able to offer the kind of security that allows the people to make a full decision. One man spoke to us for a little while, and then said, 'I'm going to get a night letter [from the Taliban] tonight, because I'm talking to you.'"
- Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander, U.S. Central Command, emphasizing the fact that the civilian efforts and the Afghans themselves ultimately will ensure progress in Afghanistan
"The majority of door gunners are dominated by males, and when you have a female come into the job it reminds us that we're not the only ones who can do the job. They (women) can do the job just as well and in some cases better than us."
- Sgt. Daniel Rice, a crew chief and standardization instructor from New Ipswich, N.H.
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