Army of Tomorrow Will Be More Capable, Adaptable, General Says
By Michelle Tan, firstname.lastname@example.org // Today’s Army is truly one Army, the commanding general of Forces Command said Monday.
“After 11 years of protracted conflict, we emerge with a new perspective of the capabilit
ies we require and of the Army’s vital role as a key member of the joint force,” said Gen. David Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, who has been nominated to be the next commander of Africa Command, was the keynote speaker at the Army National Guard and Army Reserve leadership breakfast during the Association of the United States Army annual meeting.
The Army of the future is going to be smaller, but it also will be more capable and adaptable, Rodriguez said.
“We built this force over the last decade into the highly capable team we are today,” he said. “Our future success depends on this team remaining together and continuing to think and fight as one total force. This is important because today,America’s Army is headed into a period of transition that is constrained by fiscal limitation and characterized by a more complex, dangerous operating environment.”
Rodriguez said the Army is focusing on finding the right balance between maintaining readiness and maximizing increasingly tight training resources.
One key to that is integrating Guard and Reserve units with active Amy units in training exercises and missions around the world.
This includes incorporating the Guard and Reserve in the active Army’s effort to regionally align its forces with the regional combatant commands for joint exercises, theater security cooperation activities and other region-specific missions.
“Doing so allows commanders to plan and execute both decisive action training and then focus on those region-specific tasks that are required to be most effective,” Rodriguez said. “This concept also provides geographic combatant commanders aligned joint task force capable corps and select divisions ready to meet the combatant commander’s contingency missions.”
Regionally-aligned forces will help the Guard and Reserve maintain their readiness while supporting the building of long-term relationships with foreign militaries and governments, Rodriguez said.
The Army also must continue to include the Guard and Reserve in warfighter exercises and other training missions at home, he said.
He cited as an example the III Corps warfighter exercise in June that included the 101st Airborne Division and several Guard and Reserve units.
“This exercise challenged the III Corps team to accomplish a difficult mission in a complex operating environment, and it tested the ability of all the participating units to execute mission command in a major exercise,” Rodriguez said. “Exercises such as these serve as a foundation as we move forward and implement the [Secretary of the Army’s] new total force policy.”
Another example is a plan in 2013 to deploy active-duty units to the Balkans.
For years, the Guard has provided the lead headquarters for the Balkans Multi-National Brigade-East mission, Rodriguez said.
In 2013, active-duty units, including a brigade and aviation assets, will be included in the rotation, he said.
“Our Army, no matter what happens to it in the budget wars, will ensure it can fulfill its commitment to the American people,” Rodriguez said. “Our world changed significantly 11 years ago when this nation and our way of life came under attack. The Army has responded to these challenges in dramatic fashion, and the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve have played an essential and pivotal role.”