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Training: Army is 'not to full capability'

Oct. 28, 2013 - 03:18PM   |  
2013 AUSA MWM 20131022
Gen. Robert Cone, commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command, is looking to go from Army of execution to an Army of preparation. (Mike Morones/Staff)
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Units scheduled for deployment will see training that focuses heavily on the human nature of conflict and leader development.

Units scheduled for deployment will see training that focuses heavily on the human nature of conflict and leader development.

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Units scheduled for deployment will see training that focuses heavily on the human nature of conflict and leader development. Significant investment in human sciences can also be expected, as sergeants today do what a Special Forces sergeant first class with 10 years of experience would have done a decade ago.

The goal is to go from Army of execution to an Army of preparation, said Gen. Robert Cone, commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command. This will center greatly on the physical and virtual training within the regional alignment model.

“The last place we want to meet and work these things out is the battlefield,” he said.

That means a lot of language and culture training for troops, especially those preparing to deploy within the regional alignment model. Training in the human dimension will be a cornerstone of combat training centers, and will be prevalent in home station and institutional training. Troops can expect complex counterinsurgency training with some level of combined-arms maneuver and stability operations. There also will be an increase in over-the-shoulder interaction between soldiers and troops on the ground.

But that is dependent on the budget.

Lt. Gen. Perry Wiggins, commander of Army North (Fifth Army), said he is concerned the fiscal crunch could jeopardize the annual vibrant response exercises, which include his command, federal and local authorities.

“That trust is built on exercising and interaction,” he said. “When you start reducing the budgets ... my big thing is the impact to those exercises, which enable me to work with my interagency partners.”

“When we take as much money out of the budget as we’ve been doing, you know there’s going to be impacts,” said Lt. Gen. William Ingram, director of the Army National Guard. “It’s hard to absorb. It takes longer to figure out what the impacts really are.”

Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, commander of Army Forces Command, said he’s concerned over readiness.

“The vision for regional alignment would have us train every unit to decisive action capability,” he said. “That may not be possible in our current fiscal environment, so we’d train them to their assigned mission and not to full capability. We may have to take that approach with our regionally aligned forces in the near term.”

Decisive action operations include offense, defense, mission command, sustainment and other core tasks, and these rotations prepare brigade combat teams for the full range of operations.

Soldiers from 2nd BCT, 1st Infantry Division, the first BCT to be regionally aligned, underwent a decisive action rotation before they were aligned with Africa Command, Allyn said. That training enabled the brigade to take on a contingency response force mission.

Boots on the ground also will be trained to understand culture and the value of local terrain.

Odierno said human factors are not well represented in current doctrine, and this effort should have started a couple of years ago.

“We went to war without understanding human domain or dimension,” Odierno said. “I don’t want to make that mistake again.”■

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