Combatant Commanders Need Adaptive, Agile Forces
Combatant Commanders Need
Adaptive, Agile Forces
By K.L. Vantran,
American Forces Press Service
Arlington, Virginia -- (AFPS) June 24, 2004 – Today's military has to be
"more adaptive, more rapidly than ever before," the deputy commander of the Army
Futures Center told military and civilian officials attending the Joint Warfare:
Transformation and New Requirements conference here June 22.
"Combatant commanders need versatile, agile, adaptive forces
that are packaged to go where they need to go and ready to fight when they get
there," said Army Maj. Gen. Robert Mixon. "That's what combatant commanders need,
that's what the war (on terror) demands, and that's what we're going to give
The general said he is proud of the work the Army is doing as
part of joint transformation and proud of its partnership with fellow services.
"There's a tremendous amount of energy and momentum," he added.
However, while embracing change, Mixon said it is important
not to lose sight of what endures – the men and women who are out there risking
their lives every day in the name of freedom. "Soldiers are the centerpiece of
everything we do," he said.
One of the Army's transformation efforts is the creation of
the modular force.
"We went to combatant commanders and asked what they needed
in land combat formations from the Army," said Mixon. "They said they needed
adaptive, agile forces that are brigade-based, not division-based."
The 3rd Infantry Division already has converted to the
modular design. The 101st Airborne Division is converting now, and the 10th
Mountain Division is slated to transform later this summer.
Brigade combat teams, said Mixon, have reconnaissance
squadrons. "We haven't done that before," he added. "We've learned that
reconnaissance is the heart of lethality capabilities. There are human
intelligence teams in every brigade now. They don't come from some other
organization to visit; they live, eat, sleep and work in the brigade."
A similar transformation is under way in Army headquarters.
Brigades now have capabilities that used to reside at corps and division levels,
The Army also is working on a mobile, ad hoc network.
"We have to have battle command and control on the move any
time, anywhere," said the general. "We must expect to operate in austere
environments. We must expect to operate without a host nation infrastructure.
That's what we're building, but it's got to be a joint solution."