Lt. Gen. Kevin Mangum, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command deputy commanding general, met with Maj. Gen. Yaacob Ayish, Israel Defense and Armed Forces attaché to the U.S., Nov. 2, 2015. The visit provided an opportunity for Ayish to meet Army senior leaders and also reinforced the importance of the TRADOC and IDF partnership. During the visit, Ayish learned about TRADOC’s mission various roles, and participated in discussions on the current and future direction of the respective armies, operational environment challenges and the 2016 Future Battlefield Annual Talks.
With more than a decade of combined experience in leading U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, four former commanding generals traveled to TRADOC to discuss current initiatives and challenges facing the command.
Gen. David G. Perkins, TRADOC’s commanding general, welcomed retired Gens. William R. Richardson, John W. Foss, William W. Hartzog and William S. Wallace to Fort Eustis, Virginia, for the Former TRADOC Commanders’ Forum July 30, 2015.
Perkins began by thanking the commanders for their participation and noting not only the impact they had on TRADOC and the Army, but also the valued knowledge they continue to share with current TRADOC leaders.
“It’s really amazing to sit there and actually hear how these things came about; you really do get the ground truth,” Perkins said, referring to initiatives like the School of Advanced Military Studies and Field Manual 100-5.
Because of the wealth of historical knowledge in the room, Perkins emphasized the importance of learning from the commanders’ previous experiences. He added that although some challenges may seem new, they are very similar to challenges the former commanders have faced.
“As we tackle some of these things – when you peel the onion back at the macro-level, it’s not that much of a new problem,” he said. “It may have a new characteristic … but it’s still about applying combat power.”
Throughout the day, the former commanders asked questions, provided observations and offered input as TRADOC leaders provided updates on initiatives including Force 2025 and Beyond, Army University and Soldier 2020. The commanders also learned how the Asymmetric Warfare Group and Rapid Equipping Force continue to help the future force win in a complex world.
Wallace, who commanded TRADOC from 2005 to 2008, said the event was very educational.
“Thank you for capturing a significant part of the TRADOC brain trust and locking them in the Morelli Auditorium,” Wallace said jokingly. “It was very useful, and very informative.”
Richardson, TRADOC’s fourth commanding general, said he appreciated the wealth of experience in the command, and he was proud of all that TRADOC has accomplished.
“It makes me very proud to know that I had a part of it years ago, and I mean just this little bit – compared to what you guys do today – and it’s fantastic,” said Richardson, who commanded TRADOC from 1983 to 1986.
“And not enough people, I think, really understand what you do for the Army – with respect to what goes on here, as far as concepts, requirements, training, education and all the rest. I’m very proud of you and your folks here, and I just want to thank all of you for being there.”
As the forum came to a close, Perkins thanked the former commanders for their time and effort in continuing to shape the Army, calling them great examples of Soldiers for life.
“Because you’re constantly involved – emotionally, intellectually and physically – with what the Army’s doing, you’re a great example – for those of us that continue to serve – that your service is never actually over,” Perkins said.
“I hope you can see your fingerprints all over what’s going on – directly and indirectly – because you’re there, and they’re lasting.”
FORT EUSTIS, Va. — Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, hosted a delegation at West Point, N.Y., for the 24th Future Battlefield Annual Talks June 7-11, 2015.
TRADOC’s relationship with the Israel Defense Forces began in 1973 following the Yom Kippur War, leading to the FBAT’s initiation in 1988. The TRADOC commanding general has served as U.S. head of delegation since 1990, and each year, the talks are conducted alternately between locations in the U.S. and Israel.
This year’s U.S. delegation included Perkins; Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, TRADOC’s command sergeant major; Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center; Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins, ARCIC deputy director and Brig. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, Joint Military Training Center Europe. The delegation also included Center of Excellence commanders from Maneuver, Fires, Sustainment, Maneuver Support, Aviation, Mission Command, Cyber and selected school commandants.
Maj. Gen. Guy Zur, chief of the IDF Ground Forces, served as the Israeli head of delegation.
From June 7-9, IDF Ground Forces delegates visited the Maneuver, Cyber, Fires, Mission Command and Maneuver Support Centers of Excellence as well as the National Training Center to gain insights into the curriculum, technology and techniques used to train U.S. Soldiers. This FBAT included a special emphasis on the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza and implications on capability development.
These engagements provided the opportunity for the representatives of each army to share their approaches and lessons learned to develop leaders and maintain the edge against adversaries.
As IDF delegates visited TRADOC schools and centers, Zur participated in detailed discussions at the TRADOC headquarters with Perkins and members of the TRADOC staff. Zur received briefings on the Army Operating Concept, the Combat Vehicle Modernization Strategy and the Human Dimension.
While at West Point, Zur presided over a wreath laying ceremony in honor of Col. Davis Markus, a West Point graduate and U.S. Army colonel who assisted Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and who became Israel’s first modern general.
The plenary session focused on Operation Protection Edge lessons learned, Israeli Ground Forces Concept for 2015-2025, U.S. Army concept framework and mutual challenges in the future operational environment. Perkins reiterated the importance of this event to the U.S. Army and how TRADOC greatly values the long-standing partnership with the IDF Ground Forces.
The FBAT concluded June 11 with a cultural visit to the 9-11 Memorial in New York City, where Perkins honored those who died in the Pentagon and Zur honored Israeli citizens who perished that day in the twin towers.
Zur thanked the U.S. delegates for their hospitality, and reaffirmed that the observations and learning that occurred during the FBAT will be beneficial in the near future as the IDF makes important decisions on the design of the Israeli ground forces for the next decade.
The FBAT concluded with Perkins and Zur co-signing a memorandum to codify the 2015 military-to-military agreed-to actions, and to demonstrate the long-standing partnership and commitment between the armies.
Sustaining the FBAT remains a top priority for TRADOC. The 2016 FBAT will be hosted by the IDF Ground Forces in Israel.
Photo credit: Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (center) stands for a photo with the TRADOC and members of the Israel Defense Forces delegation during the 2015 Future Battlefield Annual Talks.
Gen. Raymond Odierno, U.S. Army chief of staff, and Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, listen to Gen. Nicholas P. Carter, chief of the general staff of the British Army, during a discussion at TRADOC headquarters on Fort Eustis, Virginia, May 4. During the visit, U.S. and U.K. leaders discussed the Army Operating Concept, Force 2025 and Beyond objectives and progress toward the Bilateral Interoperability Memorandum of Agreement.
Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, talks with Brig. Gen. Ismail Fathalli, chief of staff and Tunisian Army Counterpart, during his visit April 14. Perkins and his wife hosted the Tunisian chief of staff and his wife April 14 and 15. During his visit, Fathalli received briefings focused on counterterrorism operations, border security, the need for transformation to meet future threats and a discussion on how both armies need to innovate to stay ahead of threat. Talks highlighted the importance of professional military education, initial military training and “Train the Trainer” methodology to develop Soldiers and leaders.
Maj. Gen. Walter Spindler, commander of the German Army Training Command, discusses current and future initial military training challenges April 13 with Maj. Gen. Ross Ridge, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training, and Sgt. Maj. Thomas Campbell, CIMT. During Spindler’s visit to U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Spindler received updates on TRADOC, the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and the Army Capabilities Integration Center’s International Army Programs Directorate. Following an office call with Lt. Gen. Kevin Mangum, TRADOC deputy commanding general, Spindler also presented an update on the German Army Training Command’s roles and missions and discussed the establishment of an informal link between the ATC and CIMT. Following his TRADOC visit, Spindler traveled to CAC to participate in the Global Human Dimension Network Conference April 15-16.