JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – Gen. David Perkins, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, hosted a delegation from Israel to participate in the 26th Future Battlefield Annual Talks, or FBAT, June 4 through 8.
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. Each year, FBAT is held alternately between locations in the U.S. and Israel.
In addition to the TRADOC commanding general, this year’s U.S. delegation also included Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, TRADOC’s command sergeant major; Lt. Gen. Sean McFarland, TRADOC deputy commanding general and chief of staff; Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy, commanding general of the U.S Army Combined Arms Center; and Maj. Gen. Robert “Bo” Dyess, acting director of TRADOC’s Army Capabilities Integration Center. The delegation also included leadership from the Maneuver, Fires, Sustainment, Maneuver Support, Aviation, Intelligence and Mission Command Centers of Excellence and selected school commandants.
Maj. Gen. Yacov Barak, chief of the IDF Ground Forces, served as the Israeli head of delegation.
From June 4 through 6, IDF Ground Forces delegates visited their counterparts at Maneuver, Cyber, Fires, Mission Command and Maneuver Support Centers of Excellence to gain insights into the curriculum, technology and techniques used to train U.S. Soldiers. The counterparts shared their army’s respective approaches and lessons on a wide range of warfighting themes.
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.
During the “counterpart days,” Perkins and Barak visited the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia. While there, they engaged captains participating in the Maneuver Captain Career Course. Barak said this was one of the highlights his visit. The young officers reminded him of his own junior leaders.
From there, Perkins and Barak visited the Wood Simulation Center to observe the Common Driver Trainer, Call for Fire Trainer, Long Range Advanced Scout Sensor Training and Engagement Skills Trainer. The last stop was the Clarke Simulation Center, where Perkins and Barak observed the Joint Conflict and Tactical Simulation, Virtual Battlespace 3, Conduct of Fire Trainer, and Close Combat Tactical Trainer.
Barak said he had envisioned a simulation capability for the IDF Ground Forces and was amazed that it already existed at Fort Benning. They finished the day with a tour and dinner in the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center.
The next day Barak and Perkins visited a stress shoot to observe gender integration in a field environment.
The culminating plenary session had the IDF and U.S. Army delegates present a series of briefs with discussion on a wide range of topics. The U.S. delegation covered Russian New Generation Warfare, Multi-Domain Battle, Cyber Branch developments and Tactical Command Posts, while the IDF covered their Digital Army Program, Logistics developments and what they are calling the spherical threat.
Barak also described the significant force generation and organizational improvements underway to increase readiness across their joint force. Perkins reiterated the importance of FBAT to the U.S. Army, and how TRADOC greatly values the long-standing partnership with the IDF Ground Forces.
The plenary session ended with Perkins and Barak co-signing a memorandum codifying the next FBAT and the 2017-2018 centers of excellence military-to-military agreed-to actions.
The FBAT concluded June 8 with a cultural visit to Yorktown Battlefield Historical Park, where Perkins and Barak participated in a cannon firing demonstration.
The Israelis will host the 27th annual FBAT in 2018. This critical engagement remains a premier learning venue that benefits both the IDF and the U.S. Army. Furthermore, the FBAT continues to demonstrate the long-standing partnership and commitment between the armies.