FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan – The Mission Command Center of Excellence Capability Development and Integration Directorate, in conjunction with the Army Capabilities Integration Center, hosted a workshop recently for developing the U.S. Army Concept for Combined Arms at Echelon Above Brigade, or EAB, and to determine the requirements for the future theater army in 2025 to 2040.
The draft EAB concept (EABC) describes the functions and roles of the Army EAB, the EAB required to accomplish those functions and roles, and how these EAB might be structured and employed. Additionally, the experiment sought to determine the changes and capabilities required to fight and win America’s wars 20 years into the future.
The participants came from the Army Service Component Commands of the geographic and functional combatant commands, as well as representatives from several other major Army commands. Participants worked through and discussed what the future operational environment might look like and how their commands might fight and win in this envisioned future.
The workshop started with a broad overview of how the Army has historically looked at EAB, and transitioned to the precursors and assumptions behind why EAB needs to be reassessed, Participants then looked at the Multi-Domain Battle Concept to ensure that the EABC would provide the necessary formations for the Joint and multinational environment in which the U.S. Army will fight.
Participants debated historical ideas, clarified critical assumptions and provided alternative viewpoints for refining and honing the EAB. As the senior mentor, retired Lt. Gen. Don Holder provided senior insight and perspective to both guide and expand the workshop discussion.
Col. Ted Thomas, Chief, Concepts and Requirements Division, CDID, said, “The geographic ASCCs provided outstanding insight into the required capabilities relevant to their unique areas of responsibility, which will greatly enhance the EAB Concept. By the conclusion of the event, we established a common understanding of why EAB optimization is necessary and how it will enable theater armies to seize an enduring initiative during early periods of competition.”
Key discussion included when and why subordinate EAB formations would be necessary to future warfare, and the appropriate span of control for these formations in future complex environments. Additional discussions included the importance of EAB to think deeply in time and space to shape the conditions for subordinate tactical warfighter success on the expanded future battlefield.
Finally, that the workshop highlighted the need for future EAB to have adequate enabling capabilities tailored specifically to each geographic theater for strategic and operational success. These capabilities focused on the logistics, communications, protection, sustainment, and information functions required to enable EAB to conduct successful joint combined arms operations and multi-domain battle.
The future will always remain a paradox just out of our reach. However, the dialogue associated with the EABC and the future OE will allow the MCCoE CDID and ARCIC to help the Army better prepare the force for future contingencies and operations to protect America, its Allies, and partners against a variety of adversaries.
Pictured above: Maj. Carmen Elston, Wes Farmer, Kerry Sutton, and Maj. Louis Gianoulakis focus on a discussion point as they consider making adjustments to the EAB Concept. (U.S. Army photo)