VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 9 POSTED ON: 12/17/2011
DEFENCE SPEECH Chief of Army Exercise Address General Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff US Army Check against delivery Good afternoon, all – it is wonderful to be in Australia! Lieutenant General Gillespie—a pleasure to be in your company, Sir. I appreciate the invitation to participate in this important conference. What I‘d like to do over the next 30 minutes or so is to discuss the changing nature of warfare, the rapid pace of technological development, the impact of both on acquisition and equipping; as well as some of the challenges we currently face. I‘ll talk largely from my own experiences. I‘ll share some of the lessons learned during a 38-year career in the United States Army. After that I‘ll be happy to participate in the plenary discussion and answer any questions you may have for me. As a former commander of forces in Iraq, Senior Military Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Defense, and as the U.S. Army‘s Vice Chief of Staff, I‘ve had the opportunity and privilege to see things from several different and unique perspectives during a crucial period of conflict and transformation. These experiences—particularly the two years spent in Iraq—confirmed for me that warfare – as we know it – has changed forever. Simply stated, it is and will remain a combination of kinetic and non-kinetic effects…. we cannot go back to simpler times. Unlike the European Plains, the battlefield we operate on today is no longer linear, with ―bad guys‖ on one side and ―good guys‖ on the other…. there is no forward edge of the battle area…. the enemy often doesn‘t wear a uniform…. he frequently lives and operates in and among the civilian population. We cannot make this point too often. It represents – in my opinion – the most misunderstood reality of this war, clashing with the way many people think about war. And, while the environment has changed significantly; how we conduct operations in those environments has also changed. Killing as many ‗bad guys‘ as possible will no longer ensure success on today‘s battlefields… in fact, without actions to secure the people, it will almost surely lead to defeat or failure. The need to field the most lethal force remains; however, that alone will not guarantee victory. To win this war and future wars we must gain the trust and confidence of the local people. More specifically, we must help the local government gain the trust and confidence of their people. Leaders and Soldiers – all the way down to the lowest rank of ―Private‖ – must understand this distinction. The reality is the environment we operate in now is increasingly dynamic…. even the most seemingly benign situations can change or escalate in a matter of minutes. And, it‘s usually the Army‘s junior Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and enlisted Soldiers who are on the ground dealing with these situations when they do arise. They are the source of most ―game-changing‖ decisions on the battlefield today. They shoulder a tremendous amount of responsibility. As U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated: ―In today‘s conflicts, soldiers‘ responsibilities are even greater and more complex: playing the roles of warrior, diplomat, mayor, economist, city engineer, and tribal liaison – all often at the same time.‖ The personal relationships they develop and nurture – whether it‘s with local villagers, tribal or religious leaders, farmers, business owners, or others – are absolutely key to our short- and long-term success. They must be able and capable of operating across the full continuum—from major combat operations to peacekeeping or humanitarian efforts to counterinsurgency.... transitioning from one to the next often at a moment‘s notice. And, over the course of this war, they‘ve proven their ability to do so. In fact, I am absolutely amazed at how well our young Soldiers and Non-commissioned Officers have adjusted to this new nature of warfare. They‘ve adjusted far better than anyone else, in my opinion. I‘ll give you a great example. Back in May, the Washington Post newspaper published a great piece written by a Major in the United States Army Reserves, J. Mark Jackson. He was deployed to Afghanistan from April to December 2009; and, he was sharing the lessons he learned as a Leader and Soldier during that experience. There must‘ve been about 40 of them in rapid fire; and, the last was: ―The war will not be won or lost in a conventional definition of victory or defeat. Stability is the ultimate goal, not notches on our national battle flags. We win when the Afghan people win, and not before. It is up to them, not us, when this war ends. We will persevere as long as they persevere.‖ I wholeheartedly agree. Now, that‘s not to say we‘ve got this whole thing figured out! To the contrary, we still frequently confuse ourselves and others by defining Full Spectrum Operations as referring solely to the high-end of the spectrum of conflict. The reality is Full Spectrum Operations or ―FSO‖ represents three things: Offense, Defense and Stability Operations. Sometimes it‘s a big ―S‖ – little ―O‖ – little ―D.‖ Other times it‘s big ―O‖ – big ―D‖ – little ―S.‖ Under no circumstances is it an either/or situation. Soldiers today routinely transition from kinetic fighting…. next hour they‘re handing out soccer balls…. then attending a Shura council meeting…. then helping a local villager to fill out the paperwork for a loan to start their own business. The reality is every conflict – now and in the future – will include some combination of all three. The ratio or ‗strategic mix‘ of offense, defense and stability operations is what will change; and, it may change in a month, a week, or less than an hour depending upon the situation on the ground. We must continue to make the necessary adjustments required to deal with this new nature of warfare. I believe what we‘re seeing downrange today represents the new ―norm.‖ I can‘t guarantee what the next war will look like, nobody can; but, I am confident it will look a lot more like this war than past wars. And, the truth is—this type of warfare…. in an era of what I call ―persistent engagement‖ – some people refer to it as ―persistent conflict,‖ but I happen to believe conflict is a sub-set of persistent engagement…. This type of warfare in an era of persistent engagement is manpower intensive. To fully and effectively implement national strategy in the kinds of environments we find ourselves in today— that is to say countries that are fractured and segmented by generations of war and tribal fighting—we must have people on site. And, not just folks from military, government or even non-governmental organizations. Diplomacy and development cannot happen solely inside the walls of an embassy. It also cannot happen solely through the efforts of our military. It requires a team effort by all the elements of National Power, Provincial Reconstruction Teams, Allies, and others meeting and building relationships with people living and working in the villages and local areas. Unfortunately – given the current economic situation around the world and pressures we‘re all under to cut costs wherever possible – I worry there will be growing reluctance by some to continue making the necessary commitments. And, I‘ll talk more about this concern later in my remarks. But, first—I‘d like to provide you with a better understanding of what we‘re doing in the United States Army. In recent years, we‘ve made significant adjustments to our force structure and organizational construct in response to the changing nature of warfare. We‘ve moved from a division-centric force structure with an engineer brigade, an artillery brigade, an aviation brigade; and, specialty battalions that included military intelligence, signal or information operations, among others…. To a brigade-centric force where – except for aviation – these types of enablers are all found in the individual brigades. In other words, the linear force that defined our Army for generations, characterized by distinct formations, no longer exists on today‘s battlefield. Instead, the Army has adopted a modular construct focused at the brigade level that has greatly enhanced our ability to respond to any situation, quickly and effectively. That said, it‘s definitely not the most efficient way of doing business. I‘ll give you a great example, as we started to look at our wheeled vehicle strategy, I found that since moving to a modular construct, we‘ve seen significant increases in numbers of wheeled vehicles. Before—when we were a division-centric force, there was a truck company in every division and the brigades would request support as needed. Now, we‘ve had to provide that capability to each brigade. We intentionally built our Brigade Combat Teams to be self-sufficient. However, the reality is there‘s still a relatively robust support system that augments them in the environments we fight in today. In recent years, the Force has become increasingly specialized as we‘ve added more and more capabilities to the fight. Looking ahead, we will need to figure out how to fill all the necessary requirements as effectively and efficiently as possible…. However, in doing so we must caution against over-correcting. The tendency is to look at the past and try to adjust and specialize forces based on previous experiences. Unless you have a ―crystal ball‖ and can predict what will be required to support future wars, this is a risky endeavor. Instead, we should be creating more generalized forces better able to adapt to whatever we‘re faced with in the years ahead. I truly believe such general purpose forces, not specialty troops, is the key to success. Today, in Iraq and Afghanistan, blended formations are the ‗norm‘. While our Table of Organization and Equipment reflects three types of maneuver brigades—Heavy, Light and Stryker, the reality is the difference between these brigades downrange is minimal. People like to point out that the U.S. Army has no tanks in Afghanistan as evidence Heavy forces are no longer required. Meanwhile, our Infantrymen are riding around in 20-ton vehicles. As I see it, heavy units have become medium units; and, light units have become medium units. And, as we move to a progressively more non- linear battlefield, the requirement for force protection will only increase further. That leads to my next point. The greatest challenge we face – in my opinion – is keeping pace with the changing nature of warfare and the growing rate of technological development. The enemy we face today has taken great advantage of simple, affordable technologies, such as cell phones and other rudimentary components used to make improvised explosive devices, command and control forces, and usher in a new form of information warfare. We are constantly pushing technology to stay a step ahead…. or at least in-step. In the past, our Army acquisition process was able to keep pace with technology. However, that‘s not the case today, and our Soldiers cannot afford to sit and wait. Under our current acquisition system it takes a decade or more to develop and test major Army combat systems before fielding them. We recognize we must change the processes to cut that time to less than four years – even more quickly in IT – from concept to fielding. Regrettably, we have made very little progress in this area, in my opinion. Fortunately, we have found ways to work around this outdated process in recent years. The Army‘s Rapid Equipping Force, for example…. is an organization that has helped to address specific capability shortfalls… by canvassing government, industry, academia, and the scientific community for existing or emerging technologies … providing limited quantities of the best available off-the-shelf equipment to the warfighter as quickly as possible. Technologies have included remotely-operated cameras… explosive material detectors… lighter machine guns for the mountains of Afghanistan… and, mini-unmanned aerial vehicles. Today, nearly 70 percent of all ISR packages downrange are ―Commercial Off the Shelf‖ or ―COTS‖ products. Being able to quickly address some of our most critical capability shortfalls by procuring ―COTS‖ has directly impacted our success on the battlefield. The bottom line is this…. If we want to stay relevant and effective in this new strategic environment, we must update our processes so that we‘re able to keep pace with technology. Recognizing that new ideas…. new technologies are being created faster than ever before. We must also figure out how to accommodate a growing variety of systems and capabilities. As I alluded to earlier, for the foreseeable future our military will share the ―battlefield‖ with many different people…. all working towards the same purpose. This presents two distinct challenges: system compatibility and disparate security requirements. Many of the systems currently employed by the numerous agencies and organizations operating on today‘s battlefield use different software, making them redundant or incompatible…. This disconnect makes it difficult – in some cases even impossible – to communicate, thereby increasing the complexity of an already complex environment. The key is to build a single, affordable, cost-effective network that will allow any system or application – whether developed by the Army, our Allies, or some other agency – to ‗plug and play‘ using the common operating environment established to effectively enforce interoperability, redundancy, and self-healing requirements. Currently, the U.S. Army is taking an enterprise approach to incrementally develop such a network for the future. In fact, this network is the centerpiece of our ongoing modernization effort…. Ultimately, the Network will connect Leaders and Soldiers – at all levels, at every echelon of command, in any formation, and across the entire team – with the right information quickly and seamlessly. In doing so, I am confident it will make our various formations more lethal, faster, and survivable. Today, we are in a fight unlike any in our history where—in Afghanistan, in particular—we have numerous coalition partners – including many here in this room – working and fighting together on a daily basis…. They‘re operating in a battlespace where coalition forces no longer maneuver in geographically-separated areas. In other words, we are simply too reliant upon each other not to have a common network that supports operations across the entire coalition. The good news is we are making progress; however, much work remains. We‘ve also changed the way we look at weapon platform acquisition; with the goal to shorten the process in order to keep pace with technology developments. The vehicle that is receiving the most attention right now in the United States Army is the Ground Combat Vehicle or ―GCV.‖ This represents one of the most important combat development and acquisition decisions we will make over the next seven years. Our goal is to build a vehicle that is capable of operating in all environments…. across the full spectrum of conflict…. a vehicle that can be used as effectively in Sadr City as Kabul as Southern Afghanistan…. a vehicle that will have built into it the ability to transition back and forth between offense, defense and stability operations depending upon the situation on the ground. The key is to design a platform that is versatile and able to accommodate a wide range of configuration and capability changes and incremental improvements over time. We‘re currently pursuing ‗capability packages‘ that will allow force protection levels to be tailored appropriately based upon the enemy situation in order to improve protection and ultimately survivability. This will be especially critical in the dynamic and non-linear environments we find ourselves in today and for the foreseeable future. Without a doubt, the Ground Combat Vehicle represents a significant challenge for the United States Army. That said, I cannot emphasize enough its critical importance to the success of our Force well into the future. Looking ahead, our overall vision, as our Chief—General George Casey states: is an Army that is a versatile mix of tailorable and networked organizations, operating on a rotational cycle, to provide a sustained flow of trained and ready forces for full spectrum operations and to hedge against unexpected contingencies – at a tempo that is predictable and sustainable for our all-volunteer force. In our pursuit of this goal, we recognize the need to be responsible stewards of the resources provided, while carefully managing existing programs and budgets. In today‘s fiscally-constrained environment, we‘re all under tremendous pressure to find cost savings. And, the truth is there‘s great appeal to pursuing the easy gains made when you make cuts to force structure. Couple this with the widely-held misperception that the unconventional nature of warfare today—typically characterized by smaller engagements at the platoon and company levels—allows for a smaller, albeit more agile force…. and, the risk becomes quite significant that such cuts will be made in the future. Ironically, by doing as well as we have over nearly a decade of war, we‘ve enabled some to effectively argue we can continue at something less than 1:2 BOG:DWELL for the foreseeable future. That is not the case! By the way, when I refer to ―BOG:DWELL‖, ―BOG‖ stands for ―boots on the ground,‖ the time a Soldier spends downrange. ―DWELL‖ refers to the time spent back at home. The truth is a lot of the issues we‘re seeing with behavioral health and physical injuries are the result of people not having enough time between deployments to reintegrate with their families and communities and recover from wounds and injuries—both visible and invisible. We must find ways to increase BOG:DWELL; allow Soldiers time at home to rest and recover. Ultimately, we want to get to 1:3 in our active component and a minimum of 1:4 in our reserve component. We‘re making progress, but we‘ve got a long way to go…. we expect sometime in late 2012 or early 2013 we‘ll be at 1:2 BOG:DWELL. Keep in mind—we‘re not at 1:2 until every Soldier‘s had 24 months back at home. I think this distinction is lost on a lot of people. As forces come out of Iraq, our commitment in Afghanistan seemingly at its zenith, my real fear is that we‘ll eventually get to 1:2, and the recommendation will be to go with a smaller force…. to lower the deficit by reducing troop strength. Again, this would be a grave mistake. Many have a myopic view of Iraq and Afghanistan. But, the reality is our national security objectives are much broader than the wars in theater. We must remember that even as combat operations continue to wind down, the work required to achieve our national security objectives will remain heavily manpower intensive. And, in this era of persistent engagement, we must have the depth required to allow for sufficient BOG:DWELL. We must do everything we possibly can to maintain force structure. The last thing we can afford to do is to take quick savings from this area. To do so will only hinder our effectiveness in theater; while further delaying our efforts to increase dwell; and, ultimately it is our Soldiers and Families who pay the price. In order to maintain force structure we need to identify cost-savings that can then be re-allocated to fund force structure. Over the past year or so, the U.S. Army has been aggressively pursuing efficiencies as part of our ongoing modernization strategy. Under the direction of the Secretary of the Army, The Honorable John McHugh—the Under Secretary of the Army, Dr. Joseph Westphal and I are in the midst of a year-long Capability Portfolio Review process. The intent of this review process is to conduct an Army-wide, all-components revalidation of requirements for all Army acquisition programs. This process revalidates the requirements using a wide-range of criteria, including: combatant commander requests; wartime lessons learned; the potential for leveraging emerging technologies and affordability…. The intent is to eliminate redundancies and ensure funds are properly programmed, budgeted, and executed to yield the most value to the Army. While there is no guarantee what future wars will look like, we must ensure we are prepared, able to operate effectively, and communicate with others – including our Allies and friends – on the battlefield…. all while preserving and protecting our greatest treasures, the men and women who proudly wear the uniform and serve around the world. I thank you again for the opportunity to participate in this important conference. I look forward to your questions. Army Strong!
Pages to are hidden for
"CHIEF OF ARMY OPENING ADDRESS TO THE"Please download to view full document