Joint Fires University Concept: Providing Leaders and Experts in the Art and Science of Fires

Document Sample
Joint Fires University Concept: Providing Leaders and Experts in the Art and Science of Fires Powered By Docstoc
					Joint Fires University Concept:
Providing leaders and experts in the Art and science of Fires
  “In the volatile, uncertain, complex                                                     supports career progression and provides
and ambiguous environment we face                    By Alvin W. Peterson                  “just-in-time” knowledge for emerging
for the foreseeable future, if we were to                                                  operational requirements. Through a
choose merely one advantage over our                                                       combination of enabling technologies,
adversaries, it would certainly be this:     (JFU). As a university “without walls,”       the JFU will feature cutting-edge training
to be superior in the art of learning and    the JFU will enable Fires excellence          and education methodologies, constant
adaptation. This is the imperative for a     through a blend of institutional courses,     quality mentorship and superior learn-
culture of innovation in the United States   distance learning, virtual experiences and    ing and adaptation techniques in the art
Army.” BG David A. Fastabend and Mr.         online forums.                                and science of Fires application and
Robert Simpson, Adapt or Die                   Students will be able to access JFU         integration. The JFU will provide the

                                             courses from the University at Fort           nation with the Fires leaders and experts
      n 1 April 2008, MG Peter Vangjel,      Sill, another service school, a civilian      it needs.
      the Commanding General of the          university or even at home station.             Why a JFU? The question presents
      Fires Center of Excellence (CoE)       Whether participating at the institution or   itself, why change? Why is an Army
and Fort Sill, Oklahoma, published the       virtually, Fires students from the Army,      JFU needed? There are those who might
Field Artillery Campaign Plan (FACP).        other services and civilian agencies will     assert that our Soldiers and leaders
As part of an effort to transform the        not only have access to experts from the      have performed admirably during the
US Army Fires capabilities to meet the       institution, they will be able to share       last seven years of war. Of course they
challenges of this century, the FACP         knowledge with each other as well.            have. It is clear that the nation fielded an
tasked the of US Army Field Artillery          The crucial point is that the JFU will      exceptionally well-trained Army. But the
School leaders to develop a strategy for     provide Fires learners with continuous        questions must be asked, are our Fires
the creation of a Joint Fires University     access to training and education that         integration skills adequate? Can we do it

22   March-April 2009   •
better? Are we doing enough to prepare          Leader Development Panel defined adapt-        necessarily exercise the Fires system.
for the challenges of the future?               ability as the ability to “recognize changes   At the same time, our entire Army is
  Contemporary Operating Environment.           to the environment to determine what is        experiencing exponential technological
In 1997, in a speech before the National        new and what to learn to be effective.”        advancement. It has been suggested that
Press Club, General Charles C. Krulak,          Army leaders are looking for adaptive          the sum of all knowledge doubles every
the Commandant of the Marine Corps,             and critical thinkers who are capable of       seven years.
predicted the demands facing future             functioning in uncertainty. The Army             This fact, combined with a high opera-
warriors, coining the term Three-Block          requires leaders who are competent and         tions tempo and continued assignment of
War. “In one moment in time, our service        confident in their core proficiencies;         in-lieu-of missions to our Artillerymen,
members will be feeding and clothing            who can operate across the spectrum of         led to a situation where our Soldiers
displaced refugees, providing humanitar-        conflict and employ their units; and who       coming from the “schoolhouse” are
ian assistance. In the next moment, they        are tactically and technically competent,      often the most current and most techni-
will be holding two warring tribes apart,       confident and adaptive. Army leaders also      cally proficient in the unit. It is for this
conducting peacekeeping operations.             must have the knowledge and skills neces-      reason the FACP called for raising the
Finally, they will be fighting a highly le-     sary to train and employ modular force         competency of the student leaving the
thal mid-intensity battle—all on the same       units; be culturally aware and astute; be      “schoolhouse” to a level of “mastery”
day—all within three city blocks.”              capable of executing mission-type orders       vice “proficiency.” Our challenge is
  Before September 11, 2001, the Army           and commander’s intent; and be leaders         exacerbated by the reality that time avail-
prepared to fight a war with large forma-       of character.                                  able to train and educate our Soldiers at
tions against a similarly arrayed force,          The necessity to create agile and            the institution is limited.
with the front line clearly articulated (and,   adaptive leaders from young and inex-            While the maneuver commanders
in some cases, permanently drawn on             perienced Soldiers has the Army senior         continually praise our Field Artillery-
maps). The enemy was well known, and            leadership calling for the transformation      men for their flexibility and adaptability,
his actions were predictable. Men who had       of how Soldiers are trained and educated.      how do we ensure that our Soldiers are
spent many years preparing for this type        In General George W. Casey’s 2008              technically and tactically
Description: The crucial point is that the JFU will provide Fires learners with continuous access to training and education that supports career progression and provides "just-in-time" knowledge for emerging operational requirements. [...] they will be fighting a highly lethal mid-intensity battle - all onthe same day - all within three city blocks. [...] the Board will champion the JFU culture.
ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that propel successful research, discovery, and lifelong learning.