Our mission is to fight and win our nations wars. That should come as no surprise. As leaders, our training and energy must remain focused on this single-minded purpose.
With the return of the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, in the fall, the majority of the 7th Infantry Divisions units will consolidate at Joint Base Lewis-McChord after nearly a decade of continuous deployment. Typically, this consolidation of troops has meant a phase of reset and retrain, so to speak, conducted at various locations including Yakima Training Center and the National Training Center in California.
However, the new budget constraints for fiscal years 13 and 14 mean the scope of our training rotations and other potential off-base training opportunities will be reduced. Our mission will remain, as the top priority for FY13, to continue to provide trained and ready forces capable of worldwide deployment that are prepared to conduct unified land operations in support of Combatant Commanders when directed. This mission has been executed successfully in the multiple deployments of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Stryker brigades, the 17th Fires Brigade and the 555th Engineer Brigade over the course of Operations Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn and Enduring Freedom. In the upcoming weeks and months, the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade will begin to prepare to execute its mission in support of OEF.
The reduction does not come without challenges to our mission, as it will now increase the demand for training resources on JBLM. To sustain and improve our ability to achieve a combined-arms effect during home-station training, enhanced integration of live, virtual, constructive, gaming (LVCG) capabilities, and focused, leader training will be critical to mission readiness.
The Stryker capabilities and supporting enablers within the 7th Inf. Div. represent the medium-weight fighting force of the U.S. Army, but we must train our men and women to anticipate the most challenging scenarios in both individual and collective training in order to achieve our mission.
The LVCG training model, already in the development stages at the JBLM Mission Training Complex, will provide direct action training scenarios that allow leaders to prepare their Soldiers for, both, conventional and hybrid threat environments.
Ultimately, my goal is to have the division establish a Center of Excellence for LVCG and take the lead in developing an integrated training approach that incorporates LVCG as the centerpiece of collective training for combat and multifunctional brigades.
The LVCG will accomplish this using various means. In the live portion, Soldiers will conduct live-fire ranges. In the virtual portion, Soldiers will use simulated systems to conduct Mission-Essential Task List training; flight simulators are one example of this part of the training. The constructive portion of training will feature simulated troops and/or units using simulated systems, while the decision process is driven by real people, such as the operator, commanders and staff. Lastly, the gaming portion will include the use of technology employing commercial or government off-the-shelf, multigenre games in a realistic environment to support education and training.
Success is achievable when commanders take an aggressive, hands-on approach to ensuring every Soldier under their command is trained. The LVCG capabilities on JBLM will become an integral part of the commanders efforts to build his or her programs, far beyond officer and noncommissioned officer professional development. The LVCG is only a piece of the total concept of our overall training priorities, and it is important that focus will, also, continue to remain on individual training, such as physical fitness; weapons proficiency and marksmanship; squad and platoon drills; medical skills and counter-improvised explosive device training.
Soldiers cannot be trained for, ready for and capable of worldwide deployment and prepared to conduct unified land operations in support of Combatant Commanders if any piece of individual or collective training in missing. The resources are at your finger tips.