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Winning in a complex world: Forum focuses on combat readiness

Maj. Gen. Michael D. Lundy, commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, speaks to Aviation leaders at the annual Aviation Senior Leaders Forum Feb. 2. (Photo by Kelly Morris)

Maj. Gen. Michael D. Lundy, commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, speaks to Aviation leaders at the annual Aviation Senior Leaders Forum Feb. 2. (Photo by Kelly Morris)

Published: February 18, 2016

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Feb. 18, 2016) -- Aviation brigade commanders, command sergeants major and senior warrant officers from across the Army descended on Fort Rucker Feb. 2-4 to hear from senior leaders, build shared understanding and share lessons learned.

The theme for the annual Aviation Senior Leader Forum was “Army Aviation: Building and Maintaining Readiness to Win in a Complex World.”

The event incorporated the Army chief of staff’s priorities, including readiness, the current and future force, and training and leader development.

Maj. Gen. Michael D. Lundy, commanding general, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, opened the forum Feb. 2 with an Aviation Branch update. He called for deliberate participation from leaders as the Branch faces “a most critical couple of years” ahead for Army Aviation and the Army.

“Every single formation in our Branch is being impacted right now in some form or fashion as the Army draws down in size and as we restructure the Branch. Within what our resources are, we’ve got to look at the environment, the conditions we’ve got, the resources we have, and how we can best posture the Aviation Branch to be able to support the air-ground team. That’s why the Branch exists, to support Soldiers on the ground, and not only Army Soldiers, but also the joint force,” Lundy said.

Lundy emphasized Aviation as a maneuver capability, the continued work across the Branch to implement the Army’s Aviation Restructure Initiative, leader development, Aviation doctrine and the recently released Army Aviation Training Strategy – the Aviation leader’s guide to unit training management.

“Take that training strategy, look hard at it and drive it into your formations,” Lundy said.

Lundy said maintaining the trust warfighters place in Aviation is critical.

“When a Soldier gets in the back of our aircraft, there is complete trust that we’re going to do the right thing. That we made sure they had the right piece of equipment, that they had the right training, and we did the right thing from a leader development perspective.… That’s the responsibility we’ve all got and that’s what we’ve got to stay focused on,” Lundy said.

The focus area for Day 1 was current and future operations, including operations in U.S. Army Europe, U.S. Army Pacific and Afghanistan. Topics included emerging threats, Force 2025 and Beyond, future combined arms maneuver, modernizing the Aviation fleet and special operations.

Training was the focus for Day 2, including the Aviation Training Strategy, building and maintaining combined arms readiness, training air-ground operations, unmanned aircraft systems training, standardization and Combat Training Center lessons learned.

The main emphasis for Day 3 was leader development, including manning the combined arms team and developing maneuver leaders.

The roster of speakers for the three-day event included Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, director of U.S. Army Capabilities Integration Center, Joint Base Langley-Eustis; Lt. Gen. James C. McConville, deputy chief of staff, G-1, Army Pentagon; Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Maj. Gen. James E. Rainey, commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia; Maj. Gen. Thomas S. James, commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; and Maj. Gen. Austin S. “Scott” Miller, commanding general of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Georgia.

Dr. Phillip Karber, a defense and national security expert and president of the Potomac Foundation was also a special guest speaker at the event.

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