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Army stresses 'joint expeditionary mindset'.

The Army is wrapping up its first draft version of a family of joint operational concepts. The concepts range from homeland security to stability operations and strategic deterrence, said Brig. Gen. David A. Fastabend, director of capabilities development and experimentation at the Army Training and Doctrine Command's Futures Center.

"We are working very intensely with Joint Forces Command to develop a family of joint concepts," Fastabend said in an interview.

Last fall, the Army and JFCOM focused on "major combat operations joint operating concept," said Fastabend. "Once that is completed, the Army can finalize its capstone concept for future force operations."

These concepts will continue to evolve, at least in the foreseeable future, he said. "It's still a work in progress."

Fastabend oversees one of the 16 task forces set up by the Army chief of staff, Gen. Peter Schoomaker, to focus on improving the Army. Fastabend's task force addresses the need for a "joint expeditionary mindset."

"The chief has asked us to look at what we need to do to adjust the mindset of the Army, so that it's more closely reflects a joint expeditionary mindset," he said. "We are looking at how we change the culture and the thinking, so it more closely resembles the fact that we are members of a joint team and members of a service second.... And also that we are more comfortable in an expeditionary environment. It means operating in places where you did not anticipate to be operating."

In any institution as big as the Army, he said, "culture is a very complex set of assumptions and unstated beliefs."

The Army, he said, "already does things that are expeditionary. So it's a matter of refinement."

Nevertheless, "I think the chief understands that you can't tell people to change their culture. What you can do is look for behaviors that over time change the culture."

One of the top goals is to adjust the size of the Army so it's more flexible and deployable, he said. Another area of emphasis is joint training. "We are putting joint context into our major combat training centers and training events," said Fastabend. "We'll rewrite doctrine."

He expects closer than ever collaboration with the Marine Corps. So far, both services' one-star and two-star generals are scheduled to meet and discuss joint efforts. A four-star meeting of the Army chief of staff and the commandant is planned for May.
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Title Annotation:Washington Pulse
Author:Fein, Geoff S.
Publication:National Defense
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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