Clear the way.
We'll start the week off with our Councils of Engineer Sergeants Major and Colonels. We will continue to update our senior leaders on what's going on at the School, review the status of current issues, some of which resulted from the Commandant's VTC at the end of March, and give a lead-in to the ENFORCE breakout sessions. We have six challenging issues set for this year's breakout sessions: 1) Engineer Command and Control (C2) Systems; 2) Assured Mobility and Future Engineer Organizations; 3) Countermine Operations in the Contemporary Operational Environment (COE); 4) Homeland Security-Engineer Support Requirements; 5) Engineer Officer Education Transformation (OES); and 6) Joint and Field-Force Engineering (FFE). We look forward to your personal contribution in at least one of these vital issues.
The Engineer C2 Systems breakout will review the development of such C2 systems as the Maneuver Control System-Engineer (MCS-E), Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2), CastleNET, and Digital Topographic Support System (DTSS). The session will provide a detailed review of existing Engineer C2 systems, their capabilities and shortcomings, and the planned way ahead to make them more valuable tools for Engineers and maneuver forces and ensure full integration of Engineer command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) in current and evolving combined-arms operations.
The Objective Force's mobility is absolutely critical to ensuring that it maintains force agility, freedom to operate in the COE, and high-tempo combat operations over the extent of the battlespace. In the Assured Mobility breakout session, we will discuss how we as a Regiment must understand the concept of Assured Mobility and determine how we can make it a reality for the Objective Force Unit of Action (UA).
In the COE, we no longer face enemies who use mines primarily to shape the terrain; turn, fix, block, and disrupt are no longer the intended payoffs of enemy mine warfare. These have been replaced by the threat's use of mines as a terror and casualty producing system-the perfect asymmetric weapon of the Third World. Though employment techniques are different, mines and booby traps are just as lethal and even harder to detect. This dilemma imposes serious challenges to our maneuver forces today and assured mobility for future forces. In the Countermine breakout session, you will see how your Engineer School is attacking this challenge head-on and developing an organization with the expertise to orchestrate an aggressive, combined-arms, joint effort to provide solutions across the DTLOMS spectrum.
As I stated in the February 2002 Engineer Bulletin, "Combat Engineer doctrine, units, systems, training, tactics, techniques and procedures must address a new threat, a new operational environment here and abroad, and new roles that must fill voids in Army planning." Our Homeland Security breakout session will go into detail on the missions, responsibilities, and requirements of Engineers in their critical role in the defense and preservation of our free and secure homeland.
The OES session will update Engineer leaders on TRADOC's Leader Development Campaign Plan and the Engineer School's role in transforming the Engineer OES. We will discuss the timelines for its implementation and its impacts on the field.
In the Field-Force Engineering breakout session, you will see how FFE is our way of putting General Engineering requirements into the plans for contingency operations and ensuring that critical Engineer resources are available at the time and place necessary to execute each contingency operation. As we develop FFE as a concept, it's easy to see the complexities involved with coordinating the efforts of many diverse organizations; but it's also easy to see the power of the combined efforts of these organizations.
We have spanned the Army in our search for ENFORCE guest speakers who are relevant to the Army's change and operationally centered to give you the straight facts, insights, and vision that you need to hear and challenge. These speakers agreed to come because they understand the importance of Engineers to our Army now and in the Objective Force. If you have an important message to convey to the conference from your neck of the woods, let me know and we'll help get your story out.
With much help from Engineers in the field and our SOF, Infantry, Armor, MI, and Ordnance brothers-in-arms, the Engineer School continues to make progress developing solutions to counter our current and future mine and boobytrap problems. Since briefing the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army (VCSA) and the Army Requirements Oversight Council (AROC) last December, we have continued to move forward in efforts to get our deployed forces in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) what they need now to detect and neutralize mine threats. In conjunction with HQ TRADOC, we established a Countermine Integrated Concepts Team (ICT), that launched a Countermine Council of Colonels (CoC), which met in March, and a Countermine General Officer Steering Committee (GOSC), which met in April. These fora had great participation from the DA staff, other branch proponents, our sister services, national agencies and labs, and the intelligence community. This continues a full-court press effort to solve current and future countermine challe nges and ensure that the countermine priority is not just another "flash in the pan." We are planning future CoC and GOSC meetings, will seek your participation, and will keep this program at the forefront of Army priorities.
The pace of change in our Army and our Regiment are unprecedented. As our CSA, Gen Shinseki, said, "if you dislike change, you're going to dislike irrelevance even more." As a branch, we are committed not only to leading change but also to making sure these changes strengthen the Army's warfighting capability and increase the vitality of our Regiment as a combat arm. With your help, the Engineers will continue to be a force driving change; be sure to keep your head in that game. Enjoy this ENFORCE conference and come ready to participate. Through it you will gain important insights as to where our Regiment can go armed with the commitment, brilliance, and innovation of our current leaders and those bright young sapper leaders who will follow. These are exciting times and we have much work to do!
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|Author:||Aadland, Anders B.|
|Publication:||Engineer: The Professional Bulletin for Army Engineers|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2002|
|Previous Article:||National Training Center.|
|Next Article:||Lead the way.|