Fort Bragg's Gen. Allyn says parts of Army must work as a whole
The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Better cooperation between the active-duty Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard is needed to overcome "unprecedented fiscal uncertainties," Fort Bragg's only four-star general said Monday.
Gen. Daniel B. Allyn said the future Army will be smaller "and its environment defined by continually constrained resources and a complex, interconnected web of potential adversaries and operating environments across the globe."
Allyn, commander of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, was speaking during the first day of the Association of the United States Army's annual meeting and exposition in Washington, D.C.
He was the keynote speaker for the Maj. Gen. Robert G. Moorhead Guard/Reserve Breakfast, which preceded the event's opening ceremony.
Allyn said the last 12 years of war has brought the three parts of the Army's total force closer together.
"That crucible experience has built an incredibly capable, effective, integrated, and skilled force," he said. "Boldly stated: America's Army is perhaps the best it has ever been."
But that cooperation hasn't necessarily translated to the home front.
Allyn said recent training on an unnamed Army installation demonstrated the divide.
On one side of post, a brigade combat team "simulated" their sustainment element, he said. On the other, a sustainment force "simulated" a combat formation.
"We can, we must and we will do better," Allyn said.
Total force readiness and cooperation will be even more important as the military deals with shrinking budgets and fiscal uncertainty.
"We are now at a crossroads, with the large-scale commitment in Iraq concluded in 2011 and the transition of our mission in Afghanistan to its own government and security forces well underway. how do we best sustain this battle-proven force that's been built through the commitment, hard work and shared sacrifice of today's total force soldiers and leaders?" Allyn said.
Allyn said Forces Command, the Army National Guard and Army Reserve Command, which is also headquartered at Fort Bragg, were working together on multiple fronts.
Leaders from the three force components recently met at Fort Bragg, he said, and agreed to take more deliberate steps to integrate training along the three.
Units would be partnered based on geographic proximity and function, he said.
"Doing so will best leverage and build upon the existing relationships developed over years of side-by-side deployments and combat operations," Allyn said. "While the Army total force construct has become commonplace in deployment, we must accelerate its integration here at home."
The added cooperation, Allyn said, will go hand-in-hand with a plan to regionally align forces to combatant commanders, similar to how special operations forces are linked to regions in the world.
Those efforts will allow commanders to tailor training to specific geographies, emphasizing culture and local militaries.
Allyn was one of several generals with Fort Bragg ties to speak on the AUSA annual meeting's first day.
Other speakers included Gen. John F. Campbell, Army vice chief of staff; Lt. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley, commander of Army Reserve Command; and Lt. Gen. James L. Huggins Jr., deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7.
Campbell has held several posts on Fort Bragg, including commander of the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division.
Huggins is former commander of the 82nd Airborne Division.
Also during the meeting, a Fayetteville veteran was honored with the Sgt. Maj. of the Army William O. Bainbridge Medal.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew McFowler was honored with the award "for his 35 years of outstanding service in leading, training and mentoring soldiers and supporting their families."
McFowler was drafted in 1966 and served two tours in Vietnam with the 1st Infantry Division and 196th Light Infantry Brigade.
He served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm as command sergeant major of the 82nd Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade and later served as command sergeant major of the 18th Airborne Corps and U.S. Army Forces Command.
McFowler retired in 2001 and currently works as operational supervisor for current operations at Fort Bragg's operations center and volunteers with the AUSA's Braxton Bragg Chapter.