UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


American Forces Press Service

Future Joint Force Must Be Balanced, General Says

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., May 17, 2012 – The Defense Department is facing unprecedented times and must have the right balance for the joint force of 2020, a Joint Staff official said today at the sixth annual 2012 Joint Warfighting Conference here.

“I don't know if this is right or not, but this is where we are today,” said Army Maj. Gen. Frederick S. Rudesheim, deputy director of joint force development for joint and coalition warfighting, during a panel discussion at the conference.

“We're spending about 70 percent of our effort on current training, and I'm going to caveat that for you,” he said. “We're spending about 20 percent on future [training]. And then we've got about 10 percent on the stuff that just pops up, that's emergent. It's not really future stuff -- just surprises that we have to take on.”

Rudesheim recalled remarks here yesterday by Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about the “powerful notion” that 80 percent of the Joint Force 2020 concept already exists.

“But the difference is how do you use that 80 percent?” he asked. “If it's being used in the exact same fashion it's been used in the past, then we've missed [the mark].”

This means, Rudesheim said, taking what is present now and looking for new and innovative ways to use it, even as the Joint Staff is using 70 percent of its current efforts focused on future developments.

Rudesheim also touched on remarks by Marine Corps Lt. Gen. George J. Flynn, director of joint force development, during the conference’s opening session regarding the speed of the changing operational environment and how the joint operation environment concept, developed and published in 2010, pertains to today's conditions.

“A lot of what it predicted is coming to pass, with one caveat -- it's happening faster than we predicted,” he said. “Change is happening faster. [Flynn] makes the point about the Cold War taking about 47 years to evolve and it took Arab Spring … three months, depending on when you start and stop the clock.

“So things are happening much faster than they have in the past,” Rudesheim continued, “so how is it so we can respond to that? [It] means leaders have to be more agile and flexible-minded.”

The general said the Joint Staff faces times that go beyond simply working for the chairman and the vice chairman and providing the best military advice.

“It's currently and directly involved in training the joint force at the combatant command level, and immediately below that, at the component level,” Rudesheim said. “And then it has a development portfolio it is working across the entire joint force as well.”

Rudesheim highlighted the Joint Staff's current mission statement supporting the training and development of the joint interagency and pointed out the multinational aspect.

“We've got 19 nations [and] 29 liaison officers that are part of our multinational coalition effort that resides with us,” he said. “And that's the way we can inject them at the earliest possible moment, in both training and development, as part of our mission. And our purpose is critical here, because we sit astride both the current and future requirements of the joint force.”

As an organization, Rudesheim said, he believes the Joint Staff has the “real promise of taking development and training and merging them in a way that, heretofore, we haven't done as well as we could.”

“What are you doing in development that would make it over to training, and how are you going to transition?” he asked the audience. “And then in training, what observations are you [seeing] across the force, across the combatant commands, that can be injected into our current concept's developmental experiments?”

It's a powerful notion, Rudesheim said, and having multinational partners already in the organization provides real power.

Ultimately, Rudesheim said, developing people and leadership for Joint Force 2020 is the current task at hand.

“It is all about people; it is about the human domain,” he said. “And in the non-materiel aspect of things, that's where you really have some leverage. So we do understand this.”

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list