COLORADO SPRINGS — The top-ranking official in the U.S. Army, Army Chief of Staff Four-Star Gen. James McConville, visted the Fort Carson Mountain Post in Colorado Springs Wednesday to check in and speak to soldiers of all ranks.
“Given the global environment we call ‘Great Power Competition’, the time is now to transform the Army.” Gen. McConville said, ” They’re part of that and we want to explain about where the army is going so they know that.”
McConville says that over the next several years and likely decades, the Army will modernize its vehicles, weapons and the training soldiers go through.
The training will likely incorporate a virtual reality component, and in the field augmented reality will help soldiers and commanders be on the same page.
“Which is like a heads up display that will provide them the information to make decisions much quicker.” McConville said.
The quick dissemination of information is essential to “Decision Dominance” where the speed of communication will, ideally, give soldiers an advantage.
The “Great Power Competition” is almost entirely made up of a build up of arms and tensions between the United States and Russia and China.
McConville says, future warfare can take form in several kinds of domains—including cyber, space, the traditional battle ground, and even utilities—and this transformation will lead to helping defend the U.S against that.
“Great power competition doesn’t mean that we’re going to have great power conflict,” he said, “But, the way to avoid that is peace through strength. So, we must have a strong military, we must have a strong army, and that army must be able to do large scale ground-combat operations and that’s what these soldiers are going to train for. That’s what these soldiers are going to participate in.”
It comes as a generational shift in the nation’s wars. The U.S’s longest war in Afghanistan has been ordered to end by President Joe Biden with all troops to leave by September, 11 2021, 20 years after the Terrorist Attacks that sparked a renewed series of conflicts in the middle east.
McConville says, the soldiers and commanders have been engaged in “irregular warfare” in the region during that time, meaning a focus on combating terrorist and insurgent organizations, rather than nations.
“Counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism and they’ve done a fabulous job of serving in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. But, we realize we’re at an inflection point.” McConville said.