If there is one military leader who can be counted on to tell it like it is, it's Gen. James N. Mattis, USMC, commander, JFCOM. And as the final speaker of the Joint Warfighting Conference, attendees were not let down. With the strength of words, he brought his depth of experience to thoughtfully describe what he sees as the needs for the future. In an international age, every nation brings something to the table, each country brings a tone to an alliance, Gen. Mattis began. This mind-set must be more than just words and become an attitude coalition partners admire.
The final panel of the 2010 Joint Warfighting Conference focused on two topics that have been discussed consistently for more than a decade: lack of interoperability and convoluted acquisition. Though the panelists agreed on the problems, their opinions about solutions differed slightly.
Gen. Craig R. McKinley, USAF, chief of the National Guard Bureau, opened the final day of Joint Warfighting Conference 2010 describing how the Army and Air National Guard has been seamlessly integrated into active duty forces. This melding between full-time and what used to be disparagingly called "weekend warriors" is the result of both dedicated leadership and willing U.S. citizens.
Led by Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.), AFCEA International's former president and CEO, the final panel on Wednesday took on one of the toughest topics yet: fighting through a digital meltdown.
Following the Gen. Patreus VTC at the Joint Warfighting Conference was a group of experts discussing small unit excellence who took a serious look at what troops on the ground face today and will face in the future. Few deny that the all of the services are at least looking at operating in smaller groups.
From what would only be referred to as "an undisclosed location," Gen. David H. Petraeus, USA, commander, U.S. Central Command, joined the Joint Warfighting Conference for lunch via VTC.
Wednesday's second morning panelists discussed competing narratives. The large number of attendees at this session demonstrated that military members and industry personnel are just as interested in the "story" behind today's conflicts as they are in the technical side of communications.
Members of the Joint Warfighting Conference 2010 panel discussing how to make interagency collaborate more effectively spoke candidly on Wednesday, not only about the serious problems and misunderstandings in this area, but also about the need for significant changes.
One of only two non-U.S. military leaders of NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, Gen. Stephane Abrail, French Air Force, launched the second day of the Joint Warfighting Conference by calling it the most important conference of its kind.
A multinational panel comprising warfighters who have served at least one term in the Middle East spoke about challenges with a candidness not often heard in discussions about today's conflicts. While the topics of the Joint Warfighting Conference generally focus on technology and intelligence, these troops spoke about culture, language, information sharing and the training of local troops.
The increase of information sharing between agencies is by far the greatest tool the U.S. has to support homeland security and aid in homeland defense.
Adm. John Harvey, USN, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, opened Tuesday's Joint Warfighting Conference lunch presentation by proposing that while fear is new, the public's view of reality can change in an instant. He made this point to emphasize that talking about what warfighters will need in five years is impossible to predict. What is possible, however, remains the work to ensure that the military, government and industry does not create tools and processes that are fundamentally wrong.
Tuesday morning's panel at Joint Warfighting 2010 examined how the cards are being stacked when it comes to global power. Some of them aren't falling exactly where one might think. As these issues progress, will it force more cooperation with powers like China?
Leading IED Specialist Calls for Faster Counter-IED Solutions and International Information Sharing Lt. Gen. Michael L. Oates, USA, director of the Joint improvised explosive devices (IEDs) office, kicked off the 2010 Joint Warfighting Conference calling for improvements in ability to share information with coalition partners, quickening the acquisition cycle and increasing troop training. Secretary of Defense Bill Gates' vision of the future recognizes the IED threat, but the QDR has very little about IEDs in it, Gen. Oates stated.