Commander of Africa Command: Regionally Aligned Forces are the future  

10/21/2013 12:00 AM 

The tailoring of units “will be increasingly the norm” as well as the mixing of forces from the different components as the Army moves to regionally align itself to meet the requirements of combatant commanders, the commander of Africa Command said Sunday Oct. 21.

Gen. David Rodriguez, speaking to chapter presidents of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), said the Army “has a solid plan to restructure the force” in a time of fiscal uncertainty, with cuts in end strength coming.

“Africa is a text for the regionally focused concept,” he said.

As a sign of what’s coming in regional alignment, he cited a brigade at Fort Riley, Kan., that has already conducted 40 missions in Africa.  According to Rodriguez, “they’re getting great experience” in conducting mission command, intelligence, mission sustainment and medical missions with host nation forces.

 “Most importantly [they are learning and teaching] leadership development” in carrying out missions such as training Ugandan soldiers for deployment to Somalia, he added.

In South Africa, the ability of American soldiers to carry out medical missions led that country’s minister of health to call them “a force of good.”

Rodriguez, speaking before the formal opening of AUSA’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, added “this is a great program.”

 He is expecting another brigade from Fort Riley to carry out 100 missions in Africa in 2014.