The "unprecedented fiscal constraints" facing the nation have put the Army at a crossroads, the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command told several hundred attendees at the Maj. Gen. Robert G. Moorhead Guard-Reserve Breakfast preceding the opening session of the Association of the United States Army’s 2013 Annual Meeting and Exposition.
Gen. Daniel Allyn said, "Our Army will be smaller. Rest assured our Army and leadership are up to the challenge."
Adding, "We can, we must … do better in the future in synchronizing and integrating training across the components."
Allyn said, "We must optimize every training event" and look to partnerships among different units based on geography and capability.
Looking to the future, the continuing commitment to Afghanistan through 2014 means the Army will not immediately realign its forces, but that remains the goal to build "more routine and habitual relationships" with nations overseas.
Allyn said that alignment, which includes training in a nation’s culture, geography and military, "helps to prevent and shape future conflict."
Adding, "Soldiers operate in a human domain."
He said the idea of such alignment lay in the state partnerships the National Guard has established with countries in the former Warsaw Pact in the 1990s, as well as integration of the Army Reserve into every combatant command and its engagement cells now operating in every theater command.
Walter T. Kerwin Jr. Awards
At the breakfast, the Association of the United States Army, in conjunction with the National Guard Association of the United States and the Reserve Officers Association, presented the annual Walter T. Kerwin Jr. Award to units from the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve.
The presentations were made by Allyn and Lt. Gen. Roger Schultz, USA, Ret., the vice chairman of the AUSA Council of Trustees for National Guard and Reserve Affairs.
The Kerwin Award for readiness and training for the outstanding Army National Guard unit for training year 2012 was presented to the 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry, Brigade Combat Team, Virginia Army National Guard.
"The tremendous contributions of the 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Virginia National Guard to the security of the nation, its readiness and preparation, and their support and relief operations for the citizens of Virginia, have shown the 1st Battalion to be an extremely capable unit of Soldiers and an exemplar among the units of the National Guard – truly following its motto of ‘Ever Forward,’" the citation stated in part.
The award was accepted by Lt. Col. Allen Carter, battalion commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Ricky Kiser.
The Kerwin Award for the outstanding U.S. Army Reserve unit was presented to the 99th Regional Support Command, Fort Dix, N.J.
"The 99th Regional Support Command (RSC) has shown itself to be a paragon of flexibility, innovation, and humanitarian aid in supporting the residents of its 13 state region encompassing the east coast from Virginia to Maine.
"On October 29th, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy was bearing down on the Northeast, the 99th RSC stood up a Contingency Action Team to prepare the staff and to set up 24 hour operations in support of the region’s citizens. The RSC quickly set up quartermaster units to begin water pumping operations, adapting the equipment for the disaster situation on the fly," the citation read in part.
Maj. Gen. Margaret Boor, commanding general and Lt. Col. William Slora, director of public works, accepted the award.
Kerwin, for whom the award is named, was a former Army vice chief of staff who served as the first commander of U.S. Army Forces Command when it was established in 1976.
Kerwin died on July 11, 2008.
He dedicated himself and his command to the task of training and preparing for war not only the active component, but also reserve components.