Tough, realistic training makes readiness," the commanding general of Forces Command told attendees at the annual Maj. Gen. Robert Moorhead Guard and Reserve Breakfast.
Speaking before the formal opening of the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C., Gen. Robert Abrams said if the nation intends to use the Army to meet new threats such as those from the Islamic State group, a resurgent Russia, a rising China and in Africa, where nations are competing for resources, "then you better have a good one."
He also said the Army now has soldiers deployed in 140 countries.
Adding, "Over the past 14 years, we have demonstrated we cannot [succeed] with a single component."
Using a chart showing the partnerships between the active component and Army National Guard units in training together in a variety of exercises, he said, "We build readiness together. We’ll sharpen our guidance in the coming months." These partnerships also involve the Army Reserve.
"We have a chart like this for every unit," Abrams added. "One team, one fight."
Abrams said the value of having reserve components ready for a host of missions can be seen in the recent history of the 116th Infantry, a Virginia Army National Guard unit that was deployed to Afghanistan in 2004, Iraq in 2007, and now to Qatar.
Seeing the U.S. patch on a soldier’s uniform reassures friends and allies and also "strikes fear in the minds of our enemies," Abrams said, adding that we have only "one Army with one standard."
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 two presentations were made by Abrams to both units.
The Walter T. Kerwin Jr. Readiness Award for the outstanding Army National Guard unit for Training Year 2014 was awarded to the 1457th Engineer Battalion, Utah Army National Guard.
The award was accepted by its commander, Lt. Col. Michael Turley, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Turville, along with Brig. Gen. Dallen Atack, assistant Utah adjutant general; Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Miller, senior enlisted adviser, Utah Army National Guard; Lt. Col. Rich Shuck, administrative officer, 204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade; Capt. Erick Holland, commander, 116th Engineer Company; and Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Thalman, 204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade command sergeant major.
The Walter T. Kerwin Jr. Readiness Award for the Army’s most outstanding Reserve unit was the 983rd Engineer Battalion, Monclova, Ohio.
Lt. Col. Stephen Spinelli, commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Harry Haines accepted the award, along with Capt. Robert Mikyska.
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.
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.