Kicking off the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2016 Global Force Symposium and Exposition, Gen. Dennis Via, commanding general, U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC), described the myriad and complex threats from around the world facing the United States today.
"When future historians write about the early 21st century, I have no doubt they will describe this period as incredibly complex," said Via.
Adding, "Some of our closest allies in Europe are managing a refugee crisis on a magnitude not seen since World War II, and Russia is displaying a level of aggression not seen in decades."
In the Pacific region, Via cited China’s military modernization and construction of military facilities on disputed islands in the South China Sea, and North Korea’s increasing cycle of provocation as growing concerns.
Iran’s "malign influence" continues to undermine American allies and regional stability in the Middle East, Via said, and the fight against ISIS and other extremists in Iraq, Syria and parts of Africa is ongoing – "meanwhile, we still have nearly two hundred thousand soldiers deployed to Afghanistan and other parts of the world."
The potential for multiple adversaries is one reason why readiness is the Army’s number one priority, Via said, adding that the three basic tasks of every soldier – move, shoot and communicate – all require readiness.
The Army Materiel Command is taking steps to provide readiness for the current and future soldier.
Via cited the modernization and optimization of Army pre-positioned stocks, and the building of theater activity sets, which "provide the Army and the joint force with strategic reach" unmatched by any other military in the world.
"This allows units to deploy and quickly fall in on equipment that is both modernized and maintained in the highest state of readiness," Via said.
AMC will establish eight equipment sets around the world in the next few years.
In Korea, AMC supported the deployment of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas – the first rotational combat brigade to serve in Korea.
"This powerful effort reassures our allies, the Republic of Korea Army, and the South Korean people, and demonstrates U.S. commitment and resolve in the region," Via said.
"When all else fails, regardless of how complex or dangerous the situation, or where it occurs in the world, our nation can always depend on the American soldier to accomplish the mission" – but the Army must be ready, he added.