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Army Reserve Prepares for Complex Future Battlefield

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U.S. Army Reserve/Spc. Jorge Reyes
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Army Reserve must prepare its commanders and soldiers for multidomain operations with training that incorporates mission command, tools that can replicate domains other than land, and the platforms soldiers need to remain physically fit and resilient, senior leaders said.

Soldiers are still going to have to “shoot, move and communicate” in any battle, but they’ll need to train for a complex battlefield that will be integrated with the joint forces that maneuver in other domains,  Lt. Gen. Thomas James, commander of First Army, said Oct. 13 in an Army Reserve panel discussion during AUSA Now, the virtual 2020 annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army. 

“We are going to have additional assets, space assets, cyber assets, things to protect ourselves from an enemy attack in those domains, but we’ll also have offensive capability that can be done as well,” he said. “We have to make sure that we replicate that in the collective training environment and individual training.” 

Innovation will be essential to enabling mission command, as small-unit leaders may be in remote locations, away from higher command, said Brig. Gen. Dustin Shultz, deputy chief of staff for operations in the Office of the Chief of Army Reserve and Army Reserve Command.

“As we look at multidomain operations, we’re demanding that we go forward with an innovative perspective. We cannot merely innovate our way to success. We need soldiers closest to the problem to get their aim. Mission command is part of that,” Shultz said.

To maintain a competitive edge against adversaries like Russia and China, soldiers need to be “healthy to begin with, develop the right soldier skills and resiliency attributes,” said Maj. Gen. Jonathan Woodson, commander of Army Reserve Medical Command.

Woodson said the right training platforms need to be developed to enhance physical fitness, as well as simulation platforms that can help replicate the multidomain battlefield, where “the environment will be fluid,” he said.