Perkins: Army Must Hit the Ground Running
As the Army continues to shrink, strategists are heavily focused on more quickly launching deployed forces into offensive action on future battlefields, says Gen. David G. Perkins, commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
“A lot of folks focus primarily on the word ‘deploy,’” Perkins said. “But it’s really about building agility into the force so you can get the right things there quickly, and then continue to transition quickly and continually into offensive operations.” His comments came at a recent professional forum on land forces before the Association of the U.S. Army’s Virginia Colonial Chapter at the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Va.
Potential adversaries “have gone to school on us” in making a priority of anti-access and aerial denial to keep U.S. forces from gaining an initial foothold from which to expand and employ their combat power, Perkins said.
“The higher the op tempo, the advantage generally accrues to us,” he said. “We start to get at a disadvantage when the tempo of operations starts to slow down—we’re generally in an away game, our enemy is much closer to a home game, they can start to set the environment to our disadvantage.
“So what we want to do is be able to deploy, transition quickly to offensive operations and maintain a high op tempo,” he said. “We get to choose the tempo, we get to choose the objective. It’s really a different way of looking at how we train, how we organize, how we deploy, and how we effectively transition to offensive operations.”