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U.S. Army Central hosts Regional Combined Arms Symposium

By By Capt. John May, U.S. Army Central

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SUMTER, S.C. (Sept. 1, 2015) — U.S. Army Central and the Maneuver Center of Excellence hosted army officers from the Middle East and Central Asia at the Regional Combined Arms Symposium, Aug. 24-28.

The symposium featured discussions about war fighting roles and responsibilities facilitated by U.S. Army subject matter experts. It was the third and final symposium in a three part series. This year the focus was on execution of combat operations, and previous year’s focus was doctrine and planning.

“The U.S. Army is not as big as it used to be so we have to be much more efficient with our allies,” said Maj. Gen. William Hickman, U.S. Army Central deputy commanding general – operations. “As we get smaller, it becomes even more important that we have strong partnerships.”

Col. Jeff Wyatt, U.S. Army Central chief of Theater Security Cooperation Division, said the event provided an opportunity to bring together partner nations from throughout the Middle East and Central Asia free of any constraints.

“They were able to freely exchange information and experience with each other as well as with U.S. Army officers and subject matter experts,” said Wyatt. “It was a good opportunity to expose them to U.S. doctrine and best practices from subject matter experts.”

Officers from the Middle East and Central Asia shared Wyatt’s sentiment about the positive experience the symposium provided.

“The event provided a mutually beneficial exchange of information between participating countries and the U.S. Army,” said Lt. Col. Ahmed Khalil, Egyptian army officer.

Uzbekistan army officer Lt. Col. Pulatjan Sativaldiev said the symposium helped build good will among the participating countries and created a common understanding of ways to fight the enemy.

The Joint Readiness Training Center presented one of their training-based scenarios to attendees. They discussed the role of different war fighting responsibilities in small groups to gain further insight from each country’s military.

“The small group discussion provided a valuable chance to learn from each other,” said Lt. Col. Mubarak Al Hamidi, Kuwait Land Forces officer.

Officers from Kazakhstan, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates presented informational presentations on how they use combined arms strategies in their country.

The symposium concluded with a panel discussion with former U.S. Army brigade and battalion commanders, who shared lessons learned and best practices from combined operations in combat and training environments.

As part of the symposium, the group toured the Clarke Simulation Center and National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning.

U.S. Army Central has been resident in Central Asia and the Middle East for more than 20 years. With forward headquarters in Kuwait, Qatar and Afghanistan, our presence preserves regional stability and prosperity. U.S. Army Central provides the strategic land power that prevents conflict, shapes the environment and, when necessary, wins the nation’s wars.