The Army Reserve and Army National Guard kicked off the American, British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand (ABCA) Armies’ Program Reserve Information Team conference yesterday in Potomac, Md. at the Bolger Center.
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley, Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command, who co-hosted the event, said these kinds of events allow us to share best practices, improve interoperability and enhance the readiness of our allied forces. Talley and Lt. Gen. William Ingram, Director, Army National Guard welcomed the heads of delegation from the member nations to the week-long event that gives the reserve component leaders an opportunity to provide an update on Army Reserve and National Guard affairs.
The primary objectives for the 2012 conference are to enhance cooperation between ABCA Reserve Forces and share information on delivering operational capability to the active components of member nations, update all members on current developments in our Reserve Forces, and ensure the Reserve Forces are appropriately considered (and included) at the highest levels of national policy.
The ABCA Armies’ program, launched post-World War II, was intended to build on the close cooperation our nations developed during that conflict, with a focus on the effort to standardize equipment, training and tactics. The program has since expanded to address interoperability, the changing security environment, and improved responsiveness.
In defining today’s Army Reserve, Talley said, “We are a complementary force to the active component. Think of us as the enablers. The active Army doesn’t go anywhere or do anything without the Army Reserve.”
Following ten years of support to the war fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of the attending nations noted having traveled a parallel path of transformation.
“The similarities between how many of the ABCA nations have transformed to support their nation’s Army as part of the operational force is amazing,” Talley said. “We all see the benefits of the enhanced readiness of the reserve components, and we are looking at ways to maintain that readiness in support of our nations’ Armies.”
Talley highlighted the Army Reserve’s major training platforms at Fort Hunter-Liggett, Cal., Fort McCoy, Wis., and Fort Dix, N.J., and some of the top notch training conducted at those venues.
“We conduct combat training center equivalent, multi-service, multi-component training at Hunter-Ligget, McCoy and Dix,” Talley said. “We’ve had other nations participate and would love to expand that part of our Warrior Exercises and Combat Support Training Exercises. With the shift in focus of our national strategy to shaping missions and theater engagement, this only makes sense”
The Army Reserve has long supported theater security cooperation and medical readiness training exercises in Africa, South and Central America and in Asia, Talley said. “And, with our ABCA partners, we will continue to support our Armies and our nations across the full range of military operations.”