By Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Chlosta
7th Public Affairs Office
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – The 7th Civil Support Command hosted Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley, the Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Reserve Command Nov. 4-6.
During his visit Talley met with troops at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, attended a foreign consequence management capabilities demonstration, participated in a working lunch with several general officers that included Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, commander, U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and hosted a town hall for 7th CSC Soldiers, Families and civilians.
Talley reinforced key points during his first visit to the 7th CSC and Europe since he took command last year.
“First it shows the great capabilities of our citizen Soldiers and as the Army’s federal reserve, we have the 7th CSC stationed right here in Europe in direct support of U.S. Army Europe and as I went around there was a couple things that caught my attention,” Talley said. “That is first off the passion that these Soldiers have for what they do and secondly is how they take civilian acquired skills and use those to help execute their military duties.
Breedlove’s first visit to the 7th CSC was a highlight of the second day, as he led several general officers during a foreign consequence management demonstration event on the parade field next to 7th CSC headquarters.
“The fact that you had a combatant commander, General Breedlove, to take the time to come down and spend most of the day with the Soldiers of the 7th and realize what they’re doing to support the Army who supports him through U.S. Army Europe that’s very impressive,” Talley said. “It’s very impressive that you have a combatant commander that really understands the importance that the reserve has to help the active component get the mission requirements completed, especially in Europe.”
“I think his [Talley’s] visit was a good opportunity for the command to showcase our capabilities in foreign consequence management,” Army Capt. Joshua Koncar, logistics officer, 361st Civil Affairs Brigade, 7th CSC, and St. Petersburg, Fla. native said.
“Today was a great day,” Brig. Gen. Paul M. Benenati, commanding general, 7th Civil Support Command, and Mechanicsville, Va. native, said. “We’re responsible for all the disaster response operations, what we call consequence management, which is typically known as a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear event or accidental spill and humanitarian assistance and emergency preparedness.”
“We’re reviewing today with the EUCOM commander, with Lieutenant General Franklin, the Third Air Force Commander, Lieutenant General Talley and with Lieutenant General Campbell, the U.S. Army Europe Commander as well as Mr. Ken Myers, who is the director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and several other general officers and senior civilians, we’re reviewing with them, the plan for how we’ll go about meeting those obligations that they’ve given us to be responsible for those missions throughout Europe, ” Benenati said.
Talley also spoke about his vision for the Army Reserve to support the Chief of Staff of the Army’s regionally aligned forces concept.
“We will take Army forces and align them in this case with the Army service component command in support of the combatant command,” Talley said. “For us it means taking our combat support and service support, most of that is in the Army Reserve as opposed to the active Army and the Army National Guard, and aligning it to better support, in this case General Campbell, of the U.S. Army Europe and General Breedlove, the combatant commander for EUCOM [European Command].”
On day three Talley responded to questions from a crowd of more than 100 Soldiers, civilians and family members from the 7th CSC during a town hall. Talley answered queries that ranged from the effects of sequestration on the U.S. Army Reserve, future U.S. Army Reserve force manning, direct commissioning, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program and suicide prevention.
“I just want to thank you for your commitment to the Army and the Army Reserve,” Talley said during his opening remarks at the town hall. “All of you should feel proud of being part of the 7th CSC and I want to grow it and make it even better in the future.”
“I thought the town hall provided good insight on the strategic level on where the Army Reserve is heading and the direction of the Army Reserve in Europe,” Koncar said. “That was good for us to hear and understand.”