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NEWS | Dec. 8, 2023

Annual symposium bridges gaps across components, commands

V Corps Public Affairs

Around 40 V Corps, National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve senior leaders converged at “Victory Corps” Headquarters here Dec. 1-2 for a dynamic discussion of issues confronting Reserve Component organizations serving in the Eastern European area of responsibility. 
The second annual Reserve Component Symposium provided an ideal opportunity for commanders of relevant U.S. Army Reserve formations, state adjutants general, deputies and key staff to discuss challenges, opportunities, lessons-learned, and tactics, techniques and procedures with V Corps and U.S. Army Europe and Africa senior leaders and key advisors.

Participants belonged to organizations playing a critical role in contemporary operations across the corps area of responsibility. Many of the TAGs and subordinate leaders, for instance, engage European counterparts through the State Partnership Program. The SPP, administered by the National Guard Bureau, aligns U.S. states with partner nations in support of Department of Defense and whole of government goals. Participating Army Reserve leaders likewise represented organizations whose missions and capabilities figure prominently in current operations along the eastern flank. 

“The target audience is ARNG and USAR senior leaders who participate in the V Corps theater of operations for wartime, and peacetime training and exercises in Europe to support the V Corps mission,” said Sgt. Maj. Cory Najera, the corps deputy senior enlisted advisor for Army Reserve Affairs. “It allows all three ‘COMPOS’ the opportunity to freely share information and build relations with V Corps and its allied partners, in Europe primarily.”

“The purpose of the symposium is to enable a shared understanding of V Corps’ mission set, task organization and mission enabler requirements amongst select RC senior leaders and ensure V Corps visibility of selected RC capabilities,” he added. “NG TAGs and senior leaders are invited to describe their involvement in the SPP, and Army Reserve major subordinate command CGs described their unique capabilities, which will enable mutual success throughout the V Corps area of responsibility.”

The first day was devoted to travel, practicalities, and an operational briefing at corps headquarters, culminating in an ice breaker on post. A robust series of presentations, briefings and guided discussions dominated the second and concluding day of activities. While dozens attended personally, many participated virtually – particularly those based in Europe and the national capital region.
TAGs and key subordinate leaders from the Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Minnesota, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Florida Guards and NGB Headquarters participated in the symposium. Senior leaders from the Army Reserve Aviation Command, 79th Theater Sustainment Command, 416th Theater Engineer Command, 353rd Civil Affairs Command, 304th and 307th Civil Affairs Brigades, 15th PSYOP Battalion, 310th ESC, Military Intelligence Readiness Command, 336th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade, 28th Infantry Division, 29th Infantry Division, 34th Infantry Division, 76th Operational Response Command, 7th Mission Support Command, 200th Military Police Command, 135th Expeditionary Support Command, 46th Military Police Command, and 1st Army Division East as well as RC Headquarters participated.
Corps and USAREUR-AF senior leaders and staffers offered valuable theater-level perspective, responded to questions and concerns, and helped facilitate presentations, briefs and discussions.
Brig. Gen. Roger Deon, who commands the ARAC and played a key organizational role in the inaugural symposium, also contributed heavily to the second forum.
“The second annual V Corps RC Symposium has again proven invaluable for U.S. Army RC senior leadership, as we build strategic partnerships throughout the NATO area of operations - especially in the eastern flank and towards the newest members of NATO,” he said after the event. “With V Corps providing the connective tissue, Army NG and Army Reserve are able to maximize our efforts throughout the European theater towards our common goals: joint security cooperation with our multinational NATO partners and allies.

The symposium, the Newark, New York native added, “allows RC elements who will participate in European security cooperation efforts to better understand the intent of joint combatant commander and the Army service component commander. The V Corps ability to synthesize strategic information and provide it to RC leadership in a concise format and in the continental U.S. is simply unmatched.”
The ARAC commanding general praised the efforts of the corps senior leaders and staff who organized and hosted the event.

“The manner in which Maj. Gen. Tim Thombleson (the corps deputy commanding general and, appropriately, an Indiana Guardsman) and the V Corps staff presented the operational and threat overviews proved invaluable to every single flag officer in attendance. The flag level audience left the V Corps RC Symposium with a thorough understanding of the European theater and the diplomatic, information, military, and economic implications of our multinational operations programmed for the near future.”