Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Services Submit Plans on Integrating Women Into All Military Jobs

By Lisa Ferdinando DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, January 5, 2016 — The Defense Department has received plans from each of the services for implementing plans to integrate women into all positions in the military, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said today.

The office of the acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness received the plans, Cook said at a news conference.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced in December his decision to open all positions in the military to women, with no exceptions. Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, requested and was granted a short extension in providing his plan, Cook said.

That extension was to give Socom time to collaborate thoroughly with the services, because many of the actions critical to successfully integrating women into special operations specialties and units fall under service authority, Cook said.

Group Will Oversee Implementation

Cook noted that Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, are chairing a group on implementing the decision.

The group will work with the services to oversee the short-term implementation of the decision, Cook explained, to ensure there are no unintended consequences on the joint force. The group will periodically update Carter and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., on the progress, he said.

The first meeting of the implementation group will take place this week, the press secretary said.

"The services and Special Operations Command will begin to execute the implementation of their approved plans as soon as practicable, but no later than April 1," he added.

Eucom Commander Seeks New Approach to Russia

By Jim Garamone DoD News, Defense Media Activity

STUTTGART, Germany, January 5, 2016 — For two decades, the United States “hugged the bear” in Europe, but that has to change, the commander of U.S. European Command said.

Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, who also serves as NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, has advocated for more U.S. forces in Europe to counter growing Russian capabilities and capacity. He spoke to reporters traveling with Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States and its allies saw an opportunity to try to make Russia a partner. But a strategy document signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week names the United States and the expansion of the NATO alliance as threats to his country. Breedlove said the policy document merely codified Russian actions for several years.

A ‘Revanchist Russia’

“What I would offer is that if you look at Russia’s actions all the way back to ’08 – in Georgia, in Nagorno-Karabakh, in Crimea, in the Donbass, and now down in Syria – we see what most call a revanchist Russia that has put force back on the table as an instrument of national power to meet their objectives,” the general said.

This means there has to be changes in the way U.S. military forces operate in Europe, he added, noting that for 20 years, U.S. military decisions were guided by the effort to make Russia a partner.

“Across that time … we have changed our force structure, we have changed our [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] allocations, we’ve changed our analytical allocations, [and] we’ve downsized the forces in all the media here in Europe,” he said.

Now, Breedlove said, U.S. military officials look at Russian capabilities and capacity and have to adjust.

More U.S. Capability in Europe

Breedlove has advocated more U.S. service members and more capabilities in Europe, and that is beginning to happen. A fourth destroyer has arrived in Spain, for example, and the Army is rotating a brigade-sized unit to Europe, he said.

But it is more than simply building up numbers, he added. For 13 years, he said, Eucom was focused on training other nations to join the counterinsurgency fight in Afghanistan.

“We are really good at counterinsurgency targeting,” Breedlove said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve done an air campaign the size of Iraq 1 or Iraq 2, or even in the opening days of Afghanistan. We need to get back to those high-end skills to ensure we have the depth of bench for that fight.

“As Afghanistan drew down, we were prescient,” he continued. “We decided … that we needed to train to high-end Article 5 capabilities. That was our plan, even before Crimea.” Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty states that an attack on one NATO ally will be considered an attack on all allies.

Redeveloping High-End Capability

Russia’s actions validate the decision, the general said. “Now every soldier, sailor, airman or Marine that comes to European Command will be focused on redeveloping that high-end kinetic fighting capability,” he added.

All exercises and training will stress these capabilities, the general said, and Eucom also will exercise at division and corps level in the future.

Breedlove said he cannot tell what Putin intends to do with the military he has re-equipped and retrained.
“Many people ask me, ‘What is Putin thinking?’ or ‘What do you think he’s thinking?’” he said. “I’m not sure what he’s thinking, but I can look at what he’s doing and derive from that what we should be thinking about on our side.”