Magazine article National Defense

Editor's Corner

Magazine article National Defense

Editor's Corner

Article excerpt

One peculiar development seen in the Iraq war was the presence, throughout the theater, of U.S. military teams led by 35 officers from the Joint Forces Command. Their sole job was to observe the war as it unfolded and assess the performance of the military services from a "joint" perspective. They also were responsible to compile "lessons learned" about the war, a process that traditionally had been conducted by each individual service.

"Jointness" was unquestionably the biggest lesson from the war, according to Army Brig. Gen. Robert W. Cone, director of the Joint Center for Lessons Learned, U.S. Joint Forces Command.

This keen emphasis on everything joint will affect not only weapons systems development and procurement, but also the way the services train.

Cone cited training, for example, as a key factor in the prevention of fratricide, which was one of the war's largest disappointments. Commanders interviewed by JFCOM officials agreed that "training is the number one thing" that could help avert friendly fire, said Cone.

In this month's edition, National Defense explores the fundamental trends emerging in military training today, many of which are being shaped by commanders' observations from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as homeland security demands.

To improve joint-service training, the Defense Department is funding a $1 billion project called Joint National Training Capability, which is designed to network various training ranges around the United States. …

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