MILITARY MATTERS: Fort Benning hosts hybrid maneuver Warfighter conference

Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 9:37 PM EST
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FORT BENNING, Ga. (WTVM) - In an uncertain world, Fort Benning is providing a forum for U.S. Army leaders to discuss the best technology and how to best train soldiers for potential war or anything else.

Fort Benning is hosting a three-day Maneuver Warfighter Conference February 15-17, the first time for this annual event in almost 3 years. It was canceled in 2020 and postponed last Fall.

“We’re obviously not in a post-COVID environment yet. So, what we’re doing is running a hybrid conference. We’ve built zones across the (Army) installation,” Fort Benning Commanding General MG Patrick Donahoe said.

Fort Benning’s commanding general says this is a critical event that will be spread out on the Army post and will feature top military leaders from several countries. There will be limited in-person access due to the pandemic, but anyone who signs up can also take part virtually.

There’s also an expo where businesses can show off their latest high-tech gear and products to tens of thousands of soldiers.

“We’re watching a very accelerated evolution in the technologies, the organizations, and then the geopolitical drivers of conflict,” MG Donahoe said.

He added, discussion at this conference is, in part, about future challenges to national security, including U.S. advantages and disadvantages against, for example, Russia or China, if ever needed.

MG Donahoe tells News Leader 9, “What those 2 nations (Russia and China) put in the field, how they organize their armies, the doctrine they would fight by...and then allow our non-commissioned officers to think about that and develop the right doctrine to challenge them tactically.”

The theme for this mostly virtual conference is managing large scale combat operations (LSCO) and the changing character of war.

“We’re talking about the impact of cyber, the impact of space-based systems, and how they’re going to impact warfare going forward,” MG Donahoe said. “And the amount of unmanned aerial vehicles that we are now seeing proliferate the world.” And they are talking drone technology too at this event, as warfare evolves.

“A lot of it is, how do we need to train better? What do we need to train on? And how do we need to organize our Army forces to better answer those challenges?” MG Donahoe said.

He says the goal after the hybrid Maneuver Warfighter Conference is turning talk into action.

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