US Army Releases New Training Manual
Focus on Defense:
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan., Dec. 16, 2008 -- The Army released the new field manual FM 7-0, Training for Full Spectrum Operations, at the Training General Officer Steering Committee conference at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Dec. 15. Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, introduced the new manual.
The new manual replaces the 2002 edition of FM 7-0, Training the Force.
"Today's full-spectrum operations environment demands more from our men and women in uniform than ever before, and nothing is more important than training to ensure their success," said Caldwell. "This manual will have a direct impact on our Soldiers - codifying our current doctrine directly into training the full breadth and complexity of today's missions, to include offensive, defensive and stability operations."
This is the first time the Army has synchronized the manuals for operations and training.
"Now is the right time to release the new training manual," said Brig. Gen. Robert B. Abrams, director of the Combined Arms Center-Training. "We've been at war a little over six years, and our last training manual was published just after 9/11. A lot has changed since then. The operational environment has changed, and we now have a force that is the most combat-experienced in the history of the country. There are many factors that went into the need to update FM 7-0."
In 2008, the Army has released three important field manuals. FM 3-0, Operations, changed the way the Army operates, with the focus of the Army being on offensive, defensive and stability operations. FM 3-07, Stability Operations, went into detail of how the Army will perform its mission when called upon as a stabilizing force. FM 7-0 provides training guidance to prepare the Army to train the way it will fight.
"FM 7-0 is almost entirely driven by FM 3-0," said Abrams. "This is the first time in recent doctrinal history that our Army's capstone operations manual FM 3-0 has been at the forefront of our training manual. They have been related before, and FM 7-0 has embraced the operational concepts in some degree or another, but in this particular case, the starting of FM 7-0 was about six months behind FM 3-0.
"The two writing teams have been nested from the beginning so that for the first time, all the operational concepts and the most important concept, that we are a full-spectrum Army, means that offense, defense and stability operations are our core concepts as an Army," Abrams continued. "These concepts are now nested throughout our training manual so that we train to be a full-spectrum Army, not just in name, but in reality."
FM 7-0 challenges leaders to train as they will fight - train as a full-spectrum force but not lose sight of the first priority of the Army, which is to fight and win our nation's wars.
FM 7-0 sets out to change the Army mindset. The manual states that the Army cannot return to its pre-9-11 focus of training for offensive and defensive operations in major combat operations. Army leaders must think differently about training and leader development in an Army that must be capable of conducting simultaneous offense, defense and stability or civil-support operations.
The manual's four chapters address the breadth and depth of Army training concepts - the "what" of Army training. The Web-based Army Training Network will address the "how" of Army training. It will provide examples of concepts in FM 7-0; training lessons, examples and best practices for implementing the 7-0 concepts; and solutions to training challenges.
"We are using emerging technologies and leveraging the power of the Web. We are going to take what has been previously published in FM 7-1, Battle Focused Training, and we're going to take those concepts and put them on the Web as the Army Training Network," said Abrams. "It is going to have the same format and same fundamentals you would see in FM 7-1 in terms of techniques for conduct of training management. What we want to show with the power of the Web is that we can get constant updates from the field and input on best practices."
The operational concept requires the Army to be ready to conduct simultaneous offense, defense and stability or civil-support operations anywhere along the spectrum of conflict, from general war to stable peace.
FM 7-0 is designed to help develop an expeditionary Army, comprised of Soldiers and civilians, experienced and knowledgeable enough to be comfortable with operating anywhere along the spectrum of conflict in any type of operation, under any conditions. Its principles and concepts are intended to produce agile leaders who can rapidly and easily adapt to changing, ambiguous situations.
(Report by John Harlow, TRADOC.)
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