U.S. Army Europe hosts first CFLCC seminar outside U.S. to prepare senior officers across theater for joint, combined command

July 23, 2012

By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

Keeping heroes active
U.S. Army Europe conducts its first European Combined Forces Land Component Commanders’ Seminar at the Joint Multinational Training Command in Grafenwoehr, Germany. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling (center frame) sits beside senior mentor Retired Lt. Gen. William Webster during the seminar's opening day. U.S. Army photo.

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- U.S. Army Europe is stepping up its theater security cooperation training to a higher level, conducting the first European Combined Forces Land Component Commanders’ Seminar at the Joint Multinational Training Command in Grafenwoehr, Germany, July 23-27. 

The seminar is designed to allow participants to train and share their experiences supporting coalition and combatant commanders by leading and sustaining combined forces at an operational level in a dynamic joint task force environment.

The participants – approximately 20 officers from the U.S. and more than a dozen European nations -- are primarily brigadier generals and senior colonels being primed for promotion or top-level leadership positions within their nations’ forces.

"What I know of the guys who are coming -- and I know most of them -- they're not only rising generals, but in many cases they're future chiefs of staff of allied armies," said U.S. Army Europe commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, in an interview with Army Magazine about the event.

The seminar is composed of 20 sessions taught by senior active and retired military and civilian experts representing U.S. and allied land, air and sea forces and other international agencies involved in coordinated combat, stability and reconstruction operations. The sessions span the horizon of joint, combined and multinational forces operations, from the fundamentals of an operational environment to theater strategic perspectives; air, land and sea battle coordination; command relationships; logistics; special operations; intelligence; cyber warfare; influence and information operations; working with affiliated governmental and non-governmental agencies; and understanding the political and interagency implications of operations.

The seminar takes what USAREUR has been doing at the troop level to build partnerships, security cooperation and interoperability, and steps it up to the next level of leader development, Hertling said.

"Over the last 15 to 20 years we've been doing theater security cooperation at the squad level or the detachment level, where we've been partnering and sending infantry squads out, or trainers out, to help forces develop their countries," he said. "Now we're in a place, after 10 years of war, where I think we've got a lot of forces contributing to coalition operations, and they're realizing that there's an importance in understanding one another's leadership style, leadership techniques, mission command potential, and some of our allies realize after working with us in Iraq and Afghanistan and in Kosovo for the last 15 years or so, that we've got a lot of good processes and techniques from a doctrinal, and just an experiential, level."

Much of the training for the seminar is based on the CFLCC commander's course offered to U.S. and multinational general officers at the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

Hertling, who has attended the CFLCC course at Carlisle, said USAREUR asked for the War College CFLCC program of instruction so it could offer the same training here, but "developed it with more of a lean toward coalition leadership development."

The USAREUR version also adds "a little bit of a European twist," the general said. That "twist," he explained, adds discussion of European issues, in- and out-of-theater European and coalition concerns, and implications of NATO Article 5, the provision of the alliance's Washington Treaty that stipulates that "an armed attack against one or more (alliance members) in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all."

In addition to the program of instruction, Hertling said the seminar has the added benefit of giving the senior general officers attending a chance to mentor a group of leaders who will soon be general officer commanders at an operational level. And it offers a mix of USAREUR, U.S. European Command and multinational subject-matter experts who can share actual contemporary experiences working with the types of issues the course will address.

"These are guys who are currently involved working the issues here in Europe, that we can attribute to the kind of issues these guys might see. ... It's really kind of a neat link between what we have here in Europe as part of EUCOM, and also what we have here as part of USAREUR, and also contributors from other countries," Hertling said.

"This is going to be a very interesting thing, because not only are our generals learning CFLCC procedures, but it's going to give them the opportunity to teach allies how we come together as part of coalitions in a true coalition fight. So I'm very excited about it."

About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned to advance American strategic interests across Eurasia and has unparalleled capability to prevent conflict, shape the environment and, if necessary, win decisively. The relationships we build during more than 1000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships, and enhance global security.