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Jointness, Transformation Benefit From Lessons Learned in Battle

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2004 - Lessons learned from U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq are greatly assisting Defense Department transformation efforts, the chief of U.S. Joint Forces Command said here today.

"The fact that we are conducting (those) operations with the breadth and depth that we are allows our services and allows our joint forces to experiment in a way that you can't replicate running any type of concept development and experimentation program - war games or the like," noted Navy Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr.

Giambastiani said Joint Forces Command, with headquarters in Norfolk, Va., is committed "to add joint context to everything we do."

As part of that effort, the admiral noted, the armed services run joint war games in conjunction with his command.

"The reason for this is we're trying to put in joint context to allow the services to explore their capabilities," Giambastiani explained, "while at the same time we can explore issues and we can look at the challenges all of the services face and come up with joint solutions."

In fact, he noted, joint war games were during 2003 held with the Army in May and with the Navy in October, while a joint war game hosted by U.S. Joint Forces Command in June featured U.S. services and some allied militaries as participants.

Giambastiani, who took over Joint Forces Command and NATO's newly established Allied Command Transformation on October 2002, said Joint Forces Command would run three more joint war games this year.

The admiral pointed out that Joint Forces Command has "created a dynamic, interactive process of lessons learned to capture battlefield lessons learned and bring them back to the services and our joint commands in a way like we've never done before." Many of those lessons-learned reports, Giambastiani noted, are classified.

To obtain timely information and feedback from recent military operations, Giambastiani said, special teams were embedded across U.S. Central Command.

"We're trying to be as proactive as possible -- in real time -- in bringing these lessons learned out" from warfighting theaters of operation, he concluded.

Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr.

Related AFPS Articles:
Joint Forces Command, Navy to Test Operational Concepts

Related Web Site:
U.S. Joint Forces Command
U.S. Central Command