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AUSA kicks off last winter symposium in Florida

By C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (Feb. 20, 2013) -- For 14 years now the Association of the United States Army has held its winter symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. This year's event will be the last in the Sunshine State.

During opening comments at the 2013 Association of the United States Army, or AUSA, Institute of Land Warfare Winter Symposium and Exposition, the AUSA president and former chief of staff of the Army, retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, told his audience, about 500 in number, that this year's event would be the last in Fort Lauderdale.

Three young people in military uniforms, all three with rifles, stand in front of a display. A man in a suit speaks with them.
Cadet Pfc. Daleth Soares, Cadet Pfc. Nathercia Goncalves and Cadet Staff Sgt. Luiz Fonseca learn about the M-4 Carbine with M-203 Grenade Launcher from Kevin J. Brown, vice president, military programs, at Colt Defense, during the Feb. 20, 2013, opening of the 2013 Association of the United States Army Institute of Land Warfare Winter Symposium and Exposition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The three cadets are with the Junior Reserve Officer Training Program at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Fla.

The retired general also pointed out that the number of Army attendees at the event has dropped. The number of foreign military in attendance now nearly equaled the number of U.S. military attendees, he said.

Nevertheless, the three-day event features an array of Army general officers and panels presenting on a variety of subjects from transition, to equipping to Army networks.

The opening presenter, Gen. Robert W. Cone, commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC, discussed the Army's transition from a focus on execution, to a focus on preparation.

"As we look to the future, we have to be prepared for both strategic and operational adaptation," Cone said.

The Army was successful in Iraq, and has been successful in Afghanistan in dealing with counter-insurgency, stability operations, and operations from static bases, and has been accustomed to a robust support infrastructure. But he said that's not enough any longer.

"That is not the full range of military operations," he said.

The Army must move beyond counter-insurgency now, which has been for many young Soldiers the only thing they have known during their military careers, Cone said. That move will require an approach that includes an emphasis on doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facilities.

Additional panels include a discussion on strategic land power, with Lt. Gen. Keith C. Walker, also with TRADOC; and an afternoon panel with Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, to discuss efficiencies in procurement.

Also scheduled to present during the three-day event is Gen. Dennis L. Via, of U.S. Army Materiel Command; Grace Bochenek, Ph.D., the Army's chief technology officer, who will discuss the Army's science and technology investment; a panel that discusses Army partnering with the industrial base; and a panel discussion on the future of the Army's Network Integration Evaluation efforts.

Also interspersed throughout the event are "AUSA TECH TEN" events, ten-minute presentations on various technology items, including fuel cells, GPS-denied operations, and development of sensor technology for the military.

The three day AUSA symposium runs Feb. 20-22.

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