Special Report: Ready Today, Relevant TomorrowPosted: Updated:
Ready today, relevant tomorrow.
That's a mantra Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt uses frequently when talking about the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum.
Last month, the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) conducted Falcon's Peak, one of the largest training exercises it's ever done at Fort Drum.
"We have the best crews in the Army, best crews in the world, sitting in this organization right now," the CAB's Maj. Derek Martin said.
"You have to be ready for the conflict you could face immediately," said Piatt, who is commanding general for the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum.
There's no shortage of confidence in the 10th Mountain Division among Fort Drum's top brass.
It's exercises like Falcon's Peak, which the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade conducted in April, that keep pushing the installation to be better.
"To go beyond our required training, develop techniques that are needed today," Piatt said, "but also show us how we need to train and be prepared for tomorrow."
Falcon's Peak was one of the largest exercises the military base has done. Beginning at Camp Ethan Allen in Vermont and Tahawus Mine in the Adirondacks, the CAB conducted a series of exercises leading back to a final assault on Fort Drum.
It's a shift in approach for the military, as its focus moves to what's known as "near-peer" threats -- enemies with capabilities equal to or greater than America's.
That's why Piatt says being able to complete a training mission on the scale of Falcon's Peak is important.
"You can't replicate distance, you have to physically do it -- the one thing that has remained constant in warfare is that it expands," he said. "The area becomes so much bigger as weapons and machines of war and technology improves, they become more lethal, they have greater ranges."
Ready today, relevant tomorrow rings true beyond Fort Drum.
Tony Keating is a civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army.
"There's no question in terms of any vagaries, both the secretary and the chief have made it abundantly clear that job one, focus one, priority one, is readiness," he said.
Army Secretary Mark Esper, praised the 10th's commitment to readiness during a visit in March.
The Army as a whole already trains on the scale of Falcon's Peak during exercises such as Joint Readiness Training at Fort Polk, but Piatt says to be able to do it here on Fort Drum only makes the division that much more valuable.
"One of the crucial elements of ready today, relevant tomorrow, is that our installation stays relevant," Piatt said, "so that Fort Drum, as important as it is today, we want to make sure that it's important 30 years from now."
It's not just the Aviation Brigade isn’t the only one that trains to improve readiness.
On Wednesday’s Military Matters, we'll tell you more about "rapid deployment training" and how the 10th Mountain Division's ground troops train to deploy at the drop of a hat.
That airs during 7 News This Evening at 6 p.m.