Group gathers, shares ideas for way ahead on vision,
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas U.S. Army North leaders from across the United
States met in Marble Falls March 19-21 to discuss the future of homeland defense, civil support
and theater security cooperation.
Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, commanding general of U.S. Army North and senior commander of Fort
Sam Houston and Camp Bullis, hosted the event that featured key leaders from Joint Task Force –
Civil Support, Fort Eustis, Va.; Joint Task Force – North, Fort Bliss, Texas; 63rd Theater
Aviation Brigade, Kentucky National Guard; 167th Theater Sustainment Command, Alabama National
Guard; 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, South Carolina National Guard; 412th Contracting
Support Brigade, Fort Sam Houston; Army North’s Defense Coordinating Officers from the ten Federal
Emergency Management Agency regions; and Army North’s Joint Task Force 51.
Caldwell, who recently met with Gen. Charles Jacoby Jr., commander, U.S. Northern Command and
North American Aerospace Defense Command, and other senior leaders in the Department of Defense,
outlined his vision, mission and priorities at the conference and said he was seeking input from
“Where do we want to be in the next two to three years?” Caldwell asked. “We want everybody to
come together because each of you brings a unique perspective. I want you to feel comfortable
talking to everyone in this room. I fully recognize that this is a team effort.”
During “break-out” sessions, leaders discussed strategic objectives in: theater security cooperation; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response enterprise; informing and educating partner agencies and the American public on Army North’s role, mission and capabilities; expanding partnerships; and in anticipating the possibility of operating in a fiscally-constrained environment.
The conference provided the leaders an opportunity to work together and share their insights
and ideas on how to address challenges and make recommendations.
“It’s a great opportunity for the commanding general, senior enlisted leaders and staff members
to discuss important issues, both current and future, and to look to the best way to resolve
challenges in CBRN, theater security cooperation and homeland defense,” said Command Master Chief
Glenn Hopkins, senior enlisted leader, JTF-CS.
Caldwell told attendees that Army North’s goal is to provide support to the lead federal agents
as they provide support to American citizens and local agencies – not to run operations.
“Instead of ‘C2’ (command and control), I believe in ‘C3’ – coordinate, collaborate and
cooperate,” Caldwell said. “I fully recognize that this is a team effort. We really have to be
integrated with our federal partners, the state, the National Guard, the National Guard Bureau,
the Army Reserves, and local and tribal leaders.”
The offsite also provided the leaders an excellent opportunity to synchronize their efforts.
“It was a way for us all to get on the same sheet of music – good team-building,” said Col.
Timothy Williams, Region III Defense Coordinating Officer, Philadelphia. “It was a chance to see
the commanding general’s vision and priorities. We can take the commander’s intent and run with