Lieutenant General Ben Hodges (Ret.)
U.S. Army Europe (2014-2017)
· Gap crossing techniques and equipment to allow manoeuvre and firepower to occur
· Wheels Vs. tracks – all terrain capabilities and logistical trains; trade-offs and latest operational feedback
· Deployability and manoeuvrability; how quickly can vehicles arrive at the fight?
The current threat context can be defined by a multiplicity of new characteristics; cyber attacks, asymmetric warfare, terrorism at home and abroad, a resurgent Russia, the unpredictability of North Korea, a maturing Iranian nuclear capability, the numbers advantage of China and the clandestine operations of non-state actors. Arguably, we are only just beginning to adapt our forces to these new norms and the probable characteristics of the next war. What role can Command play in combating these threats and what responsibilities do vehicle operators have here?
The Vostok exercise mobilized a vast combined force, punctuated by an accelerated defence partnership between Russia and China that demonstrated the participants’ ability to deliver unprecedented combat mass and the logistical means to support it. What did we learn about the role of the approximated 36,000 armoured assets that took part in the exercise and how must NATO use its own assets to similar- or better- effect?
To enable a comprehensive breadth of debate and insight, both in a historic sense and with the required contemporary knowledge, this panel discussion will feature a selection of perspectives from our currently serving senior military leaders, alongside a selection of our retired greybeards.