The commander of all U.S. Army combat forces paid a visit to Fort Drum last week.
Gen. James D. Thurman, commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, spent time with division leaders to learn about upcoming operations.
“This is a great post, and it’s probably the best-kept secret we’ve got in the Army,” Thurman said. “There is a great command climate up here, there is great infrastructure, and it is a great place for Soldiers and Families to serve with the support they get from the local communities.”
Thurman also talked about Army force generation and how it will affect Fort Drum in the foreseeable future.
“What we are trying to do right now is get ourselves aligned on a force generation model that is predictable and get ourselves to one year deployed, two years back home,” he said. “With the drawdown in Iraq, we see us being able to achieve that as we go into fiscal year 2012. And eventually we may be able to get us to a longer period back home and provide more predictability for the force.
“It will allow us to train for full-spectrum operations other than counter-insurgency, so I see a great opportunity for the future,” he added. “We just completed a training briefing, and that is one of the things we talked about (is) units that don’t have a directed mission and how we will train them. As we get into FY 2013, we are going to have a full nest back here at Fort Drum, so I think the future looks good.”
Coming from Fort McPherson, Ga., Thurman wanted to let Family Members know that he appreciates everything they do as they sacrifice and support their Soldiers.
“First off, I would like to say thank you,” the FORSCOM commander said. “I thank them for their resilience, I thank them for their support of their Soldier, and I know it is tough as we continue to be in a protracted war.
“We want to make sure we are doing all the things that we can in terms of our family programs to support them,” he added. “I know they are carrying a heavy rucksack, too, and I just want to continue to encourage them in all that they continue to do.”
The general also wanted to thank the civilian workforce and local community members who support the mission and help keep the post running.
“I also want to thank our civilians for their great and terrific support that they continue to provide to the Family Members and the Soldiers,” Thurman said. “And I would ask them to continue to do that because these are the difficult times when we are continuing to send Soldiers back into harm’s way.
“In our communities, in our places of worship and in our schools, I would just ask that they just remember the Soldiers and their Families and continue the great support they are providing,” he continued.
“I would just like to add that I am very proud of the 10th Mountain Division,” Thurman added. “I am proud of all the Soldiers, Families, civilians and contractors here. Keep up the great work, and not only is the Army proud of them, but the nation is proud of them as well.”