Armor & Mobility

AUG 2017

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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to transition back to liberation. I visited Mosul once again in early July- -just after its liberation was announced. Displacing ISIS from Mosul represents a significant achievement for Iraq, and our Coalition played a key part in that success. Our Coalition partners continue to support the Iraqi Security Forces and stand ready to assist in the effort to rebuild towards self-governance, which will require significant aid from non- governmental organizations and the UN, especially in West Mosul. A&M: From an integrated air and missile defense systems perspective, how have capabilities improved over the past year in addressing increasing adversarial threats? GEN Votel: Our Integrated Air and Missile Defense systems represent critical capabilities given the expanding range of threats present today in the Central Region and elsewhere around the globe. We are working towards the deployment of additional advanced systems, including Patriot and THAAD, and continue to work closely with our regional partners through our foreign military sales and foreign military financing and training and exercise programs to help them build the additional needed capability to defend their sovereign spaces and the region writ large. Generally, each year the U.S. military participates in more than 50 exercises with partner nations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. For example, our Air and Missile Defense Exercise, completed earlier this year, is a U.S.-led exercise that develops and exercises tactics, techniques, and procedures against simulated air and missile threats. U.S. participation in these exercises reassures our coalition and regional partners and allies of our commitment to the security and stability of this region. A&M: On the maritime front, how is CENTCOM working to strengthen security along coastal zones for increased traffic identification and situational awareness? GEN Votel: Maritime security is certainly a concern, and the potential for destabilization presents some long-term challenges. We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting the free flow of commerce through these key maritime sea lanes – as nearly 30 percent of commerce vital to the world's economy passes through the three main chokepoints in the area (the Suez Canal, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Bab al Mandeb Strait). We are also concerned about Iranian malign influence. Our focus is for stability for all nations and people in the region. We work to encourage all involved nations to first fight ISIS and counter the terrorism that has taken root in the area. Those parties who are working to frustrate those goals are only complicating things for the people in the region, and those who oppose terror across the globe. I am confident that with the new agreement deal we recently signed with Saudi Arabia, we can implement more advanced systems, such as Multi-Mission Surface Combatant ships, helicopters, patrol boats, and associated weapons systems. We're always looking for ways to balance out what our requirements are, what the whole joint and combined force brings, and what's available to us—all capabilities that will enable partner nations to help protect freedom of navigation and deter and defend against maritime attacks or incursions. Together with our partner nations, we will bolster our capabilities and readiness, which is vital to security in the region, and essential to political stability and economic prosperity. General Joseph Votel, the commanding general of U.S. Central Command, poses with the leaders of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division during his visit at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Votel highlighted the importance of USARCENT's deployed personnel and their mission throughout his visit and recognized several outstanding Soldiers. (Photo by Sgt. Jonathan Fernandez/Released) COMMAND FOCUS Armor & Mobility | August 2017 | 21

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