JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
U.S. Army North hosted senior leaders and planners from across the Army and sister services for a homeland defense tabletop exercise and senior leader seminar at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Dec. 13-15, 2022.
“A forum like this is long overdue. This is our opportunity as the Land Component Command to increase dialogue and discussion on homeland defense,” said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. John Evans, U.S. Army North commanding general, and host of the exercise
The three-day event aimed at describing key military stakeholders' roles, responsibilities and requirements for setting the North American theater, protecting critical assets and identifying Army forces needed to defend the homeland during crisis or conflict.
As U.S. Northern Command’s Theater Army, U.S. Army North’s mission is to contribute to a safe and secure North America that is prepared for and resilient to threats affecting the homeland.
“Our goal for the exercise was to bring the right people together to generate a better understanding of the operational requirements for an integrated defense of the homeland,” said U.S. Army Maj. Brian Kinkade, a planner at U.S. Army North and one of the lead exercise planners.
The exercise used four focus-area working groups that each developed plans within their assigned focus areas during competition in a homeland-defense scenario. The focus areas included the Army’s role in integrated deterrence, setting the theater, homeland defense in response to a forward theater crisis and contested force projection.
“All of (the) stakeholders are independent of each other, but we were able to work together, find synergy and find ways to integrate better in a way that was both effective and efficient for our teams,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Daniel Craig, director of logistics at Alaskan Command, who also participated in the exercise.
Each of the focus briefed their final outcomes to the joint senior leaders during the capstone seminar and received feedback on their work.
“It gave leaders an opportunity to see themselves and their organizations in this problem set,” said U.S. Army Maj. Marie St. Louis Okoro, a U.S. Army North planner who helped lead the exercise. “It’s something we haven’t had to experience since 9-11, so it’s important that everyone understands where they fit in the homeland defense plan.”
More than 170 personnel took part in the exercise, with more than 40 senior leaders attending the senior leader seminar.
“This was a collaborative effort, and that’s what I hoped to get out of it,” Evans said. “Homeland defense is hard and requires a lot of thought, compromise, and unity of effort.”