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NEWS | April 16, 2024

U.S. Army South leverages Joint Enabling Capabilities Command expertise for multidomain operations

By Maj. Nadine Wiley De Moura U.S. Army South Public Affairs

U.S. Army South capitalized on the expertise of the Joint Planning Support Element from the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command for multidomain operational planning during a mission readiness exercise held at the U.S. Army South headquarters at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston from Feb. 26 to March 8, 2024.

The command enlisted the assistance of JPSE to synchronize joint planning considerations for a dynamically changing and intricate region. They aimed to implement continuous transformation measures to ensure that adversaries cannot surpass U.S. military forces in traditional battlefields or in the emerging frontiers of space and cyberspace.

As the Joint Force Land Component Command for U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Army South is responsible for overseeing an area of operations inhabited by nearly 500 million people.

"Since it is not a joint headquarters, problem sets are generally viewed through the lens of the land domain," said U.S. Army Maj. Villard Phillips, an Army strategist with U.S. Army South plans and operations. "The JPSE planners who participated in this MRX primarily hail from external branches, including the Air Force, Navy, and Marines. Their diverse backgrounds span logistics, cyber, among other specialties."

This diverse perspective, different from the Army's, helps uncover gaps in understanding and approach, ensuring that planning advancements have a foundation capable of withstanding scrutiny from the joint force, Phillips added.

The JPSE swiftly deploys tailored, ready joint planners, operators, logisticians, knowledge managers, public affairs, and intelligence specialists to accelerate the formation and enhance the effectiveness of newly formed Joint Task Force Headquarters.

“It is incredibly important for all of the branches to synergize insights across every warfighting domain,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Mike Wagner, cyber operations officer with the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command. “Relationships are just as important as capabilities. We would miss a lot of good ideas if we didn’t have the diversity of people, education, and service.”

The planning element typically consists of reservists who are hand-selected for their subject matter expertise derived from their civilian industries, education, or training. This allows the JECC to tailor teams of planners to the mission.

The team’s planning provides a comprehensive perspective to enable combatant commanders to make informed decisions on their missions.

“Our team is able to provide a whole government and interagency approach to any assigned problem set,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Rebecca Wynn, Joint Enabling Capabilities Command Air Plans Chief. “By attending this conference, we gained an appreciation for the U.S. Southern Command problem set and were enlightened on challenges and considerations.”

Throughout the conference, U.S. Army South staff provided mission insights and vector checks to ensure that the planning achieved the requirements of mission partner.

“We are often forced to focus on near-term requirements and the JPSE has allowed us to put effort toward ill-defined problem sets that require robust conversations and ruminations,” Phillips said. “Effective planning takes time and multiple iterations – and this exercise, while only two weeks in duration, has been invaluable toward better defining certain unique problems in our area of operations as well as options to address those problems.”