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Sandhurst Conference: Training to Win Tomorrow’s Wars

April 3, 2017 @ 8:00 am - 5:30 pm

How do we better train our soldiers for modern conflict? From realism in our computer simulations to ongoing resource constraints, training our junior officers is critical to our future military success in an increasingly complex world. No longer is it enough to simply train cadets how to carry out raids or ambushes. From Somalia to South Korea, the threat environment requires that our officers be versed in information operations, hybrid warfare, and technological advances like robotics and autonomous systems that are making the battlefield more complex and unpredictable. This year’s Sandhurst Conference, to be held on Monday, April 3, 2017, will address these challenges with a series of speakers, panel discussions, and breakout sessions. The purpose of the Sandhurst Conference is to provide an intellectual counterpart to the Sandhurst Competition, a way to test our mental agility as well our military skills. Cadets, officers, and faculty will discuss and exchange ideas on tactics and training, the role of non-lethal training techniques, and improving technologies and simulations to replicate the modern battlefield.

Monday, 3 April, 2017

0800-0835

MORNING RECEPTION
Thayer Hall, Robinson Auditorium Rotunda

0835-0840

INTRODUCTION
COL Jonathan Neumann, Director of the Department of Military Instruction

0840-0850

WELCOMING REMARKS
BG Diana Holland, Commandant of Cadets, USCC

0850-0935

OPENING KEYNOTE
BG Jeffrey D. Broadwater, Commanding General, Fort Irwin & National Training Center
Topic: The Future of Training and Army Readiness

0935-0940

CONFERENCE OVERVIEW
LTC Mike Jackson, Deputy Director, Modern War Institute

0940-0950

BREAK

0950-1045

SESSION 1 – OLD FOES DIE HARD: TRAINING FOR NEAR-PEER THREATS & HYBRID WAR
Thayer Hall, Robinson Auditorium

Event Description: From Russia in Ukraine to China in the South China Sea, the future of warfare will involve near-peer competitors engaging in hybrid-style warfare. This panel will walk through the challenges of how to train for conventional enemies engaging in unconventional tactics as well as how to better train our proxies in modern warfare.

Key Questions
1. At the tactical level, how should cadets be training for hybrid warfare?
2. How does the US Army train its proxies against near-peer competitors?

Featured Speaker
Dr. Phillip Karber, President, Potomac Foundation

Moderator
LTC Mike Jackson, Deputy Director, Modern War Institute

1045-1055

BREAK

1055-1140

SESSION 2 – HOW TO TRAIN FOR ASYMMETRIC THREATS
Thayer Hall, Robinson Auditorium

Event Description: Members of the Asymmetric Warfare Group will discuss the tactical challenges of preparing for and fighting transnational threats in complex terrain.

Key Questions
1. How should we prepare cadets for fighting non-state actors?
2. How do we better create realistic simulations for complex terrain?

Featured Speaker
COL Michael Loos, Commander, Asymmetric Warfare Group

Moderator
MAJ John Spencer, Strategic Planner, Modern War Institute

1200-1250

LUNCH
Cadets: Cadet Mess Hall / Faculty and Officers: West Point Club

1250-1345

BREAKOUT SESSIONS 1-5 – HOW TO TRAIN FOR ASYMMETRIC THREATS II

Event Description: Each breakout session will focus on a specific geographic combatant command and include Asymmetric Warfare Group representatives to discuss the practicability of this kind of training for asymmetric threats at the tactical level, with an emphasis on regional threat environments, customs, cultures, and other challenges.

Speakers
EUCOM – CPT Chris Scott – TH344
AFRICOM – Mr. Joe Dawson – TH342
SOUTHCOM – Mr. Jack Alvarez – TH442
PACOM – MAJ Jeremy Rockwell – TH144
CENTCOM – SFC James Hays – Robinson Auditorium

1345-1355

BREAK

1355-1450

BREAKOUT SESSION 6 – IMPROVING OUR SIMULATIONS FOR MODERN THREATS
Thayer Hall, Robinson Auditorium

Event Description:  Innovation, the novel reuse of technologies and techniques for other-than-intended-for purposes, will continue to be what separates those that succeed from those that excel. Models and simulations provide an imperfect representation of reality. Specific to military training, simulations provide the conditions within which tasks are trained to standard—the task, condition, standard paradigm that’s been a hallmark of Army training for the last three decades. Training simulations necessarily lag behind contemporary commercial technologies. In part this is because training simulations are meant to represent fielded systems and contemporary operating conditions, but also because oftentimes those technologies have to be combined with others to provide a new system. This discussion will address these and other challenges to realistically simulating the modern battlefield.

Key Questions
1. What are some innovative (economical, technological, etc.) ways to improve realistic simulations?
2. How do we assess cadet performance to prepare them for modern combat?

Featured Panelist
LTC Christopher Hartline, West Point Simulation Center

Moderator
CPT Caleb Goble, Department of Military Instruction

BREAKOUT SESSION 7 – MULTINATIONAL INTEROPERABILITY AND COALITION TRAINING AGAINST HYBRID THREATS
Thayer Hall, Room 144

Event Description: Training involves tradeoffs. Should we be focused on major conventional combat operations, as Chief of State of the Army GEN Mark Milley has directed? Or should we train more tactically and focus on, say, improving soldiers’ marksmanship? This session will examine this issue, as well as multinational interoperability and what makes platoons and companies successful in this sphere. Specifically, it will address training multinational forces in Europe to prepare them for irregular, conventional, and hybrid threats.

Key Questions
1. Do you train for major combat operations and assume soldiers will be able to pick up stability operations?
2. How should we experiment to find solutions to improve multinational interoperability?

Featured Panelists
CPT Matthew Larson, JMRC (Hohenfels, Germany)
1LT Robert Hurd, 7ATC JMRC (Hohenfels, Germany)

Moderator
LTC Mike Jackson, Deputy Director, Modern War Institute

BREAKOUT SESSION 8 – ‘COMBAT IN HELL’ REVISITED: TRAINING FOR URBAN COMBAT
Thayer Hall, Room 344

Event Description: The presence of large urban areas ranging all the way to megacities poses significant challenges to how we conduct military operations. In an increasingly urbanized world, soldiers are far more likely to find themselves fighting in dense urban terrain. This panel will discuss the challenges, considerations, and best practices for how to train for these kinds of operations.

Key Questions
1. How do we train future officers to thrive in a complex environment such as dense urban areas?
2. What are the appropriate changes we should make in doctrine, training, and technologies to address our vulnerability gaps in urban warfare?

Featured Panelist
MAJ John Spencer, Strategic Planner, Modern War Institute

BREAKOUT SESSION 9 – ‘FIGHT ANYWHERE’: TRAINING LIMITATIONS AND BUILDING ADAPTABILITY
Thayer Hall, Room 442

Event Description: Given today’s volatile operating environment it is difficult to choose one type of terrain or one enemy we are likely to fight. So how do you train when you don’t know what environment you will be operating in? This panel will discuss the requirement for adaptability and how to train so that soldiers can adjust quickly and effectively to any new situation whether they have trained for it or not.

Key Questions
1. What makes adaptability paramount for future leaders?
2. How can tactical leaders train their soldiers to quickly adjust for any terrain, mission, and enemy?

Featured Panelist
Dr. Mike Matthews, Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership

Moderator
CPT Jake Miraldi, Strategic Projects Officer, Modern War Institute

BREAKOUT SESSION 10 – TRAINING WITH NON-LETHAL TECHNOLOGIES
Thayer Hall, Room 342

Event Description: There is little training done on the rules, norms, and practices of non-lethal warfare at the tactical level as a way to avoid conflict escalation and use of lethal force. This affects soldiers’ ability to conduct effective patrols and secure base perimeters. This panel will discuss greater advances in non-lethal technologies, from “active denial technology” to improved “flash bang” grenades. The panel will also discuss the role of TTPs and rules of engagement on non-lethal training.

Key Questions
1. How can militaries utilize non-lethal technologies in their training?
2. How can we effectively incapacitate the enemy without causing injury or death?

Featured Panelists
MAJ John Chambers, Department of Social Sciences
MAJ Allen Griffith, US Army, Columbia University

1450-1500

BREAK

1500-1555

CLOSING PANEL: CADET DEBATE – RESOLUTION: ‘TO FIGHT TERRORISM, MILITARIES SHOULD USE ENHANCED INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES.’
Thayer Hall, Robinson Auditorium

Event Description: Two members, respectively, of the United States Military Academy and Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst debate teams will debate the merits of enhanced interrogation techniques as a way to combat terrorism. Cadets in the audience will vote on the winning team.

Moderator
MAJ Kevin Krupski, Department of Social Sciences

1555-1600

CLOSING REMARKS
LTC Mike Jackson, Deputy Director, Modern War Institute
Thayer Hall, Robinson Auditorium

1600-1730

SANDHURST RECEPTION
West Point Club


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Details

Date:
April 3, 2017
Time:
8:00 am - 5:30 pm

Venue

Robinson Auditorium