Army units honing their conventional war skills

Army units spending 18 months or more at home are being asked to spend part of that time honing conventional warfare tactics, Gen. George Casey said Monday.

The move was designed to keep the force in balance and not become too focused on counterinsurgency, typified by the fights in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past seven years, Casey said.

“We are at a point now where I am comfortable, if we had to change gears (to conventional tactics) pretty quickly, we’d be able to,” Casey said.

The Army’s top general said some younger officers think the force has lost its conventional skills and worry events in the world could catch it flatfooted. However, he said older officers who trained for fights with the former Soviet Union understand the need to be proficient in counterinsurgency and stability operations.

He said recent exercises at Fort Riley and other posts have demonstrated that units are proficient in tank, artillery or large infantry movements.

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