U.S. Army to focus on modernizing equipment

Channel 6 Military Reporter Jillian Angeline reports.

FORT HOOD - One Fort Hood leader says Army equipment is expecting to get a serious update.

Major General John Thomson, now III Corps' Deputy Commanding General, is fresh off attending the Association of the U.S. Army meeting in Washington, D.C., where readiness and modernization were top priorities for senior Army leaders.

Thomson said he heard from Secretary of Defense General James Mattis and General Mark Milley.  There's a renewed focus on improving equipment like next generation ground combat vehicles and air and missile defense systems.

Thomson said, while a lot of equipment is the best in the world, competitors worldwide are catching up.

The General said it is tough in recent years to keep up with the needs for new equipment because of unpredictable budgets and sequestration in the past.  Thomson said, in order to plan for the future, the military will be chatting with more than just generals.

"Oh they'll ask a lot more than generals.  Part of this, you know, you ask some sergeants that have been around, where the rubber meets the road, and they'll probably give you the best advice.  They'll ask Generals too but it's important that you canvas the entire force at all levels," he said.

"It's about determining requirements.  Who best to determine requirements for what you need on the battlefield.  A think tank or a battle lab can certainly do some research, but they need to talk to the warfighters that have been down on the ground that have been fighting and doing our nation's heavy lifting for the last 16 years."

General Thomson said top leaders also did a video conference with Fort Hood families at the AUSA conference to discuss family programs.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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