Iraqi Freedom Taking Jointness to 'Graduate Level'
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jul. 15, 2004 The degree of multiservice cooperation in Operation Iraqi Freedom is taking the concept of jointness to what the Army's new vice chief called "the graduate level."
Gen. Richard A. Cody, who became the Army's vice chief of staff June 24, said U.S. forces should be very proud of how the services have been working together.
During an interview in the Pentagon today with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel, Cody said the recent rotation of forces into and out of Iraq and Afghanistan was a perfect example of how American forces cooperate in operations today.
Even though 240,000 active and reserve-component soldiers were deployed and redeployed, "it wasn't just an Army move," Cody said. "It took an awful lot of sailors; it took an awful lot of airmen; and it took an awful lot of civilians across the entire DoD force to be able to take that large of a force and move it."
Marine Lt. Gen. Jan C. Huly, the Corps' deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations, said in a separate interview today that he believes history will show the war on terrorism is the most joint operation U.S. forces have ever undertaken. "Probably history will show that when we get done, or when we start analyzing even more closely what we're doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, they're going to say, 'Boy that was the most joint that we've ever operated,'" Huly said.
The 34-year Marine veteran said this is the closest the Corps and the Army, in particular, have worked during his career. "We've got Marines working for soldiers, and we've got soldiers working for Marines, and we've got them all working side by side," he said. "We've got joint task forces that include all four services. We've got civilians (and) contractors that are over there working more closely and integrated than ever before.
"It's going to be very interesting to see the history written on this," he added.
The nature of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have forced the services to look at ways to help each other, especially in the areas of combat support and combat service support, Cody explained.
"What Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom have done is caused us as a department and as services to look where we have commonality and jointness across our formations so we can help each other out and kind of spread out the burden across the force. And that's what we see happening," he said.
The Army general said he believes members of all services should be proud of their ability to reach across service lines and work together for the good of the country.
"The one thing we all share in common across the services (is) it does say 'U.S.' across our breast," he said. "It may say 'U.S. Air Force' or 'U.S. Army' or 'U.S. Marine Corps' or 'U.S. Navy,' but it all starts with the 'United States,'" he added. "And that's our team logo."