Leaders from four Fort Bragg commands were invited to speak at a Command Performance Breakfast hosted by the Military Affairs Council of the Greater Fayetteville Chamber. The March 2 event, held at the Crown Complex, offered military leaders the opportunity to update the community on their commands.
Maj. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg deputy commander; Maj. Gen. Leopoldo Quintas, Forces Command Operations, Plans and Training director; Maj. Gen. Clayton M. Hutmacher, U.S. Army Special Operations Command deputy commanding general and Maj. Gen. David J. Conboy, U.S. Army Reserve deputy commanding general (operations), spoke at the event about their respective commands and their roles and missions.
LaCamera explained to the audience, which included personnel from the Fayetteville business community and community organizations, the three hats he wears as the XVIII Abn. Corps deputy commander, the Task Force Dragon commanding general and the Fort Bragg acting senior commander.
As Fort Bragg’s acting senior commander while Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend is deployed, LaCamera is responsible for keeping the installation running on a day-to-day basis.
LaCamera also explained the organizational makeup of the XVIII Abn. Corps and the various units at Fort Bragg, including the 82nd Airborne Division.
“The 82nd (is) a little unique. It is a global response force, so we keep combat power on a string,” he said. “Eighteen hours, 96 hours, or that can be accelerated or expanded based on what’s going on. That’s a brigade-sized element, about 3,500 Soldiers that we keep trained and ready to respond to any contingency around the world.”
The XVIII Abn. Corps is currently deployed to Iraq.
“(After the deployment) we’re going to come back for about 12 months and right now, we’re scheduled to go back after III Corps replaces us, at least that’s what we’re planning,” LaCamera said.
He also explained the role of non-Fort Bragg corps units, such as the 101st Abn. Div., which recently returned from supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
“What I tell people who come to visit is that all these units, on a day-to-day basis, are providing combat forces to all the geographic combatant commanders around the world,” LaCamera said. “The corps itself, we have people all over the world supporting and providing combat power.”
He said the corps and Fort Bragg are always on a war time footing and that troops must be ready and Families must be taken care of.
“September 10, 2001 is never coming back — this is the new normal,” LaCamera said. “You have to be ready to go do whatever you’re told to do.”
The greatest crime a leader can commit, he said, is sending untrained Soldiers into harm’s way.
“We have inherent responsibility to make sure not only our forces are ready to go, but that Fort Bragg itself and the garrison is ready to push other elements out and, quite frankly, to receive them when they come back and more importantly make sure we can take care of their Families while they are deployed.”