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Feature Stories

NEWS | Oct. 12, 2016

On Target

By Sgt. Aaron Ellerman U.S. Army Central

U.S. Army Central key personnel attended a targeting seminar at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Oct. 12-14. The open forum seminar allowed key leaders to learn and discuss important strategies and doctrine concerning the concept of joint targeting.

Targeting is the process of selecting targets and matching the appropriate response to them, taking account of operational requirements and capabilities.

“This seminar is important because it helps the leaders understand the ways in which they can shape efforts to help their subordinate component commanders achieve their goals and develop targets and schemes of maneuver,” said Lt. Col. Kirk John Junker, seminar lead instructor and director of the Joint Targeting School in Dam Neck, Va.

Junker stated that the targeting principle for the Army began developing during World War II due to the need for effective coordination of fires strategies. After the conclusion of Desert Storm, important deficiencies were identified in joint targeting capabilities, which led to the creation of the joint targeting school. The school provides doctrinally-based joint targeting education and training to prepare Armed Forces, interagency and allied personnel for operational-level targeting duties.

“There are several core tasks associated with these responsibilities that we must maintain our current proficiency on, including targeting, and ARCENT must be ready to assume these responsibilities as a Land Component Command or a Joint Task Force in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility,” said Maj. Gen. William B. Hickman, ARCENT deputy commanding general of operations.

The seminar was the first of its kind to be geared toward command level operations and condensed down from a three week class to two and a half days.

“It was a great opportunity to design this course and implement it out here. The feedback from this seminar will aid in the future development of an executive course,” said Junker.

Junker, part of the joint targeting schools mobile training team, said there were many challenges developing this course and trying to fit the essentials from the three week course into two and a half days. The short time period proved difficult, he said, but since the attendees were already at elevated staff positions they were familiar with many of the concepts already.

“The open discussion in the seminar was very beneficial and far better than anything we can produce on a slide. The leaders all had real world experience working with the topics and I am learning as much as they are,” said Junker.