Odierno says army is adapting to respond to a wide range of potential scenarios

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray T. Odierno told the Defense Writers Group on Tuesday that the army is adjusting to prepare a range of different scenarios for when the President needs them.

Potential scenarios range from conflict in the Pacific to Africa to the Middle East, Odierno said. The U.S. Army is preparing to respond to a variety of scenarios by keeping defense teams ready to respond and strengthening ally relationships.

The Pacific continues to present threats to U.S. security, Odierno said in regard recent threats from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The U.S. army has 60,000 soldiers in the region stationed in Hawaii's Fort Shafter and will soon have a four-star commander leading units there in July, since threats must be taken seriously. Plans are in place to deter conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

"Deterrence -- that we can react and support South Korea -- is very important in ensuring we don't have conflict in the future," Odierno said.

Odierno said he is comfortable with the U.S. Army's position in South Korea to deter conflict. He did, however, express some concern with threats in Africa after a recent trip to U.S. Africa Command.

"The United States has concerns about North Africa and Central Africa about terror groups spreading into ungoverned areas," Odierno said. "Africom is trying to be proactive in preventing safe havens from being established."

Africom conducts joint exercises and training, including rotating forces to develop partner capabilities. Odierno said the units aggressively use the forces they have at their disposal.

The last subjects discussed were U.S. Army Europe and U.S. involvement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Odierno said they are heading in the right direction with Europe and the U.S. will not be "walking away from NATO."

Odierno said overall the Army must be prepared for a wide variety of scenarios in an unpredictable world.

"The Army needs to be prepared to serve, if called on, in Syria, Iraq, Iran, or in a failed Pakistan," Odierno said. "There's a variety of threats out there that could cause us to respond based on the President's decision. We have to be capable of doing that."