Fort Leavenworth — Through electronic warfare, military officials have been able to thwart improvised explosive devices. But electronic warfare also comes with challenges, said Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., who assumed duties as commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth in early March.
“You press the button, nothing is going to happen,” Caslen said, referring to IED operators. “But when you’re jamming IEDs, you’re also shutting down phone lines … also communication to UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) above and other things.”
Caslen met with media members Thursday morning to discuss his new post and his time in Iraq. He previously served as the commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division and commanding general of the Multi-National Division - North for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Caslen said of his time in Iraq: “It’s leadership ability to build relationships with foreign police.”
“It’s not based on brute force or intimidation,” Caslen said, stressing the importance of understanding the culture. “Go into things, sit and listen.”
The U.S. Army Combined Arms Center oversees the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, as well as 17 other schools, centers and training programs throughout the United States.
Caslen said he was proud of the cooperation between the Army and Kansas University on the Wounded Soldiers program that allows wounded soldiers to take KU graduate courses at no charge — in exchange for serving additional time in the Army.
During Caslen’s military career, he earned a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Kansas State University.
Asked about what qualities make a good leader, the commanding general said trust, competency and integrity. Trust especially was important with subordinates and senior leaders, he said.
Also during Caslen’s discussion, with his wife, Shelly, present, he stressed the importance of the military family at the college and providing resources.
“When we’re on our death bed, we’re not wishing we spent more time in the office,” Caslen said. “We wished we had spent more time with our family.