Warrior Preparation Center changes leaders

Col. Scott Manning turned over command of the Warrior Preparation Center to Col. Franz Plescha July 16 on Einsiedlerhof.

Colonel Manning moves on to become the professor of aerospace studies and detachment commander at Norwich University, Vermont, the oldest private military university in the U.S.

In his first year of command, Colonel Manning oversaw great changes at the WPC, adding three detachments and one of only two U.S. Air Force Air-to-Ground Operations Schools. These efforts increased training capabilities in a manner few other leaders could have envisioned or implemented.

Colonel Manning successfully led the closing of the 10-nation secretary of
defense directed Tactical Leadership Program in Belgium after 20 years of operations and successfully guided the U.S. Air Force effort to re-establish the program in Albacete, Spain. 

“Colonel Manning used extraordinary diplomatic skill in tackling numerous legal and financial issues, completely mastering multinational negotiations normally entrusted to general officers and career diplomats,” said Lt. Col. Lawrence Pravecek, WPC deputy commander. “This critical COCOM Partnership Capacity Program is now fully functioning in its new location and has already produced 137 fully trained combat mission commanders for U.S. and allied fighter forces.”

Colonel Manning also led the COMUSAFE directed effort to double U.S. and European Joint Terminal Air Controller graduates annually. The 158 JTACs trained from 15 nations is the direct result of the leadership provided by Colonel Manning and his team of experts. 

“I would be remiss if I did not mention the huge joint impact of the AGOS transition,” Colonel Pravecek said. “He has provided keen oversight to the Joint Fires Observer Program where our U.S. Army Soldiers receive critical combat skills for current events in Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.”

In the past two years, Colonel Manning ensured 127 JFOs were properly trained for these critical joint commitments.

In addition, Colonel Manning’s direct involvement in increasing U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army cooperative training through his Detachment-2 at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center located in Hohenfels, Germany, garnered U.S. and coalition general officer praise and a national award for innovation in training.

The 2009 Excellence in Enterprise Integration Award for bringing a live-virtual-constructive fighter aircraft targeting pod into a Joint Combat Preparation Exercise was the first of its kind. The impacts of this initiative have enhanced the training environment for JTACs preparing for combat operations and have also enhanced the decision making processes of joint leadership in the U.S. Army.  More than 50,000 personnel at the JMRC — from 22 nations — have directly and indirectly benefitted from the efforts of the WPC under Colonel Manning’s charge.

Finally, in the over arching EUCOM and COMUSAFE priority matrix, Colonel Manning has woven the disparate pieces of his multifaceted command under the banner of increasing realistic warfighter training in order to guarantee the building of partnership capacity.

“His role as a leader for Joint National Training Capability Certification for USAFE and his ability to provide a superb training venue for both the EUCOM and AFRICOM commanders speaks volumes of his leadership,” Colonel Pravecek said. “This was never more evident than his ability to successfully host the 1,300 personnel for EUCOM Ex Austere Challenge 10, while simultaneously providing the primary home for U.S. Africa Command. Never before had the WPC provided a training venue for so many joint and coalition participants in its 27 year history. His ability to weave live-virtual-constructive training assets has laid the foundation for outstanding U.S. Air Force, joint and coalition training for the coming decade and beyond.”

(Courtesy of the Warrior Preparation Center)