NewsCovering Colorado


Fort Carson's Major General David Doyle discusses recent operations and Ukraine

Major General David Doyle talks about a recent training exercise in Europe
Posted at 10:00 AM, Oct 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-02 09:52:06-04

FORT CARSON, Colorado — Within the past month, the final wave of some 800 Fort Carson soldiers returned to the Mountain Post following a training exercise in Poland with other NATO allies. While these kinds of training exercises happen all year long, in every region of the world, this particular exercise in Eastern Europe, at this time in history, comes with an increased sense of urgency given what's happening in nearby Ukraine and its war with Russia.

Major General David Doyle is the new commanding general of the 4th I.D. on Fort Carson. He was on the ground in Eastern Europe to help plan, oversee, and coordinate this operation. I recently had a chance to sit down with the General to discuss this latest training mission and its importance.

The exercise utilized all of the military weaponry available to our soldiers with the 4th I.D., which is at the core of this mission. But it is a training exercise, lives are not at stake, but the purpose of it is to be prepared if and when the call is made to defend the United States or our partners within NATO, and our sovereignty, is threatened.

The exercise itself is part of what's called "Operation Assure, Deter and Reinforce". The bottom line is working with our NATO partners in Eastern Europe, developing and improving communication skills, and personal relationships with these fellow soldiers, and of course sharing our military technology and equipment to be able to react quickly to any scenario in Eastern Europe, given the war between Russia and Ukraine is right next door.

General Doyle said his soldiers worked closely with Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, among others, countries that face a real and growing threat with the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia, he said, "We worked very closely with those military units to both to make sure we could combine our efforts should they be necessary to defend any of that space but we also worked to increase their capacity, to make them better and just show that the U.S. is committed to that region of the world".

And that commitment is from the top down, the Commander In Chief, President Biden, recently spoke before the United Nations General Assembly, urging continued international cooperation with Ukraine, saying, "if we abandon the core principles of the U.N. Charter to appease an aggressor, can any member state feel confident that they are protected? If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?" General Doyle told me, "the level of activity was about the same that we would have expected prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but the intensity was higher".

He went on to say that our NATO partners in the region have lived with this threat from Russia for a very long time and remain on high alert that conditions on the ground could change in an instant and that the training is about a quick strike mentality. General Doyle, "What we also noticed was they have an enormous amount of experience with that threat, they know the environment, they know the geography, they know the terrain and they really helped us appreciate what was going on and so, as a result, we were able to do a much better job by working closely with these different nations".

The culmination of this nine-month journey, the homecoming ceremony, where family and friends gather on post to welcome the soldiers back after a long, difficult, exhausting mission, which General Doyle says is as important element to the mission as any, "so regardless of what the requirement is, regardless of whether it's in Europe or the Pacific, the 4th ID and our soldiers are ready to go and we largely depend upon the support structure we get here to maintain that readiness, it's incredibly important".

An interesting footnote from the General on the constant readiness requirements of the 4th I.D. globally, he told me that at one recent point in time, the sun never set on their troops. They had a brigade combat team on the Korean peninsula, two brigades in Europe, support operations in Iraq and Syria, and of course their presence here in the United States.