11.10.16 – Luncheon Notes and Photos
SPOKES Notes written by Dan Durkee
In honor of Veterans Day and today’s speaker, our meeting was opened in song with ‘The Army Goes Rolling Along’ led by Jason Webb, followed by an invocation by Gerilyn May. President Michael Sytsma then reminded us of our Rotary Four Way Test in connection with our recent national election, and played a short video honoring our Veterans. Tom Moore introduced our guests and visiting Rotarians then Derek Aten described a trending craze called ‘mannequin challenge’ and invited those interested to stay after the meeting and strike a pose to share on social media and promote our club.
Paul Farr then introduced our speaker, Colonel Mark Tellier, who is Director of Information Management with the Michigan Army National Guard, where he has two teams who combat Cyber threats to the Department of Defense networks and key infrastructure in Michigan. Colonel Tellier has been in the military for over 28 years and began his career in Grand Rapids in the same battalion his father commanded. He served in a number of capacities including a one year tour in Afghanistan. His presentation focused on a Rebalancing of the Armed Forces that is occurring to meet strategic challenges of the 21st century and highlighted six top concerns that threaten the U.S. and create a strain on our military.
1st – China is introducing territorial assertions and showing aggressive behavior in the South Sea.
2nd – Russia is exerting power and influence in ‘gray zone’ areas like Syria and Ukraine.
3rd – Iran and North Korea are attempting to assert regional power by advancing their nuclear ambitions.
4th – Non-traditional military operations such as humanitarian and disaster relief missions across the African continent and elsewhere require U.S. military forces to shift focus.
5th – Terrorism is spilling outside border-states through transitional migration or displaced persons.
6th – Cyber attacks which can come in a variety of forms, including hackers gaining control of a power grid for a major city causing damage to government services.
The military has moved toward rebalancing and even combining forces to create a ‘joint force’ to address some of these threats. An example is the Navy and Air Force used as this nation’s theatre opening force bringing soldiers and equipment to a region of conflict. The joint force may also use Army Cyber capabilities to defeat enemy anti-access technology and allow the other services to concentrate on their specific mission. An all-volunteer force helps our military to achieve more with less, and Michigan is helping to support these efforts with over 10,000 guardsmen and women sworn to defend our nation.
Colonel closed by expressing his appreciation for the opportunity to address our group and answered a number of questions from members of the club.