He said the service must be prepared to deal with a wider range of threats, including a revisionist Russia, disruptive technologies like cyber warfare, humanitarian crises like the Ebola outbreak in Africa and "hybrid warfare" where America's adversaries combine the insurgent tactics with the technologies of advanced militaries.
"Demands on the Army will only grow more diverse and complicated going forward. Threats from terrorists and insurgents will remain with us for a long time. But we also must deal with a revisionist Russia with its modern and capable army on NATO's doorstep," Hagel said in Washington, Censor.NET reports citing RIA Novosti.
To prepare for the tasks of the future, the Pentagon chief said that soldiers need to experience full-spectrum training at brigade-level centers where they are immersed in realistic threat scenarios facing guerilla, terrorist, criminal and sophisticated conventional forces.
Stars and Stripes reports that Hagel noted that the Army might adopt new missions and tactics that could prove useful for the Pacific pivot, including flying helicopters off ships, and leveraging its arsenal of long-range precision-guided missiles, rockets, artillery and air defense systems to keep the sea lanes open and provide coastal defense.
He noted that there are 80,000 soldiers in the area of United States Pacific Command and 40,000 in the Central Command. Another 28,000 troops are serving in Europe, as well as thousands are in Africa and South America, Hagel said.