VICENZA, Italy – When Lt. Gen. Laura A. Potter met Soldiers during her recent visit to Europe, she emphasized the importance of intelligence support to military commands and took time to connect with Soldiers.
Potter, the U.S. Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2, wrapped up a three-day visit with a July 13 stop at U.S. Army Garrison Italy, to meet the Soldiers of the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade (Theater). Headquartered at Caserma Ederle and commanded by Col. Mark Denton, the brigade supports U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), by providing critical information to commanders.
“It doesn't matter what we're doing as the United States Army, it starts and ends with good intelligence.” said Potter, during a leader professional development session.
During her visit, Potter made time to connect with military intelligence Soldiers about the importance of their roles in the Army. It began at sunrise, as Potter worked out with 207th Soldiers conducting drills that improve Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) scores. She chatted with them during the routines and then called them around for an informal huddle.
“I’m very proud of what you’re doing on the holistic health and fitness side,” Potter said. “This is an ACFT ready brigade.”
While in the European theater, Potter visited U.S. Army Europe and Africa in Wiesbaden, Germany, then met with Soldiers at V Corps HQ (Forward) in Ansbach, Germany. In Vicenza, she visited the 207th, SETAF-AF and the 173rd Airborne Brigade. She recognized top Soldiers and civilians for service to the Army Intelligence and Security enterprise.
Everywhere she went, Potter took time to interact with Soldiers and answer their questions. After command briefings, Potter ate lunch with the troops. At the dining facility at Caserma Del Din, topics of discussion ranged from quality of life to specific military intelligence matters. She reminded them of their daily impact to the Army.
“You come in to produce an image, maintain equipment, or do a supply action. You may think that, in this moment, it's just another day in the United States Army, but it is not.” Potter said. “It is very strategically important, what this brigade is doing for the nation. I want to thank you all for that.”
Specialist Emily Nelson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 207th MI Brigade, said she learned from Potter and was inspired.
“Army-wise, she’s helped me understand how the 207th fits into the Africa picture, and how our mission is contributing,” Nelson said. “It's nice to hear from senior leadership that 207th is supporting those missions.”
Interacting with a senior female officer left an impact, Nelson said.
“Seeing a woman who is a three-star general, balancing family, is really encouraging and inspiring to me as a woman,” Nelson said. “She seems very in touch with Soldier life, making strategic decisions but thinking about the Joes. It make me feel – seen, that someone that important is thinking about you.”
The 207th Military Intelligence Brigade Theater conducts intelligence analysis, collection, and exploitation in support of Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) in order to set the intelligence architecture for the theater, disrupt trans-national and trans-regional threats and promote regional stability in Africa while building and maintaining intelligence readiness.