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Old 09-20-2010   #1
Jason Thomas
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Default Sep 2010 TRADOC Senior Leader's Conference

I’ll be attending the Sep 2010 TSLC as part of General Dempsey’s staff. Although I’m a planner in the Commander’s Planning Group, I will be there as a group facilitator and observer. The theme for the TSLC will be: An Army in Transition – Preparing our Army for the future in an era of persistent conflict. Topics will include the Army’s conceptual foundation, warfighting function concepts, Leader development and an overview of the profession of arms. These topics have long range effects on the future of our Army. The new Army Capstone Concept and Operating Concept will have cascading effects throughout the DOTMLPF realm.
Since Adam Bonifant has moved on to other things, Bill Jakola and I intend to provide the forum live updates as salient points emerge from the conference. I hope to provide the SWJ members information that will generate discussion within the larger military community

If anyone wants to know more your welcome to ping me or Bill Jakola.

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Old 09-21-2010   #2
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Default Any live coverage from TSLC Sep 2010?

Jason - Great to see you moved up to TRADOC staff and your continued involvement with GEN Dempsey's initiatives.

It was interesting to see the integration of live blogging and coverage from the Small Wars Journal during last year's TSLC. Hopefully that will continue this year. I look forward to following it.

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Old 09-21-2010   #3
Jason Thomas
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Roger Bob,
We intend to cover live here on the forum as things shake out of the conference.

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Old 09-21-2010   #4
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Default Objectives/Deliverables

Jason and/or Bill,
having spent time in the basement across the street from the Chamberlain... I'm curious... what are the objectives/deliverables of the TSLC? I know the purpose of the TSLC in general, and you've kindly informed us of the theme... but beyond the bumper sticker... what is going in outcomes CG, TRADOC is looking to accomplished beyond a bogsat?

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A veteran of TRADOC sojourns to Opryland
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Old 09-21-2010   #5
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Hacksaw,

Sorry I'm slow to respond. I'm pulling on oars right now. In answer to your question these are the four outcomes that the CG is trying to take away from the TSLC:

Discuss and study historical examples that demonstrate similar challenges and opportunities that we are confronting today.

Establish a common understanding of our Army’s conceptual foundation and how it will drive and inform our core competencies within TRADOC.

Identify and discuss our Warfighting Functional Concepts’ baseline capabilities and first order gaps/redundancies derived from the Army Operating Concept.

Conduct a substantive review and discuss what 9 years of war and modularity have done to our professional ethic.

All of these are closely linked and are designed to generate discussion on the future of our Army as an organization in a competitive security environment.

Hope this answers the mail. If not let me know. I'm happy to keep up the dialogue.


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Old 09-21-2010   #6
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Default Thanks for the response...

Understand the rowing requirement...
Mostly answered my question... let me see if I can interpret and you can confirm or deny...

1. Identify relevant historical examples/vignettes that TRADOC should consider incorporating/using to inform training, leader development and doctrine development (I guess that means an annotated list)?

2. A white paper/info paper that crosswalks key themes of the Army Operating Concept into WfF concepts and subsequently into TRADOC Core Competencies as defined by TR 10-5?

3. Follow-on to #2, maybe an EXSUM of conversations that captures gaps and redundancies identified in the earlier discussion, for use / response from the appropriate CoE/CDID that either confirms or disputes the TSLC findings?

4. White Paper describing situation, challenges, proposed solutions with proposed leads, recommended taskings for proposed leads to respond back to CG TRADOC/the next TSLC?

I suggest the above only because unless products are produced, taskings assigned, progressed tracked, etc etc... a TSLC becomes a BOGSAT (which has value in terms of CG, TRADOC clarifying his intent to subordinate School/Center leaders, building the team, etc) and a golf outing...

Live well and row brother
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Old 09-21-2010   #7
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Hacksaw,
I think you've hit the nail on the head. Speaking only for myself, I'll be waiting on the direction that conversation ends up going. What ends up shaking out and what we end up actioning could be different than what is initially proposed. Since this is my first time at the rodeo I can only guess at what I think will be the big take aways. However, Bill and I intend to feed it (whatever comes out) to the group for input.
Jason

Last edited by Jason Thomas; 09-21-2010 at 04:08 PM. Reason: spelling.
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Old 09-21-2010   #8
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Default In re:

we could ask for nothing more, and are owed less...
enjoy the conference...
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Old 09-22-2010   #9
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Default The Purpose of this TRADOC Senior Leader Conference

We want to ignite a discussion across the Army and beyond to take stock after nine years of war of where we are as a profession of arms and draw lessons to better prepare for future challenges.

When I listen to General Dempsey, I hear him lay out this discussion as a way to drive a series of cascading concepts that informs development and execution across Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel and Facilities (DOTML-PF) domains.

The newly published Army Operating Concept (AOC) 2016 -2028 will drive our vocabulary to get beyond defining ourselves by what our enemy, opponents, or adversaries are doing to us, e.g., COIN in counterinsurgency we are defining ourselves by how we react to the insurgent.

FM 3-0 and the Tennessee chart depicting full spectrum operations (FSO) tends to constrain thinking into thematically exclusive bins of Offense, Defense, Stability and Civil Support Operations. However, the AOC now provides further expansion of FSO with the addition of two roles--Wide Area Security (WAS) and Combined Arms Maneuver (CAM). WAS is providing security, over wide areas so as a progenitor or condition setter of other missions e.g., COIN, Foreign Internal Defense, Counter Terror, or Humanitarian Operations. CAM is familiar to most as the archetypical Fulda Gap Army the U.S. possessed in the 1980s; but we may need to update this view in light of both technological and organization changes we have made specifically the interconnectivity, transparency, and speed of information and all the tools we now possess to collect, manage, and employ data, and the development of the modular Brigade force.

So our intent for this TSLC is to advance this discussion based on our experiences over the last nine years. We want to help answer what these changes mean to us as a Profession of Arms; what are we doing about them; how are we going to educate the next generation of Army leaders.
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Old 09-24-2010   #10
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Default Tslc

Bill and I will be heading out to TSLC. As I said before, we will provide information as important discussion topics fall out. If anyone has a question about what is currently going on at the TSLC send us the question(s) and we will try to run it to ground for you.
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Old 09-27-2010   #11
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Default TSLC September 2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Thomas View Post
Bill and I will be heading out to TSLC. Jason
We made it to Kansas City and will begin the conversation tomorrow with the leaders who keep the Training and Doctrine Command in the fight. The backdrop setting the context for our discussion is the National World War One museum. Check it out at: http://www.theworldwar.org/s/110/new...id=1&pgid=1097

From an intellectual perspective this TSLC is an awesome leader development opportunity. I am certain we will advance, focus, and sharpen the most critical ideas driving our Army into the future.

Also, our mobile immersive trainer "the Cave" is here and running well (a beta test); it is a spectacular tool that represents a capability that greatly expands our ability to learn at the point of need. If you are interested in the Cave just ask me about it; or if you are in DC at the end of October come see it at the AUSA meeting.

Much more to follow.


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Old 09-27-2010   #12
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We are now at TSLC. Bill and I will post the emerging points of the discussions. We hope to provide you all with some interesting insights. We will most likely post the initial outcomes on Tuesday morning. More to follow.
v/r
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Old 09-27-2010   #13
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Default Please clarify

Quote:
AOC now provides further expansion of FSO with the addition of two roles--Wide Area Security (WAS) and Combined Arms Maneuver (CAM). WAS is providing security, over wide areas so as a progenitor or condition setter of other missions e.g., COIN, Foreign Internal Defense, Counter Terror, or Humanitarian Operations. CAM is familiar to most as the archetypical Fulda Gap Army the U.S. possessed in the 1980s; but we may need to update this view in light of both technological and organization changes we have made specifically the interconnectivity, transparency, and speed of information and all the tools we now possess to collect, manage, and employ data, and the development of the modular Brigade force.
Bill, I like the addition of WAS and CAM, but was perplexed by your statement that we need to move beyond the Fulda Gap scenario when we discuss CAM? Clearly the Stryker Bdes were not designed to deploy to the Fulda Gap and battle the USSR; they were a post Cold War concept that I think was implemented to provide the Army with more flexibility to respond to quickly world wide to any number of "potential" scenarios that required credible Army combat power. Threats projected ranged from militant groups like those in Sierra Leone to a developing nation's military forces that may be threatening an ally. While not as likely there is a still a requirement to be able to fight large scale, high intensity combat operations in places like Korea and others we where don't see the threat coming just yet.

We need the ability to move forces to the fight globally, do forced entries if required, the ability to sustain forces in remote areas of the world where we don't have mature logistics, and we always need to dominate in combat with irregulars or regulars. You're probably right, we need an updated Air-Land-Information Operations 2.0 doctrine that incorporates all the new technologies and other capabilities we have now, and at the same time recoginizes the enemy may have similiar technologies (often bought off the shelf). I don't think doctrine has got up with reality up (maybe it has, I just haven't read it yet). Looking forward to your future posts.
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Old 09-28-2010   #14
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Default Expand the Way We Use our Capabilities.

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Bill, I like the addition of WAS and CAM, but was perplexed by your statement that we need to move beyond the Fulda Gap scenario when we discuss CAM? Looking forward to your future posts.
Sorry, for taking so long to respond; this conference has kept us pretty busy. We have had some particularly interesting discussions between and among TRADOC senior leaders.

Just to clarify what I was driving at in my reference to moving beyond a particular scenario, I did not mean to abandon the Fulda Gap capability but rather to expand it and more particularly to define how we might use it in other was to help resolve future conflicts.

Just as we should not have walked away from our Wide Area Security experience and capabilities we had developed during the Vietnam War, we should retain the Fulda Gap CAM experience and capability but reframe it for the next conflict. The problem with any such preparation is we do not have a crystal ball and do not know what that future conflict will look like or even who will oppose us. Therefore, I as others, seek to expand the way we think about using the capabilities we already have.

For example, can we use the current modular brigade force to conduct the type of major combat we envisioned in the Fulda Gap during the 1980s, or have our forces changed so much that such a scenario is not easily achievable; but might we use the current force in a different way to stop, or deter a comparable threat.

We need to challenge our assumptions and constantly look for the weak signal that might indicate a future challenge and figure out ways to prepare the force to respond in a timely manner to keep small problems small.

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Old 09-29-2010   #15
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Originally Posted by Bill Jakola View Post
FM 3-0 and the Tennessee chart depicting full spectrum operations (FSO) tends to constrain thinking into thematically exclusive bins of Offense, Defense, Stability and Civil Support Operations. However, the AOC now provides further expansion of FSO with the addition of two roles--Wide Area Security (WAS) and Combined Arms Maneuver (CAM). WAS is providing security, over wide areas so as a progenitor or condition setter of other missions e.g., COIN, Foreign Internal Defense, Counter Terror, or Humanitarian Operations. CAM is familiar to most as the archetypical Fulda Gap Army the U.S. possessed in the 1980s; but we may need to update this view in light of both technological and organization changes we have made specifically the interconnectivity, transparency, and speed of information and all the tools we now possess to collect, manage, and employ data, and the development of the modular Brigade force.
Do we need two more roles in the FSO, let alone two new terms? Constantly changing the terminology, when it's not really broken is a real pain, creates a ton of extra work updating publications and makes the teaching side of the house harder than it needs to be.

I much prefer CAM over warfighting which I think is a little narrow but does WAS add any value over the broader definition of Stability. Stability is those actions/operations conducted in order to maintain a stable environment from the point of view of domestic/national self-interest/objectives - what the UK have been calling countering irregular activity; CAM/warfighting crosses a line where the primary tool in use is the application of military force. Within either of these, you can have offense/defensive actions - I really don't like the depiction of off/def/stab as different functions i.e. stab being on a par with off/def.

I really look forward to the insights bound to come out of the TSLC.
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Old 09-29-2010   #16
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Default re: SJPONeill, Terms of CAM and WAS

In my thinking, CAM and WAS are core competencies. What I mean by that is they are two broad capabilities that the Army must be prepared to do (just like the requirement for initial entry). CAM and WAS help achieve particular goals and set conditions for influencing the environment. CAM achieves physical, temporal and psychological advantage. WAS consolidates those gains, stabilizes the environment and allows freedom of movement and action. The operational environment informs which competency we must focus on and in what mixture. Through different combinations of offense/defense/stability ops we can then set conditions that satisfy the operational and strategic requirements on the ground. Through the use of CAM and was the commander has a force capable of moving up and downd the spectrum of conflict. His trick becomes identifying and manging transitions as the environment changes due to his actions. All of these things enable true FSO and reduces the requirement for force optimization (COIN or MCO) it places us in a position to conduct both as required.

Last edited by Jason Thomas; 09-29-2010 at 01:43 PM. Reason: stupidity
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Old 09-29-2010   #17
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Default Sharing and Communicating - Getting Over the Obstacles

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Originally Posted by Bill Jakola View Post
We want to ignite a discussion across the Army and beyond to take stock after nine years of war of where we are as a profession of arms and draw lessons to better prepare for future challenges.
GEN Chiarellia, the Army's VCSA, asked a very similar question on the CAC blogs back in February of this year.

In Provide Me Your Perspectives he wrote:
Quote:
In the past eight years plus our Army has transformed its organization, how it fights across the spectrum of conflict, and how we create and define mission success. From where I sit, it has been an amazing performance, but I wonder about the long term impact persistent conflict is having on our Army, our shared values, and our professional military culture.

I am interested in gaining your perspectives on how eight years of war, modularity, decentralized operations, and ARFORGEN have affected our core leadership attributes. I believe that a professional dialogue is essential to clarifying the issues we need to address to ensure the future health of our Army.

GEN Pete Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army
Between February and early September his query drew over 70 public comments.

The distribution of the comments is very interesting and, in my opinion, very enlightening as to the relative acceptance of open and transparent communication methods.

I broke the respondents down into five general categories: Civilian, Officers 1 (CW1 through O-5), Officers 2 (O6+), Enlisted, and Indeterminate/Anonymous.

Civilian - A handful of comments (less than 10 or so)

Enlisted - Several comments - ranging from SSG to CSM - about a dozen total.

Officers 1 - 30+ (Several warrant officers, a few Captains, mostly Majors [or equivalent] and a few Lieutenant Colonels)

Officers 2 - Five responses. Four Colonels and a follow-up comment, on Feburary 19th, from the VCSA.

In that comment he thanked everyone that had responded thus far and encouraged readers to continue spreading the word.

Analysis

This blog article and solicitation of comments is public facing and not restricted to CAC only. Across the entire Army, when solicited directly by the VCSA for feedback, only four Colonels responded and no general officers.

On March 1st BG Cardon, in his capacity as then acting CAC CG, initiated a CAC tasker "Encourage participation in VCSA blog post" which sent out to all organizations within CAC. In that tasker he did not direct participation, stressing that partication was encouraged but not mandated. At the same time, he emphasized that the Directors of the subordinate organizations should be leading by example.

Anyone caring to examine the comments in the article referenced above will readily note that tasker and the associated encouragement to partcipate provided no measurable results.
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Old 09-29-2010   #18
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Default Profession of Arms Conversation

Hello all. My name is Chip Colbert, I'm also a part of GEN Dempsey's planning group, and I'm here at TSLC along with Jason and Bill.

Today's topic is focused on the discussion Bill mentioned the other day about our Profession of Arms. As I sat in on the discussion this morning, a fairly difficult question came to mind. Before I pose the question I need to provide some background and context.

We had the opportunity to listen to several great speakers this morning - to include GEN (R) Sullivan and GEN (R) Franks. Dr. Don Snider spent a good deal of time talking about a recently released white paper on the profession of arms and a forthcoming Soldiers' handbook called Army: Profession of Arms. Dr. Snider defined a profession as a social organization for doing expert work. If the Army is truly a profession, how do we define what constitutes our expert work and knowledge? The expert work is land combat and the White Paper and the Soldiers' handbook state our expert knowledge can be grouped into four fields: Military-technical, Moral-ethical, Political-cultural, and Human Development. #Of those four fields, Dr. Snider made the point, which I completely agree with, that the Human Development field is the most important for the success of our force - both current and future.

OK, so here comes the question. Our Army is faced with the dual challenge of winning our current wars while simultaneously preparing for future armed conflict. #Due to the past nine years of war, we've obviously and necessarily placed a great deal of emphasis and priority on tactical and operational assignments and experience - or to use this lexicon, the military-technical field of knowledge. Accordingly, I think we've devalued our professional military education system, ACS opportunities, and other broadening experiences that take people out of the fight - the Human Development field.

I'm not saying this is wrong because we obviously have to do this in order to ensure we prevail in today's fights. #The question I'm struggling with is how do we restore some balance between the two? #How do we ensure proficiency in the Military-Technical field while simultaneously prioritizing the Human Development field to continue developing our leaders for tomorrow's fight(s)?

Interested in people's comments and feedback. # # # # # # ##
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Old 09-29-2010   #19
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Default Sad but totally predictable...

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GEN Chiarellia, the Army's VCSA, asked a very similar question on the CAC blogs back in February of this year.Feburary 19th, from the VCSA...Anyone caring to examine the comments in the article referenced above will readily note that tasker and the associated encouragement to partcipate provided no measurable results.
Many Civilians do not know enough to contribute meaningfully, many who do will not contribute for fear of stating or having a different position than they THINK their Boss holds...

Many NCOs do not eat sleep live and breathe Army and most do not believe their good advice is properly respected so they tend not to have too many comments in such forums, real or virtual -- unless you strike a nerve, then they'll respond. One on one, most will respond pretty well.

Most of the WOs and Co grades will tell you what they think; most of the Majors probably will, some LTCs will. Many will not particiapate because they think their words will be ignored -- or someone's already made their point; most do not feel the need to post just to see their name on a comment.

Most Colonels are like civilians with respect to their Bosses positions. Generals are pretty much the same...

Don't know the Vice Chief. I do know that some GOs invite and accept discussion while some invite it but accept only those items that coincide with their views. Still others may seem to invite discussion but they really don't while a few seriously object to discussion. I suspect the Vice Chief fits in one of those blocs and that most of the COLs and GOs know pretty much where in that spectrum he fits. That may have a bearing in addition to the factors above.

Anecdote. Peace story, staff type: I once talked to a pretty good General Officer who was upset that he didn't know what was happening and that he thus had to operate in the reactive mode. I suggested the answer to his problem was MBWA -- Management By Walking Around, he sholud just wander about the Hindquarters and talk to the Action Officers to get a feel for things. He called four days later and said he'd tried that, didn't work. Mine was the only shop where the resident Colonel or his Deputy didn't appear and hover as soon as the General wandered in from the hallway...

Unless that syndrome disappears from the Army and subordinate are ENCOURAGED to speak their minds without fear, this and future Vice Chiefs will not get many takers in open forums on any topic likely to be even slightly controversial...
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Old 09-29-2010   #20
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Default It is wrong...

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I'm not saying this is wrong because we obviously have to do this in order to ensure we prevail in today's fights. #The question I'm struggling with is how do we restore some balance between the two? #How do we ensure proficiency in the Military-Technical field while simultaneously prioritizing the Human Development field to continue developing our leaders for tomorrow's fight(s)?
Emphasis on filling every space in the TOE with a 'qualified' individual leads to sort circuiting professional development to place persons by rank and specialty in every deploying unit. That those individuals may actually be less qualified than their apparent rank indicates is overlooked. We promote individuals to various ranks based on time in service, not actually tested and / or proven qualification. In many cases, a LT XO who's been there would be a better choice than a brand new CPT for Co cmd -- but we elect to opt for the CPT. Not enough CPTs? Reduce the time in service and ed requirements to produce more rapidly.

That really makes little sense. Can the young folks handle it? Sure -- but we aren't doing them any favors. They are being denied proper training an education to fill a perceived need. I suggest that perception is incorrect. Squads lead by Specialists. SGTs as PSGs. SSGs as acting Platoon leaders -- none of those are ideal; all work and have worked in prior wars.

Our training and education does not inculcate the basics of our trade -- and it is a trade, not a profession IMO -- so people have to learn on the job. Then we move them from job to job to rapidly so they never really master the jobs; they just do them "good enough." That can work in a major, existential war, however, it does the service, its people and the Nation no favors in peace time or in quasi peace as now. That needs to be fixed and we need to spend more time on Officer and Enlisted initial entry training -- get the basics right and it's like riding a bicycle; one does not forget. One also acquires a sound foundation on which to build...

However, to get training and education fixed, a workable personnel system that supports the Army in the field instead of itself has to exist. Good luck with that...

Oh -- and cut the size of Staffs. Significantly...
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