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Home | Tag Archives: meet the leaders

Tag Archives: meet the leaders

Meet the Leaders: British Brig. Gen. Leigh R. Tingey -“El Paso is an Amazing Place.”

After just a few short months, British Brig. Gen. Leigh R. Tingey and his family have fallen in love with El Paso and Fort Bliss.

The 48-year-old Cambridge native took over as the new deputy commanding general for maneuver for the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss in late August.

“In 28 years in the British Army, I have never seen a relationship as close with the local community as there is between El Paso and Fort Bliss,” he said.

“El Paso is an amazing place. My wife (Kerry) and I have fallen in love with it,” Tingey continued. “The people are so friendly. The weather is glorious. The weather, the culture, the food, the environment and the mountains you have here. We have traveled a bit into the local area – three, four hours away – and it is quite amazing.”

Tingey is just the second general from the United Kingdom to serve as a deputy commanding general for the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss. He succeeds British Brig. Gen. Frazer Lawrence, who served as a deputy commanding general for three years.

Tingey’s three children – Ben, 17; Olivia, 15; and William, 13 – are attending boarding school back home in the United Kingdom, but the family reunites every six weeks or so.

It is not uncommon for military children to stay behind and continue attending their same school so they have some sort of continuity in their education, Tingey said.

“From my perspective, my three children love it,” he said. “They thrive in that environment, so it is not that difficult for us.”

The kids also love El Paso, Tingey said. The family is making it a tradition to have dinner at iconic L & J Café either the first or second night after the children fly in for a visit during their breaks in their schooling, Tingey said.

Tingey has also been quite impressed with Fort Bliss and all it offers in terms of training and professional development.

The 1st Armored Division’s professionalism and motivation, its fighting power and the installation’s ability to serve as a platform for training and mobilization all stand out, he said.

He is part of an exchange program between the United Kingdom and the United States.

“It is an important part of building that trust, building that military relationship with what is our primary strategic partner,” Tingey said.

Tingey said he would like to “consolidate this job” and make it a permanent feature that the division always has a general from the United Kingdom serving as a deputy commander.

“I am only the second deputy commanding general in the 1st Armored Division from the United Kingdom,” Tingey said. “I would like to make sure I am succeeded and that this continues for many years to go.”

The division headquarters recently went through its Warfighter exercise at Fort Bliss. This is the headquarters’ version of a National Training Center rotation.

Tingey said it is crucial for the division and all its brigades to transition from a counter-insurgency fight – which has been going on in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past 17 years – to being able to relearn their army-on-army or combined arms skills.

“It is easy to sometimes to concentrate on the threat posed by extreme terrorism and it is a big threat, and I’m not underplaying it in anyway,” Tingey said. “But there are significant other threats we need to be prepared for and deter.”

Tingey’s final goal for his two-year tenure at Fort Bliss is to set the “conditions for future success for the division.”

“As the M — the maneuver deputy commanding general — my primary responsibility to the commanding general is for the long-term planning within the division,” Tingey said. “It is making sure myself and my team are looking 18 months into the future.”

Tingey is a combat engineer by trade and has served in a wide range of units over his career. He also has a background as a trainer.

He has been an instructor for the British version of NTC – called the British Army Training Unit Suffield which is near Calgary, Canada.

There, he helped to teach brigades and battle groups to do armored maneuver.

He also served as an instructor at the British Defence Academy, teaching majors and lieutenant colonels how to conduct division-level operations.

Most recently, Tingey attended the Royal College of Defence Studies for a year. That program is affiliated with King’s College London.

“It is an honor to be here,” Tingey said. “This is such a well-known division – America’s tank division.”


Author: David Burge/Special to the El Paso Herald-Post

David Burge is a news producer at ABC-7 in El Paso. He has more than three decades of experience working at newspapers in California, New Mexico and Texas. Covering the military is a particular passion.

Watch for more “Meet the Leaders” profiles in upcoming issues of the El Paso Herald-Post.

Meet the Leaders: Command Sgt. Maj. Rob Cobb ‘Bliss Best Installation I Have Ever Been On’

It took all of about five minutes for Command Sgt. Maj. Rob Cobb and his family to make up their minds that they were going to love their new home of Fort Bliss and El Paso.

“As we were coming in to El Paso, my daughter (Erin) was sitting in the backseat and she is like, ‘I already like this place.’” Cobb said.
“We were coming through where the Fountains mall is at,” Cobb said.

“You could see all the restaurants and shopping areas and all the things. Honestly, five minutes into El Paso, she said, ‘I already like this place.’”

Cobb took over as the senior enlisted leader for the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss in August.

He and his family have already been exploring the Borderland area – including hiking in the Franklin Mountains, climbing to the top of Mount Cristo Rey and checking out all the restaurants and shopping in El Paso, he said.

“I can truly say my family has thoroughly enjoyed El Paso,” he said.

Cobb, a 44-year-old from Camden, S.C., has spent most of his career as an airborne noncommissioned officer. He most recently served as the senior enlisted leader for the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Even though he has only been here about 90 days, Cobb is also seriously impressed with the facilities at Fort Bliss – like the Freedom Crossing shopping center, the Aquatics Training Center and the training area.

These facilities lead the Army and should serve as a model for other installations, he said.

“By far – and if it were not true, I would not say it – this is the best installation I have ever been on,” Cobb said.

The training area is nearly 1 million acres and lends itself to “some phenomenal” opportunities to train and get soldiers and units ready for whatever mission lies ahead, Cobb said.

He has also been impressed by the close relationship between Fort Bliss and the El Paso community – calling it one of the best he has ever seen.

“I thought the one at Fort Bragg was pretty strong,” Cobb said. “But it’s nothing like here.”

Cobb said he his main goal is pretty simple – to help instill a culture of being ready now.

“We have been at war for 17 years,” he said. “We have gotten into the habit of looking at the calendar and saying we are deploying in X month and this is the train-up path we need to go on to get there and we need to be ready then.”

“We can no longer have that mindset,” Cobb said. “We have to be ready all the time. We live in an uncertain world.” That means being ready to deploy to deal with the nation’s enemies or helping out with hurricane relief – like the Combat Aviation Brigade did last year in Puerto Rico, he said.

“Our soldiers at Fort Bliss have to be ready to respond at a moment’s notice,” Cobb said. “We are (ready). We just want to place a renewed emphasis on that and making sure everyone from the lowest private to myself and the commanding general put that laser focus on that.”

By David Burge/Special for the Herald-Post

David Burge is a producer at ABC-7 in El Paso. He has more than three decades of experience working in newspapers in California, New Mexico and Texas

Keep an eye out for more “Meet the Leader” profiles in future editions of the Herald-Post.

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