Command post exercise readies brigade for overseas contingency missions
Story and photo by
Sgt. Daniel Johnson
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers and leaders of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, simulated a deployment, here, last week, as part of their training.
A command post exercise began Aug. 6 and was scheduled to run until the following week. Exercises such as this one test the brigade’s readiness for future contingency missions in the Pacific region.
“We’re trying to mimic the situation in Afghanistan,” said Sgt. Maj. Joseph Camacho, operations sergeant major, 2nd SBCT. “That will allow us to set up a system that is tested and will work when we deploy.”
“From this training, we will learn how to deploy the headquarters to a field environment rapidly and deploy the systems we need to inform the commander so he can make informed decisions,” added Maj. Timothy Mungie, executive officer, 2nd SBCT.
One of the most important and most difficult tasks is to ensure proper communication across the various systems and levels of command.
“The most challenging part was to develop an hourly sequence,” Camacho said. “We need to determine what order everything is installed and brought online.”
“This is essentially a large systems check,” Mungie said. “We will know that all the various systems within our warfighting functions can communicate with each other.”
The ability to share knowledge quickly and effectively can change the tide of an encounter, saving lives and furthering the mission.
“A trained and ready headquarters supports the commander’s decision-making capability,” Mungie said. “This results in combat operations being conducted in a way that saves lives and completes the mission.”
“Our knowledge-management systems allow near-instantaneous communication with the commander,” Camacho said. “Rather than sending reports up and down the chain of command, we are able to simply access the information we need on the system as it is updated.”
More important than the equipment, however, are the people. The Soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers using this equipment must be subject matter experts in their uses.
“Everyone understanding their function within the headquarters is imperative,” Mungie said. “It adds combat capability to the headquarters and the brigade as a whole.”
“The training event ensures that all sections of the brigade understand standard operating procedures,” Camacho said. “This allows the development of products that are needed to be developed and released in a timely manner.”
The personnel are not only the most important aspect of any training mission; they can also lead to some challenges.
“The largest challenge has been taking a new group of people who haven’t necessarily done this before and setting up a very large headquarters to communicate with its six subordinate elements,” Mungie said.
However, this won’t always be an issue as the brigade already has plans to repeat this training before deployment.
“This won’t be the last time,” Mungie said. “We will repeat this exercise multiple times, adding to it each time prior to going to the National Training Center (at Fort Irwin, Calif.). We compare progress against a checklist of systems and their status so that we can measure our success and identify our deficiencies in order to improve upon them.”
Training such as this, as well as future training missions, will help ensure the 2nd SBCT stands ready to deploy and engage enemies of the U.S. and its allies.
“This exercise directly impacts the brigade’s ability to provide security to the Pacific region,” Mungie said. “A trained and ready headquarters that can go anywhere at any time and employ its forces is essential.”