196th ‘fights’ for JPMRC

| February 14, 2014 | 0 Comments
Sgt. 1st Class Charles Bacon, 196th Signal Brigade Australian army Maj. Gen. Richard Burr (standing), DCG-O, USARPAC, discusses USARPAC's long-term goals for the JPMRC with members of the 196th Inf. Bde. and USARPAC staff, Feb. 5.

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Bacon, 196th Signal Brigade
Australian army Maj. Gen. Richard Burr (standing), DCG-O, USARPAC, discusses USARPAC’s long-term goals for the JPMRC with members of the 196th Inf. Bde. and USARPAC staff, Feb. 5.

Maj. Andrew Visser
196th Infantry Brigade (Training Support)

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The 196th Infantry Brigade (Training Support) hosted a visit, here, by Maj. Gen. Richard M. Burr, U.S. Army-Pacific deputy commanding general for Operations, Feb 5.

Senior leaders from the 196th briefed Burr on the capabilities of Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability (JPMRC) and took him on a tour of the JPMRC Instrumentation System (JPMRC-IS), an equipment suite designed to provide instrumented feedback to military units during training rotations.

The JPMRC is a Department of the Army initiative that consists of a deployable package of personnel and equipment designed to support training exercises across the Pacific theater.

Maj. Thomas Harris, 196th operations officer, summarized the system’s value, saying the JPMRC provides “a way to enhance home station training for USARPAC units, and, in the future, to augment Theater Security Cooperation Program exercises.”

The brigade was tasked to execute the initial proof of concept of this promising capability. The first step in this testing phase will be a two-week training exercise on Oahu scheduled for summer involving a battalion from 3rd Bde. Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

The 196th will provide overall exercise control and observer-controller/trainer coverage, and use the JPMRC-IS to monitor the exercise as it occurs to provide the training unit detailed feedback on its performance. These actions will allow the 196th to identify strengths and weaknesses within the JPMRC’s organizational concept and validate the capabilities of the instrumentation system to set the conditions for progressing to larger, more complex system tests in the years to come.

These tests will include an exercise involving a BCT headquarters and two maneuver battalions, currently planned for fiscal year 2015. The test is meant to demonstrate initial operating capability that JPMRC has met its baseline requirement of being able to deploy from its home station in support of a brigade-level exercise.

Col. Michael Forsyth, commander, 196th Bde., explained to Burr that these tests will provide the basis for progress reports to the vice chief of staff of the Army. An interim report will be provided after the first unit assessment, and the unit will deliver a full report following the baseline requirement.

Should the vice chief decide to continue to develop it, the 196th could assume permanent ownership of the JPMRC mission, in addition to its primary mission of providing Title XI training support to Reserve Component units.

Burr thanked Forsyth and his team for their insights and commended them on their efforts to date, stating that the JPMRC represented “a tremendous capability whose potential is not fully appreciated or completely realized.”

As an Australian army officer, Burr said he was particularly sensitive to the importance of building partnerships with America’s allies in the Pacific.

“The true power of this capability is to bring partners in and train together in the region, and improve as a multinational team,” he said. “This is linked to USARPAC’s engagement strategy, with the residual benefit of enhancing home station training for our own units.”

Burr acknowledged that much remains to be done to fully develop the extraordinary potential of the JPMRC, and he encouraged the 196th to take on this challenge enthusiastically, knowing that it is at the forefront of a cutting-edge transition to multinational training facilitated by technological instrumentation, and increasingly conducted in physical training areas and in virtual and constructive training environments.

“Everything that is exciting, you have to fight for,” said Burr.

(Editor’s note: Visser is the 196th Inf. Bde. executive officer.)

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Category: News, Sustainability

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