196th Inf. Bde. embodies motto ‘Ahead of the Rest’

| December 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

196th Infantry Brigade delivers JPMRC Rotation 18-01, Lightning Forge, at multiple training areas on Oahu from 21-29 October 2017. (Photo by Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability Media Team)

Capt. Rich Diegel
196th Infantry Brigade

FORT SHAFTER — 2017 proved to be a banner year for Soldiers and civilians of the 196th Infantry Brigade.

As the Chargers continued endeavoring to “guarantee the training success of our partners,” members of the brigade engaged in multiple missions throughout the Pacific area of responsibility and beyond.

Our 196th training and operational missions supported partners in Korea, Japan, Australia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Canada, American Samoa, Hawaii, Kauai, Washington, California, Arizona and Texas, while sustaining home station training for the brigade and its U.S. Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve partners in Hawaii, Guam and Alaska.

As building readiness continued to be the Army’s No. 1 priority, Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability (JPMRC) delivered by the 196th Inf. Bde. conducted two home station training rotations and multiple off-island planning conferences for future missions in 2018.

In June, JPMRC executed Bayonet Focus 17-02, for 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (Lancers) at Yakima Training Center, Washington. In October, JPMRC executed the fourth Lightning Forge rotation (18-01) for 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Broncos), 25th Infantry Division, across a multitude of Oahu training ranges.

Mission complexity has grown with each subsequent exercise, through integration of multiple enabling partners and innovative technologies, to train within a complex, Decisive Action Threat Environment, which prepares the respective Brigade Combat Teams for their Combat Training Center rotations. Additionally, 196th successfully leveraged these large-scale events to meet the specific training needs of its Component 2 and 3 partners (Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve), building the total Army force. These combined exercises trained more than 11,000 Soldiers.

196th Infantry Brigade delivers JPMRC Rotation 17-02, Bayonet Focus, at Yakima Training Area from 15-22 June 2017. (Photo by Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability Media Team)

In addition to the mission of supporting Component 2 and 3 partners by assisting with planning and execution of periodic battle assemblies and mobilization operations, the Chargers contributed to partnered interoperability through execution of multinational exercises. The brigade staff and subordinate battalions provided Observer Controller-Trainer (OC-T) support, which afforded a wealth of unique coaching opportunities during FTX-East/Hamel 17 in Australia and Orient Shield 17 in Japan.

Battalions supported the 29th IBCT annual training exercise, Papa Koa, on the Big Island of Hawaii, while brigade special staff promoted integration of state and federal agencies into multiple Civil Support Team exercises, as well as the successful pre- and post-mobilization for the 368th Military Police Detachment and 297th Firefighting Detachment of the 9th Mission Support Command based at Fort Shafter Flats.

Finally, JPMRC exercise success allowed 196th OC-Ts the unique opportunity to provide critical feedback to the 25th ID staff during its pre-warfighter command post exercises, as well as scenario design to the Vigilant Pacific 17 multinational intelligence exercise.

In the latter part of 2017, 196th established the Contingency Mobilization Support Team (CMST) in response to elevating threat levels in the Pacific theater. The CMST 15-person team, consisting of 196th headquarters and battalion personnel, developed and vetted a comprehensive strategy to process mobilizing personnel forward in theater and at home station through required administrative, training, logistics, medical and other functions to ensure the readiness of USARPAC elements across the Pacific.

Several former Chargers have also made the news during the past year. Spc. 5 James C. McCloughan was awarded the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House on July 31st for his heroic actions in Vietnam from May 13-15, 1969, while serving with the 196th. Retired Sgt. 1st Class Todd McKinley is currently running for Congress in his home state of Tennessee.

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