Skip to comments.CTC [Combat Training Center] innovations prep units for Iraq, Afghanistan
Posted on 06/18/2005 9:51:49 AM PDT by 68skylark
Hundreds of Arab linguists have been hired at the Armys combat training centers to replicate current conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Caves and tunnel complexes have been built, along with walled enemy compounds. Iraqi police stations, power plants and local security forces have been simulated. And these are just a few of the innovations over the past few years to adapt the CTCs to the contemporary operational environment of the War on Terror.
Brigade-sized tank battles at Fort Irwin, Calif., for the most part, have been replaced by a smaller-unit counter-insurgency focus, said Brig. Gen. Louis W. Weber, the Armys director of training, G3/5/7. But hes quick to add that the National Training Center still retains a capability to focus on the high-end spectrum of war.
In fact, he said NTC rotations this summer may begin with a brigade-sized tank charge across the desert, not unlike the armored advance across Iraq two years ago. After the major battles, the 4th Infantry Division rotations will then focus on stability operations, similar to what the Soldiers may face when they return to Iraq.
The 4th ID rotations will be a little more complex, a little broader, Weber said, adding that its being done upon request of the 4th ID commander, who wants to focus on the full spectrum of operations, like synchronizing fires and battlefield operating systems.
Were tailoring rotations to the unit commanders need, said Lt. Col. Frank Pannocchia of G3 who helps resource and monitor all activities at the maneuver combat training centers NTC, the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., and the Combat Maneuver Training Center in Germany.
The majority of rotations at the combat training centers are now mission rehearsal exercises to prep units for deployment, Pannocchia said.
The CMTC pioneered the mission rehearsal exercises at Hohenfels, Germany, in 1995 to prepare units there for deployments to Bosnia, Pannocchia said. CMTC was the first to populate MOUT sites and other areas in the box with civilian on the battlefield or COBs. They did this for the first Stabilization Force rotation, known as SFOR1.
Now all the CTCs focus the mission rehearsal exercises on replicating Iraq and Afghanistan.
Lessons observed in Iraq and Afghanistan are rapidly transmitted back to the CTCs with the assistance of personnel from the Center for Army Lessons Learned, known as CALL. In addition, observer-controllers at the training centers go forward to Iraq and Afghanistan to bring back the latest in enemy techniques, tactics and procedures.
One of the first lessons observed during the initial stages of the Afghan conflict was that more training was needed on urban operations, said Weber, who commanded the Operations Group at NTC three years ago.
So facilities were built at NTC for Military Operations in Urban Terrain, or MOUT, and staffed with Arab-speaking role players.
Were trying to establish some cultural awareness within the units, Weber said, adding that deploying Soldiers learn the dos and donts of working in a foreign culture. He said unit leaders also experience the challenge of working through translators.
Now all CTCs populate their MOUT villages with a number of Farsi speakers to accurately replicate the current environment and add cultural challenges to training scenarios.
That shows how flexible the CTCs are as well, Pannocchia said.
Units rotating through any of the CTCs now have the opportunity to practice working side-by-side with Iraqi or Afghan security forces and coalition partners, he said.
Recent rotations have brought partnership units from other nations to the CTCs, Pannocchia said, to train alongside U.S. formations. A CH-47 and AH-64 helicopter unit from the Royal Singapore Air Force recently trained at JRTC. And a New Zealand Air Force transport unit of C-130s recently took part in a rotation at Fort Polk, La., before heading for Afghanistan.
Saudis and Egyptians recently participated in the Leaders Training Programs preceding CTC rotations. Great Britain and Sweden want to send some of their Special Forces to JRTC in the near future, Pannocchia said.
The CTCs are now adding more integration with Army Special Operations Forces, including Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations teams into rotations, Pannocchia said. He said its all part of lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan where conventional forces must work with Special Operations.
Other innovations at the CTCs to replicate Iraq and Afghanistan include:
Realistic convoy live-fire training
Improvised Explosive Device, or IED simulators
Emphasis on detention operations
Increased medical training and medical Rules of Engagement
Responding to media on the battlefield
Synchronization of the logistical and medical units with the Brigade Combat Teams
Greater use unmanned aerial vehicles, called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
More flexible and free thinking Opposing Force
Emphasis on Information Operations
In the last couple of years, every formation has been deployed, Weber said.
He added that the CTCs will continue to do everything they can to prepare units for deployment.
Innovations at the CTCs are not a new phenomenon, Weber said. They have been innovative since we created them, he said, adding thats why we created them.
and they are all wearing their MILES gear!
One of them has a suicide belt on, I'd guess -- hopefully they'll "tag" her quick.
I didnt catch that....
Yeah, but lil' Dickie supports the troops, so it's no problem... ;~)
Do the gals still need to get showered off every five days, by regulation?
I'm only guessing -- having been through a few role-plays myself.
Hopefully civilian role-player live in much more comfort than the troops they're training -- otherwise there wouldn't BE many civilian role-players
I meant to write "a 5-day schedule for men."
I will always think that the sight of the "Regiment" attacking into the 'Valley of Death' is an incredible sight.
I was out there this week, the Regiment was in the real Valley of Death - Iraq, the 58th Engineer Company was just returning from its one year tour, and the desert was as green as I've ever seen it. Amazing how fast things grow back when you stop doing those MRD attacks.
That just seems so surreal, the desert being green and the Regiment in Iraq.