1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
Warfighter August 2012
Soldiers assigned to 1st Brigade
Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, built staff cohesion and
bolstered their knowledge
of decisive action operations during the "Warfighter" training exercise, Aug. 13-22.
During the 10-day exercise,
brigade and battalion staffs received orders from a notional
headquarters, planned missions through the military decision making process and directed simulated
forces on the battlefield.
"The purpose of this
exercise is to integrate the staff and get them working together
and functioning as a team to support
the commander's decision making process during combat operations," said Maj. Robert Walker, fire support officer,
1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div. "Any time you put people in an environment where they can learn together, it builds cohesion."
"It's been a crucible of an
exercise," Walker said. "We're being pushed hard, we
have to work fast; but it's been a great
teambuilding experience for a lot of our Soldiers. We've found out a lot about ourselves individually and about our processes
as a staff."
Exercise facilitators from the
Mission Command Training Program at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., who
training scenario, mentored" Raider" leaders, providing a constant stream of suggestions throughout the exercise.
The scenario focused on a large-scale operation to defend a fictional country from an outside aggressor.
Aug. 20. Sgt. Wade Myers
(left), Pfc. Jacarious Garth (right), and Staff Sgt. Phillip
Dontje (standing in background),
intelligence analysts, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team,
4th Infantry Division, observe digital actions on the notional battlefield, Aug. 20, 2012, during Warfighter, a training exercise designed
to prepare Raider Brigade soldiers for the challenges of operating as a cohesive unit during decisive action operations.
Walker said the scenario
presented an interesting challenge for the Raider Soldiers, most
of whom have spent their entire careers
combating insurgent threats in Afghanistan or Iraq, rather than conventional forces.
"The facilitators simulate,
down to the company and platoon level, what our Soldiers are
doing on the battlefield," Walker said.
The simulations provide feedback for the planning process and help identify holes in the planning and where processes can be improved.
The Warfighter exercise took
place on a small training area cordoned off by concertina wire.
Raider headquarters and each
of the battalions' staffs set up their tactical operations centers in large tents, keeping all of the staff sections in a centralized location,
simulating a deployed environment.
"A lot of the brigade staff
is new, so keeping us in such tight quarters helped us
communicate," Walker said. "Most of the
primary staff officers are still getting to know their noncommissioned officers and Soldiers. It is very important to do this
before any upcoming deployment or rotation to the National Training Center (at Fort Irwin, Calif.), because it helps us
understand how our folks work together, where we can make improvements and where we can build on success.
Even Soldiers who have served
together for months or years benefited from the training, said
Pfc. Jonathan Soto,
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st BCT.
"I was friends with a lot
of the people on staff before this, but during the exercise, I
learned how to actually work with them,"
said Soto, who works as an operations assistant tasked with monitoring operations on the battlefield."
I may have known somebody for a long time, but never had to work directly with them, so this has definitely been
a learning experience for all of us."
At the battalion level, new
staff Soldiers learned how their specific duties affected their
unit's mission as a whole.
"We have a few new guys straight from Advanced Individual Training, and this is the first exercise where they got to see
how (military) intelligence works during deployment," said Sgt. 1st Class Joe Green, intelligence analyst, Headquarters
and Headquarters Company, 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st BCT. "I think it really gave them a better understanding
of what to expect."
One of Green's Soldiers, Sgt.
Gabriel Brown, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Sqdn.,
10th Cav. Reg.,
stressed the importance of new Soldiers becoming comfortable working with other troops outside of their career field.
"Coming from AIT, you learn how to do your job, but you don't know how to communicate and work with other (staff) sections.
Coming out to Warfighter teaches, our young Soldiers especially, how to work with current operations, aviation and all
of the other sections," Brown said. "Even something as simple as getting a broken computer fixed can get complicated
if you don't know who to give it to."
The brigade made excellent
strides toward becoming a cohesive and effective fighting force
during Warfighter, said Green.
Raider Soldiers participated in Warfighter in preparation for a rotation to NIC this fall.
"The great thing about this
exercise is we brought all the equipment out, we brought all of
our Soldiers out, and we found
what works and what doesn't," Green said. "We've improved on a lot of things these past couple of weeks, and when we get
to NIC, I'm certain my Soldiers will be ready for whatever they throw at us."
Spc. Antony Dang, armor crewman,
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd
Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade
Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, climbs out of an M1A2 Abrams tank while conducting maintenance checks, Aug. 20, 2012, during
Warfighter, a training exercise designed to prepare Raider Brigade soldiers for the challenges of operating as a cohesive unit during
decisive action operations. Raider soldiers participated in Warfighter in preparation for a rotation to the National Training Center
at Ft. Irwin, Calif., this fall
Photo by PFC Andrew Ingram
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