MCTP trains Coalition forces during Warfighter 14-4
April 28, 2014
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- Today's battlefield requires a Total Army force trained to lead and support coalition operations. Warfighter 14-4 was held at Fort Bragg, N.C., April 8 -- April 17 and simulated a challenging joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational (JIIM) operation with the 82nd Airborne Division leading a joint and multinational force.
Joint Task Force-82 was lead by the 82nd Airborne Division headquarters and included other U.S. units as well as British and Canadian units. The diversity of units created a realistic coalition environment focused on interoperability in a decisive action training environment.
"Being invited to take part in the Warfighter exercise with the 82nd Airborne Division has been a wonderful privilege," said Lt. Col. Ollie Kingsbury of the United Kingdom's 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment commander. "The American and Canadian armies are partners and we are very likely to fight alongside [each other] so it is important [for us] to train with them."
The units participating in Warfighter 14-4 as training audiences included the 82nd Airborne Division headquarters, 1st Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, 18th Fires Brigade, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 16th Military Police Brigade, 16th Engineer Brigade, 49th Military Police Brigade, 130th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 90th Sustainment Brigade. The 2nd Parachute Regiment provided twenty-two key staff officers to establish a response cell in support of the exercise.
"It was amazing to see our role as a brigade in the bigger picture of a large mission, and this exercise enabled us to that. The level of support between both Canadians and Americans in both the scenario and in real life was high and is something that I will take away with me back to Canada." said Pvt. Pte Andy Lam a Signaller from the 1st Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.
Warfighter 14-4 was designed and executed by the Mission Command Training Program which deployed more than 640 personnel from seven operations group to support the 10 training audiences. Unit exercise training objectives ranged from establishing a coalition task force to effective strategic communication and establishing command posts.
"The value of the program cannot be overstated. It is not just the opportunity to work under a real division headquarters," expressed Col. Dave Anderson, 1st Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group commander. "It is everything that comes along with that. The learning opportunities that Mission Command Training Program offers are unparalleled. The combination of mentors, who pass on decades of wisdom and the operations groups, has enabled us to squeeze every last training opportunity out of the exercise. We are now a better brigade because of our participation [in the exercise]."
Warfighter 14-4, like real world combat operations, combines an array of forces from U.S. active duty, reserve, National Guard and coalition partners. It stressed each units command capability to adapt its operations on a complex battlefield against a capable opposition force. It also replicated a Joint Forces Special Operations Component Command.
In addition, the scenario incorporated the requirement for units to work with international organizations, the host nation government and to interact other services and government agencies to accomplish the mission.
"We have learnt key interoperability lessons, but more importantly we have forged new friendships which I hope will continue for years to come," said Capt. Jim Viney second in command of the 9 Parachute Squadron of Royal Engineers of 2nd Parachute Regiment.
Members of MCTP's interagency team previously worked in the agencies they represented and provided input to the Warfighter scenario throughout its yearlong planning cycle. During the exercise they provided dynamic scripting support and served as role players portraying host nation and interagency officials meeting senior members of the training audiences throughout the exercise.
Col. Ed Bohnemann, the MCTP commander said, "This exercise, like the other Warfighter Exercises that MCTP supports, is designed to support Mission Command Training at multiple echelons within a very complex operational environment. This exercise provided an excellent opportunity to train with our multinational partners, continue to build lasting relationships, and develop a better understanding of the interoperability issues that must be overcome in the future."