Army Combat Training Center Program
What is it?
The mission of the Army Combat Training Center (CTC) Program is to provide realistic and stressful Joint and combined arms collective training for Soldiers, leaders, staffs, and units according to Army and Joint doctrine. The CTC Program includes several organizations. The Battle Command Training Program (BCTP), based at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, provides realistic training and leader development for corps, division, and brigade commanders and their staffs. The Joint Readiness Training Center, located at Fort Polk, Louisiana, trains primarily infantry brigade combat teams against a “live” replicated opposing force. The National Training Center, located at Fort Irwin, California, trains primarily mechanized brigade combat teams against a “live” replicated opposing force. The Joint Multi-National Training Center at Hohenfels, Germany trains primarily brigade combat teams assigned to the Army in Europe against a “live” replicated opposing force.
What is the Army doing?
Since 2003, the CTCs have been conducting mission rehearsal exercises (MREs) and mission readiness exercises (MRXs) for corps, divisions, and brigade combat teams deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan. The CTCs have drastically changed their training to ensure that Soldiers are prepared for counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The MREs are tailored to prepare units for the specific conditions of their area of responsibility, in either Iraq or Afghanistan, for which they are scheduled to deploy. The CTCs have reconfigured the training areas to replicate current operational environments and include improvised explosive device lanes, tunnel and cave complexes and walled compounds. Additional buildings and shantytowns, populated with Iraqi or Afghani natives living in the United States, have been spread throughout the training areas to better replicate the environment that the Soldiers will see in Iraq and Afghanistan. Forward operating bases were added to replicate and practice force protection requirements. Although the CTCs retain the capability to train for major combat operations, the current focus is on counterinsurgency operations and the integration of lessons learned from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army leadership has approved several initiatives designed to ensure that the CTCs continue to support the Army Forces Generation (ARFORGEN) process. These initiatives include establishing an outside the continental United States–based and a continental United States–based exportable training capability and restructuring the BCTP. Because current CTC capacity will not be able to meet projected training requirements of 76 brigade combat teams, the Army is assessing whether to establish a second continental United States–based site in the upcoming POM cycle. The restructuring of BCTP provides the Army with the annual capability to support ARFORGEN with up to 20 BCTP simulation-driven Soldier exercises for combat headquarters (corps, division, brigade), as well as 21 support brigade and 15 theater/expeditionary support brigades.
Why is this important to the Army?
The CTC Program is essential for the success of the Army; it ensures Soldiers, units, and leaders are as prepared as they can be for operations worldwide.