Maj. Chris Hammonds (second from left), operations officer, 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, briefs members of the brigade staff during the staff exercise held at the Schofield Barrack Mission Training Complex, April 15-18. (Editor's note: This photograph was altered from its original form to blur portions for security.)

Staff with the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, "Warriors," 25th Infantry Division, spent April 15-18 entrenched in the Mission Training Complex, here, exercising mental muscles that have seen little use in the past decade of fighting two unconventional wars.

The Warrior Brigade was exercising the planning process it would go through if the U.S. were to enter a conventional war.

"We've been running the staff through the Military Decision-Making Process, so they can get a practice rep on a mission that we haven't done before -- a conventional fight," said Maj. Paul Oh, 2nd SBCT intelligence officer and exercise lead. "For the past decade or so, we've been involved in counterinsurgency operations, and we, as a staff, and the Army in general, have not been able to exercise conducting a planning process for a more conventional enemy."

Oh said that with the 25th Infantry Division's refocusing on Pacific operations, the brigade is using this exercise as a chance to reorient the staff and dust the cobwebs off a different style of planning.

"As a brigade, we don't know what our next war is going to be," he said. "In our minds, the hardest problem set to solve is against a conventional enemy with a force structure that can have a negative impact on our combat power. So, what we decided to do was practice that."

It's important to plan against the most difficult problem set so that the staff would have a repetition on effectively conducting a conventional planning process if the situation ever arose in the real world, Oh added.

The exercise also has the dual purpose of getting the brigade ready for upcoming exercises.

"In division's glide path, you have a command post exercise in June, and you also have a major warfighting exercise in August," Oh said. "Our brigade will be involved in those exercises. This is another opportunity to practice our craft before we get to those exercises."

Many of 2nd SBCT's primary staff have switched around in the past few months, so the brigade also took this opportunity to forge itself into a cohesive team.

"It's been a good opportunity to learn about each other," said Oh, "(about) how we work with each other, learn our strengths and weaknesses, and see how we can work together to form a stronger staff. …We can plan an order that will eventually have to be executed by Soldiers at the lower levels."

Page last updated Thu May 2nd, 2013 at 15:38