'Bayonet' Division leaders meet with Australian army DCG
June 17, 2013
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Leaders with 7th Infantry Division met with Australian army deputy commanding general of operations, Maj. Gen. Richard M. Burr, to observe the 7th Inf. Div. training strategy and discuss initiatives and capabilities of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, during a briefing at the Maneuver Combat Training Center, May 14.
Division leaders briefed Burr on the blending of live, virtual, constructive and gaming (LVCG) training tools to create innovative exercises to meet the needs of the nation.
Through the use of LVCG in mission readiness training exercise, brigades within the division can create complex training while simultaneously minimizing cost.
"Everything becomes live at virtually no cost," said Maj. Damon Durall, 7th Inf. Div. chief of exercises.
While saving money is an important goal, Durall clarified that doing so isn't the focus of the blended training program.
"At the end of the day, this strategy is about a better training effort," Durall said.
Brigade leaders who have used this blended training strategy during exercises testified the effectiveness of the strategy.
Col. Ken Kamper, 17th Fires Brigade commander, spoke about his experiences with blended, multi-echelon training, and touched on how it allows multiple units that are spread across the world to participate in a single exercise together.
"We can link brigade to brigade," Kamper said, noting that, "we really have to make training complex to challenge soldiers these days."
Burr was intrigued by the blended training strategy, noting that the money it saves is great, but what was really exciting was the idea that blended training could increase overall mission effectiveness.
"We should be doing this anyway, even if we had all the money in the world," Burr said.
Burr also pointed out that the training was a great opportunity to blend the experience and knowledge of senior leaders with the technical expertise of the younger soldiers.
"This is powerful stuff. It is dynamic and moving fast," Burr said. "This whole area has evolved quite rapidly, the potential is enormous."