Putting the pieces together
Col. Louis Zeisman, 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division commander, speaks to his staff about the brigade's culminating training event during a Combined Arms Rehearsal at the Yakima Training Center, March 1. The Command Post Exercise will test the staff's ability to work through the Military Decision Making Process and develop an executable plan to complete any assigned mission. (Photo by Army Staff Sgt. Bryan Dominique, 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division)

YAKIMA TRAINING CENTER, Wash. - The Military Decision Making Process is often depicted as a roomful of leaders and planners rushing to develop a plan of attack or defense to win or protect a key interest, and that wouldn't be far from the truth.

From the receipt of mission, all the way down to orders production, there is analysis, development, comparison, and approval happening throughout each phase to develop the best possible plan in the shortest amount of time.

That has been the primary goal for soldiers with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division at the Yakima Training Center.

After more than a week of planning, the brigade's operation to help protect the sovereignty of a fictional country came to life on a terrain model that showed to scale a 56 by 96 kilometer stretch of land.

"Our task is to perform a combined arms rehearsal. The purpose of that is to ensure staff and subordinate elements orient to the terrain, friendly and enemy forces, that they understand the commanders intent, sequence of key actions, concept of operations, and that we identify errors in our missions and concepts of operations," said Maj. Hugh Jones, the 2-2 SBCT executive officer, to a room full of Soldiers participating in the culminating training event for the brigade.

The brigade's mission is to protect a key avenue into one of the country's main corridors to prevent them from taking control of the main port entrance into the country.

"In 48 hours we're putting about 5,000 soldiers in harms way. Could you imagine the intensity of this [rehearsal] if we were really going to execute this?," Col. Louis Zeisman, commander of the 2-2 SBCT asked the Lancer staff. "It is up to the brigade staff and the combined team here to reduce as much risk as possible to our young soldiers before we put them out there.

This scenario is in preparation for the brigade's deployment to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. later this summer. There the brigade staff will be responsible for developing the plan to face off against a well-equipped and well-trained simulated enemy.

As the simulated war develops based on the actions or reactions of the 2-2 SBCT, so will the plan, which will force the staff back to the drawing board.

If successful at NTC, the brigade will become a readily deployable force, which the nation will rely on to conduct any mission, military, humanitarian, or otherwise.

"Now skip forward to NTC [and] imagine this sand-table five times as big as this. Imagine the crowd that's around and interested in the operation. How do you communicate as a brigade staff to them?" Zeisman asked the Lancer staff.

Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Dotson, the 2-2 SBCT command sergeant major, reminded the staff at the end of rehearsal that, "There are lessons to be learned here. Learn them here and anticipate as stuff unfolds here, so when we go to execute this for real, we can try to anticipate what's going to happen with enemy."

Page last updated Wed March 5th, 2014 at 19:35