196th Infantry Brigade Conducts JPMRC Small Unit Assessment
March 18, 2014
- The JPMRC consists of a deployable package of personnel and equipment designed to support Army, joint and multinational training exercises across the Pacific theater.
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii--The 196th Infantry Brigade (Training Support) took another important step towards validating the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability (JPMRC) concept March 7 to 9 by conducting the first live test of the JPMRC Instrumentation System (JPMRC-IS) at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
The JPMRC consists of a deployable package of personnel and equipment designed to support Army, joint and multinational training exercises across the Pacific theater.
This live test allowed the 196th to provide training support to the Military Police Platoon assigned to the 29th Brigade Special Troops Battalion of the Hawai'i Army National Guard. "We were fortunate to be able to leverage our existing partnership with the Hawai'i Guard, and to identify an opportunity to exercise the Instrumentation System in a manner that was mutually beneficial," said Col. Michael Forsyth, 196th Infantry brigade commander.
The JPMRC-IS allows the 196th's Observer-Controller/Trainers to track Soldiers and vehicles using the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), and to monitor voice and digital communications and record live audio and video of the training event. This data is funneled through a computerized Tactical Analysis Facility (TAF), where analysts assess the unit's performance and assemble After-Action Reviews that use the recorded multimedia content to give the training audience a comprehensive look at themselves and make suggestions for sustaining best practices and improving in weaker areas.
The first full test of the JPMRC-IS is scheduled for this summer, when a battalion from the 25th Infantry Division will participate in the First Unit Assessment or FUA. However, the complexity of the system made it necessary to conduct a smaller-scale test in order to identify and correct technical or organizational issues, said Forsyth.
The Small Unit Assessment began on March 7 as the Military Police mustered at their armory, located at Barbers Point, Hawaii, to receive a mission brief and begin planning and preparing for the next day's mission. During this time, Soldiers assigned to the 196th, as well as civilian contractors, brought the Instrumentation System online to perform system checks, and soon had to address a significant technical issue, as the microwave towers used to transmit video, voice and digital data from the training area to the TAF inexplicably went offline.
By the morning of March 8, the JPMRC-IS technicians had developed a backup data link, bringing the most critical capabilities back online as the Military Police Platoon was being outfitted with MILES equipment at Schofield Barracks. "We prioritized data streams and gradually reestablished our ability to track the training unit's movement, actions and communications in real time," stated Maj. Thomas Harris, Operations Officer for the 196th In Bde.
The formal After Action Review was held at the 29th Brigade Combat Team headquarters on the morning of March 9. Maj. Sean Baxter, 29th BSTB executive officer, said that he appreciated the flexibility of the AAR format and the detail and quality of the training feedback. "I haven't seen that level of fidelity in AARs outside of actual Combat Training Centers," said Maj. Baxter. "This capability is a great addition to our home station training." The MP Platoon Sergeant, Staff Sgt. Sanford Chun, added that the OC/Ts were very engaged with his squads, and that the "hot-wash" process provided invaluable feedback to his NCOs and Soldiers.
Forsyth was pleased with the opportunity for the 196th to test the JPMRC-IS, stating: "I would like to express my thanks to the 29th BSTB for offering to collaborate with us, as it has taught us many lessons about the system and is putting us on the right track to conduct future exercises in a professional manner."