Training brigades come together to bridge gap
Officers from the three training brigades took turns explaining their regiment's role in a river crossing exercise during an officer professional development session June 18.

Fort Leonard Wood is known for its unique training opportunities, but students aren't the only ones learning.

Officers from the three Maneuver Support Center of Excellence training brigades -- 3rd Chemical Brigade, 1st Engineer Brigade and the 14th Military Police Brigade -- took part in an officer professional development session June 18.

"Collectively the brigades have taken part in MSCoE led leader development sessions, but this is the first joint OPD both planned and executed between the three training brigades in the two years that I have been on Fort Leonard Wood," said Maj. John Templer, 14th Military Police Brigade, operations.

For the OPD, the officers conducted a Rehearsal of Concept, or ROC drill for a gap crossing operation. The attendees were given the doctrinal framework for a combined arms gap crossing to provide them a general understanding of what a gap crossing is, then they moved into a ROC drill where they could see how the operation would be executed.

Any ground or land component force's success depends on its ability to move freely across terrain.

"One of the major challenges to maintaining freedom of movement and maneuver is having to negotiate obstacles or gaps," Templer said.

"A gap crossing is one of the best illustrations of how the military police, chemical, and engineer branches provide maneuver support to the ground or maneuver commander. Whether it's the engineers emplacing bridging assets to facilitate mobility, military police manning traffic control posts to support traffic and circulation control plans, or chemical assets providing smoke obscuration at a crossing site, all three regiments play a key role in the successful execution of a gap crossing," Templer added.

An engineer representative spoke about the types of gap crossing, the military police representative talked about the security they could provide and the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear representative told the other officers how their regiment could provide cover.

Capt. Peter Corley, 1st Engineer Brigade, operations, presented the engineers.

"All three of our branches need to have cross-training, so that we know what their areas of expertise are," Corley said.

He said the ROC drill was a nice break from his every day job in operations.

Before coming to Fort Leonard he spent more than three years with a bridge company.

"This is my area of expertise. It brought back good memories of being a platoon leader and executive officer when I just had one company to worry about," Corley said.

Conducting an OPD of this nature is important for a couple of reasons, according to Templer.

"Not only does it promote esprit de corps amongst the three regiments, but it reinforces one of the Army's core competencies of combined arms maneuver," Templer said.

Page last updated Thu June 26th, 2014 at 00:00