I Corps prepares for deployment during Unified Endeavor
October 31, 2008
By Casey Bain
FT. LEWIS, Wash. (Army News Service, Oct. 31, 2008) -- Soldiers with I Corps Headquarters and its subordinate staff here wrapped up participation in a week-long mission rehearsal exercise meant to prepare them for their upcoming mission as Multinational Corps-Iraq.
The Army's Battle Command Training Program task force, from Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., joined U.S. Joint Forces Command's Joint Warfighting Center and Joint Fires Integration Interoperability Team as the lead trainers for the Unified Endeavor 09-01 training event.
"The exercise is designed to help I Corps build a cohesive team that understands and is prepared for the operational and strategic environments in and around Iraq," said Army Lt. Col. Scott Wild, deputy commander for Operations Group Delta at BCTP.
"We provide subject matter experts across all warfighting functions and retired general officer senior mentors who have commanded at the highest levels within the military," Wild said. "Factor in our joint partners from USJFCOM and we form a team that will collectively help the I Corps staff be prepared to respond to the key issues and challenges that they will face once they assume their mission in Iraq."
The UE 09-01 exercise included participants from all services and coalition partners from the United Kingdom and South Korea. The distributed and networked exercise occurred at multiple locations including Ft. Lewis, Wash., Ft. Hood, Texas, Camp Lejeune, N.C., Hurlburt Field, Fla., the JWFC, Suffolk, Va., and the United Kingdom.
According to Navy Lt. Cmdr. Chris Olson, JFIIT's exercise lead, "JFIIT's mission is to assist BCTP to coach, teach, and mentor the I Corps staff. The JFIIT team enhances the CJTF staff's ability to synchronize their joint fires capabilities in Iraq and better understand their integration and interoperability requirements."
"Our goal here is to help the I Corps staff identify their seams within the joint fires mission area so they can improve the staff planning and targeting process to fully leverage the resources and capabilities of their entire team," said Olson. "We want to help them learn how to better plan and integrate joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and fires assets to increase their combat effectiveness and help them save lives."
Part of the JWFC's mission during the exercise was to provide subject matter experts from their Deployable Training Team and to work with BCTP to enhance the I Corps staff's training in a variety of warfighting functions.
"We work closely with BCTP and have a mutually beneficial relationship where we support these exercises to improve the realism, rigor, and experience of the training audience," said Air Force Maj. Gavin Marks, fires observer trainer, JWFC DTT. "We help units prepare for their upcoming deployments by reinforcing joint doctrine, key insights, and best practices that are currently used in theater."
Marks and the DTT partner worked closely with Operations Group Delta, BCTP, as the group provides vital resources for USJFCOM-led events.
"We focus on their staff's ability to integrate both lethal and non-lethal assets in their operational planning cycle along with the assessment process they use to make key decisions during their conduct of day-to-day operations," said Army Lt. Col. Brian Paxton, fires team chief, Operations Group Delta, BCTP. "We also provide feedback through coaching, mentoring, and teaching on their ability to conduct strategic communications to accurately plan and inform a wide range of internal and external audiences about the important issues facing the command and host nation -- it's truly a joint fires effort."
"The team that's been assembled here to conduct this exercise is providing the I Corps staff with a realistic and complex training environment that simulates the conditions they will likely experience upon assuming their mission as Multinational Corps Iraq," said Joel Parker, JFIIT senior exercise analyst. "Being able to prosecute a joint and multinational force targeting process is no easy task, but I Corps will be well prepared, in part, because of the training they are receiving during the UE 09-01 MRX."
(Casey Bain writes for JFIIT, USJFCOM)