GRAFENWOEHR, Germany (Army News Service, March 18, 2009) - The Joint Multinational Readiness Center packed up its equipment from Hohenfels, Germany, and brought it to Fort Bragg, N.C., for the first time to prepare Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade for deployment.

It was the first time the team trained a brigade-sized unit solely using the Exportable Instrumentation System. It was a test the Army's Exportable Training Center concept, officials said.

Moving the JMRC to Fort Bragg meant moving 600 people, in addition to the equipment. JMRC provided a professional staff of observers and controllers, a dedicated opposing force, and instrumented after-action reviews.

Normally in Germany or elsewhere in Europe, the EIS, opposing forces and Instrumentation Training Analysis Computer Simulations and Support technicians only need to deploy with enough equipment to train up to a battalion, said Maj. Brad Eungard, the Operations Group's logistics officer.

"With an increase in the number of brigade combat teams and our current dwell time between missions, Combat Training Centers are hard pressed to provide all BCTs with a CTC rotation prior to deploying for combat or other missions," said Maj. Nick Sternberg, the JMRC spokesperson.

"The Exportable Training Center concept is designed to make up that difference by deploying the training personnel and equipment to an installation, and training the unit at their home station," Sternberg said. "Our goal was to deploy and execute a training event that would challenge the commanders and Soldiers, while also meeting the unit's training objectives."

The Army's first ETC based in the contiguous United States will be located at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., officials said.

Planning for the rotation to Fort Bragg began in early 2006, when the Army G3 granted the JMRC with both fixed site and exportable responsibilities. By the end of 2006, the HQDA G3 directed U.S. Forces Command and U.S. Army Europe to initiate coordination to conduct CONUS training using the EIS.

After two postponements, in June 2008, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., was identified as the unit to be trained in March 2009.

"The ETC is a unique training experience for 82nd Soldiers because it provides an external assessment for the BCT at home station," said Sternberg. "We bring professional observer controllers, who can provide feedback the same way we do in Hohenfels."

The JMRC, a subordinate command of the JMTC, plans, coordinates and executes mission-rehearsal exercises to prepare units for major combat operations, irregular warfare and, security and stability operations in the European Command and Central Command areas of operation.

When units report to the Hohenfels Training Area in Germany with a set of training objectives --things their brigade commander or their senior trainer says they have to execute before they deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan - JMRC prepares the training environment, and then facilitates the execution of that training.

"The JMRC observers/controllers, opposing forces, civilian role-players, analysts and technicians usually train forces from the United States, stationed in Europe, and units from allied nations bound for peacekeeping missions or combat in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Maj. Eungard. "So going to Fort Bragg to facilitate the training of the 82nd's 2nd Brigade for their upcoming mission requirements was a first for us and the Army."

(Denver Makle writes for the Joint Multinational Training Command Public Affairs Office.)

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