Mission command readies 4th MEB
April 18, 2012
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- Commander, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Col. Frank Y. Rangel, along with his key staff, conducted a three-day seminar with the Mission Command Training Program hosted in The Colonel John M. McHugh Training Center at Townsend Hall here April 10 through 13. Rangel is preparing for a combat-simulated exercise later this year.
According to the official website, MCTP supports mission command training for multifunctional support brigades, certain functional brigades, theater sustainment commands and expeditionary sustainment commands.
"We become part of your unit, observe and train," said Dane Barksdale, lead analyst, MCTP Operation Group Foxtrot.
Lead analyst during the academic phase and a fires analyst, a subject matter expert in air defense artillery, during implementation phases, Barksdale describes the training process.
"We become part of each unit and the analyst becomes the eyes and ears during the exercise," said Barksdale.
The unit commander's training objectives are the starting point of observation. Then feedback can be developed for those commanders in order to determine the level of success obtained, said Barksdale.
The unit's role in successful implementation is explained by Lt. Col. Doug T. Burruss, chief trainer for the observer trainers for OPGRP-F.
"Much of it is how much preparation the unit is able to do from receiving the academics, or the mission command training, preparing for the exercise, and if they can do that and come up with a training plan that gets after the things we are discussing here, and the staff takes good notes of what the commander has given as guidance they are able to execute and its usually planned very well," said Burruss.
"Success comes from understanding the commander's role in mission command, and how the staff supports the commander in mission command, so the staff is doing their staff tasks it allows the commander to make timely and accurate decisions," said Burruss.
While the commander and the senior staff attending the seminar receive the information directly, there will be a process of relating the information to the rest of the brigade. The unit's senior enlisted advisor, the command sergeant major, provides his assistance in this process.
"By bringing the key leaders here and having them participate in the training, they now know what right looks like," said Command Sgt. Maj. William K. Allen, brigade command sergeant major, 4th MEB, 1st ID.
"Our battalion leaders have been trained so now they can coach, train, and mentor their Soldiers in the different shops to know what right looks like," said Allen.
"It was great value-added training," said Allen.
Friday, at the conclusion of the seminar, Rangel summed up how the MCTP seminar will enhance their combat-simulated training exercise later this year.
"I am confident in our ability to manage our functional responsibilities and in administering our landowner tasks with moderate effects from the enemy," he said.