FORT BRAGG, N.C.--(USASOC News Service, Sept. 24, 2013) The 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) recently conducted a battalion level battle staff and planning exercise demonstrating their capability to organize and deploy in support of a Combined Joint Task Force during the recent Operation Mountain Divide training exercise. The Command & Staff exercised their ability to battle track for their regional Civil Military Support Elements (CMSEs) and test their reach back support mechanism. As part of their exercise, the 96th CA BN (A) also conducted a detailed mission planning in support of a contingency operation involving replicated Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational interaction.

The training exercise was integrated with the 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and 1st 20th SFG(A) Command and Staffs annual training exercise conducted in Montana via the distributed training concept used by the Mission Command Exercise Division. The 96th CA BN (A) executed the ARSOF 2022 vision of multiplying potential partnerships within the Army, creating an integrated and distributed training environment to improve the unit's ability to provide trained and ready SOF Civil Affairs soldiers to combatant commanders worldwide.

The training exercise was supported by the USAJFKSWCS Special Operations Mission Training Center (SOMTC) from Fort Bragg, N.C. The SOMTC integrated approach to training provides an effective, low cost training solution for multiple staffs and to support ARSOF integration. This organization provided a realistic objective based and tailored training scenario while demonstrating its capability to provide a cost-effective distributed training option to USASOC, MARSOC, Navy SEALs and reserve components.

"The SOMTC is the perfect venue to meet our training objectives," said Maj. Patrick D. Blankenship, Executive Officer for the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion. "The interactive nature of this type of training enhances the capabilities of the battalion and satisfies their training objectives related to command and control of CA forces in the field."

The 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) is one of the regional battalions in the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne). The 91st, 92nd, 96th, 97th and 98th battalions organizes, trains, equips and deploys forces worldwide to conduct civil affairs operations. For more information about the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade go to Civil Affairs Recruiting at Recruiting Soldiers from within the U.S. Army for Active Duty Service in Civil Affairs.