By Maj. Penny Zamora, 157th Infantry Brigade Public AffairsOctober 1, 2013
CAMP ATTERBURY JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ind -- More than 30 Soldiers from the 157th and 205th Infantry Brigades, First Army Division East, recently led training on key initiatives for Bold Quest 13-2, one of the most anticipated coalition demonstrations held at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind., and Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Butlerville, Ind.
Bold Quest 13-2, a joint, multinational-capability demonstration and assessment event, involved more than 500 participants from 12 countries. This fires demonstration allowed participants to focus on the integration of joint fires, development of maneuver and cyber concepts, and equipment assessments of platforms used for digital close air support and personnel recovery. The event addressed training initiatives on emerging systems, aimed at capturing tactics, techniques and procedures relevant to various indirect fire systems.
Bold Quest was also an opportunity for First Army Division East Soldiers to see, first-hand, the latest technologies prior to the Army fielding equipment to operational units.
"During Bold Quest 13-2, we teamed up with the Canadian and Swedish armies as forward observers using the newest, mobile, handheld-fires applications. This kit provides FOs with improved digital communications and streamlines the call-for-fire process," said Sgt. 1st Class John Roames, observer controller/trainer, 157th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East.
A key lesson learned from Bold Quest was getting the testing solutions in the hands of actual users, said John Miller, Operational Manager of Bold Quest 13-2. The demonstration collected both technical data on systems and subjective judgments from the participating war fighters during and after the live/virtual, scenario-based operations.
"Hardware and software problems and improvements can be fixed and implemented earlier. Doing all of this with our coalition peers helps in achieving a better outcome than working alone," said Lisa Landmark, contractor support for the Software Engineering Directorate, Huntsville, Ala.
The new Advance Field Artillery Tactical Data System software with the new mobile handheld-fires application hardware is lighter, quicker, has longer-lasting batteries and an everything-in-one-place mountable tablet provides net-centric battle command to coordinate land, air indirect fire systems in support of maneuver operations.
"We spent the first couple of days learning the software and getting comfortable with the equipment. During the walk phase, we teamed up with our Canadian and Swedish counterparts to get familiar with how to be a part of their team. We worked out our differences so we could enter the run phase like we've been working together as an experienced platoon," said Sgt. 1st Class Keambiroiro Edwards, OC/T, 157th Inf. Bde., First Army Division East.
This year, Bold Quest had more partner nations participate than any Bold Quest event to date.
"We need to look beyond our current requirements to 2020 and help develop Joint Force 2020 by keeping our military the best equipped force in the world," said Miller.
The OC/Ts of the First Army Division East routinely provide training support to Reserve Component forces for Rotational Force Pool-Deploying and Rotational Force Pool-Non Deploying requirements at MUTC and CAJMTC, and training with multinational coalition forces and new equipment is a natural progression in remaining at the leading edge of tactical war fighting capabilities.
"As OC/T's, we put our Soldiers in the most operationally realistic environments possible, allowing units to validate and develop new tactics and procedures. The input I give here is important. We have the opportunity to improve new technologies before it gets out to the Soldier. Best of all, we can share information across all national forces participating to make ourselves better," said Roames.
Evolving technologies require evolving tactics, techniques and procedures to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex environment.
"The Army is transitioning from years of sustained counterinsurgency operations to Unified Land Operations and Decisive Action. Bringing together multi-component and joint units with multinational coalition forces offers an unmatched training platform for regionally and internationally aligned forces," said Col. Brandt Deck, Commander 157th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East.
"I am proud of our Soldiers making a difference at Bold Quest," continued Deck.
Soldiers of the 157th Infantry Brigade mobilize, train, deploy and demobilize reserve component forces in accordance with combatant commanders, Department of the Army and Forces Command Directives, and provide training to joint, interagency, combined and active Army forces as directed.