FORT BLISS, Texas - The Brigade Modernization Command kicks off the inaugural Army Warfighting Assessment Exercise or AWA 17.1, Oct. 17- 28, the first installment in a series of Soldier-led assessments held in a rigorous and realistic operational environment at Fort Bliss, Texas and White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

"The AWA maximizes collective training, joint and multinational interoperability, and future force development, bringing a triple payoff," said Maj. Gen. Terrence McKenrick, the commanding general of the BMC.

AWA 17.1 is the Chief of Staff of the Army's Force 2025 Maneuvers annual capstone exercise that will focus on the refinement and improvement of concepts and capabilities in live, virtual, and constructive domains, beyond the constraints of the Network Integration Exercise's formal testing environment.

Force 2025 Maneuvers is a multi-year effort of intellectual (studies and analysis, concept development, and war games) and physical (experimentation, evaluations, and exercises) activities within the campaign of learning that supports the larger Force 2025 and Beyond initiative that is designed to identify and assess interim solutions to the Army Warfighting Challenges.

With 3.2 million acres of training space between Fort Bliss, Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range, the AWA enables Army divisions to maneuver multiple brigades in a decisive action training environment with Department of Defense owned airspace, high altitude training, extensive live-fire capabilities, drop-zone locations for airborne operations, approved unmanned aerial vehicle landing strips, and many other unique training capabilities unlike any other in the world.

More than 5,000 personnel will participate in this year's exercise to include, elements from I Corps and 1st Armored Division along with joint participation from Marine, Air Force, and Special Operations units, as well as five Multinational partners from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Utilizing Soldier feedback, the AWA's are designed to help the Army keep pace with rapid advances in warfighting technologies and deliver integrated tactical networks and mission command capabilities, a top Army modernization priority for readiness.

"U.S. forces and Multinational partners will operate in a mission partner environment, on a coalition network to assess Joint and Multinational procedures and policies, and improve technical interoperability and information sharing. The end state will result in a ready, Joint Force capable of accomplishing the mission and achieving overmatch of current and future enemies across the range of military operations," said McKenrick.

Partnership with industry is also just as critical to sustaining the AWA and Force 2025 Maneuver exercises. Industry engineers will work side-by- side with Soldiers to rapidly correct and improve capabilities, providing an opportunity to work with industry partners to gain a better understanding of Army requirements in order to deliver solutions to Army Warfighting Challenges in a collective effort.

AWA is the Army's first comprehensive Warfighting assessment that offers an experimental environment in which to shape requirements and improve capabilities. AWA will help the Army adapt to challenges in a complex world.