Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. -- Multi-Domain Battle has been a big buzz word within the Army over the past few years. Plenty of effort has been put into figuring out how to conduct MDB and the versatility of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems provides a lot of options.
The 17th Field Artillery Brigade is one of three active Army HIMARS brigades. To help with their readiness and mobility, 17th FA Bde is conducting a Command Post exercise to ensure that they are ready to deploy and fight quickly.
"We are validating the Brigade's Command Post configurations and resources," said Cpt. Daniel Zeller, 17th FA Bde's Operations Plans Officer. "We want to have a clear understanding of the manning, equipment, and further training that is needed to ensure the brigade's readiness to deploy and establish a mission command."
The Main Command Post is a mobile facility that contains the majority of the staff that controls current and future operations and those that conduct detailed analysis of the operations. The Tactical Command Post is more for expeditionary elements within the brigade and is more tailored for a particular mission.
Cpt. Brennan Deveraux, commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 17th FA Bde, said, "This is the crawl phase. To accomplish a goal you need to know two things; first is where you want be, and second, where you are right now. This exercise showed me where we are right now and it lets the leadership better outline to me where we need to be."
He goes on to say that this is really to test the deployability of our equipment. If the Brigade is deployed to an environment that does not have an established area, like is seen in Iraq or Afghanistan, then the Brigade will have to establish its own place to operate.
The mobility this give us means we can displace after enemy detection or after any other major muscle movements on the battlefield. More simply put to get in, accomplish the mission and get out, quickly and unharmed, Zeller said.
After the conclusion of the exercise, there is still more work that needs to be done. Some of these things are validating load plans for the vehicles, testing the serviceability of the equipment and replacing whatever is damaged beyond repair, and training the soldiers that will be designated to assemble the MCP or TAC CP.
"This exercise puts a plan on a power point slide into reality and allows senior leaders to have an accurate view of their command post," said Deveraux. "At my level I will incorporate this into a loadout exercise to validate what it takes to move our equipment so that we can establish a MCP for future exercises like Ulchi Freedom Guardian and Warfighter."
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