By Sgt. Karen SampsonAugust 16, 2017
HOHENFELS, Germany -- The Joint Multinational Readiness Center's Maneuver Observer, Coach/Trainers of the Warhog Team, are steady at work hosting the most recent Georgian Mission Rehearsal Exercise (MRE). They are partnered with U.S. Marine OC/Ts from Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group (MCSCG) from Virginia Beach, Va., training Georgian Soldiers of the with U.S. Marines from the Georgian Liaison Team for the exercise running Aug. 1 through Aug. 25 here.
These Georgians and USMC troops meld together here as a multinational, joint-force-entity to practice tactics, techniques and procedures in preparation for deployment. When the 31st Light Infantry Battalion and U.S. Marines from the Georgian Liaison Team are finished at Hohenfels they will deploy in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel, a security mission protecting the populated, forward operating base in Afghanistan.
Cadets from the Hungarian Armed Forces participated in training with the deploying troops, replicating the Afghan National Army.
Since 2015, JMRC's Warhog Team has refined their integral role preparing and facilitating the USMC-led multinational MRE.
"The MRE is intense and essential to the Georgian Rapid Deployment Mission," said U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Erin Benjamin, executive officer for the MCSCG Team. The Warhogs "facilitate the readiness exercise logistics and enable meeting the exercise training objectives."
As the primary facilitator, JMRC's Warhog OC/T Team is responsible for supporting all exercise functions, and contributing and assisting personnel involved with the Georgian MRE.
"The Warhog team is our spoke to the JMRC Hub," said Benjamin.
With lessons learned from previous exercises, pre-deployment site assessments and communication provided from joint Marine and Georgian leadership, the Warhog Team tailors the unit's training plan with relevant challenges current of the forward operating environment awaiting these troops.
"The communication and planning for the Georgian Mission Readiness Exercise starts months ahead," said U.S. Army Capt. Michael Cain, Planner for the JMRC Warhog OC/T Team. "Our team coordinates with the MCSCG Team to plan the training calendar efficiently and act as the communication team for JMRC to fully enable the MRE execution in the Hohenfels Training Area."
"Tactical exercises include convoy maneuver operations, patrolling mounted and unmounted, communication with ground and air assets, basic steps in air assault and medical evacuation operations," said Cain.
"The cumulative force-on-force days execute scenarios geared to exercise company and battalion level decision making as a reactive and interoperable force in diverse situations," said Cain.
The first platoon level exercise was executed on Aug. 8. A substantial convoy of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles pull into formation after a mounted ground transport operation. The squads from the integrated U.S. Marine and Georgian Infantry platoon dismount together.
The Warhog Team OC/Ts guide the platoon to the next task. They communicate with and lead coordination of essential assets to conduct the training lanes specific to the deployment mission objectives.
JMRC's Warhog Team and Marine OC/Ts observe while the aviators conduct a safety brief and describe the purpose of Cold Load Training onto the Blackhawk. Walking the troops through a performance, they demonstrate basics of mounting and dismounting a UH-60, safely and tactically.
"The training at JMRC is beneficial for becoming proficient in patrol operations and introduces working with outside organizations," said U.S. Marine Cpl. Andrew Lance, a GDP Team Chief. "We are training with U.S. Joint Forces, Georgian Soldiers and Hungarian Armed Forces."
"As these troops refine their communication, reactive decision-making and become an interoperable tactical force the unit graduates to company and battalion level challenges," said Warhog OC/T Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Lyons.
As the MRE progresses the unit faces realistic, scenario-driven training which is the hallmark of JMRC and the Hohenfels Training Area.
Mentors from the Warhog OC/T Team create realistic scenarios with the help from an Operational Environment Team at JMRC's Instrumentation Training Analysis Computer Simulations and Support Center (ITACSS). Both teams integrate the training area's environment and direct civilian role players for exposing the unit to consider, communicate and operate with the population.
They enlist the talents of the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Division to contend as opposing forces.
The Warhog OC/Ts are key contributors to advising all deploying personnel and battalion leadership and organizing critical after action reviews.
Starting Aug. 16 the multinational team will transition into a seven-day, force-on-force cumulative exercise preparing them to assume duties in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel.
The Georgian MRE is a U.S.M.C. -led exercise involving nearly 900 Soldiers from Georgia, Hungary and the U.S. The MRE is based on the current operational environment to prepare the Georgian 31st Inf. Bn. for offensive, defensive, and a deployment in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel.