Within U.S. Army Central's Patton Hall, a group of NCOs have learned the skills and responsibilities of being members of the Battle Staff.
USARCENT hosted the Battle Staff NCO Course from July 24 to Aug. 23 to train more than 10 NCOs on what it takes to run what is essentially the nervous system of USARCENT -- the Coordinated Operations Integration Cell.
The COIC is where all the information from throughout USARCENT's Area of Responsibility is tracked and controlled, and the Battle Staff are the personnel charged with ensuring everything runs smoothly.
To do this, the NCOs trained on equipment and systems used within the COIC. While this presented the NCOs with inherent technical challenges, they also found that the job requires more than they may have initially thought.
Specifically, it requires learning what the other members of the Battle Staff do during operations. This challenge however, is what makes the Battle Staff so effective; knowing where information needs to go and how to work efficiently with fellow staff members can mean the difference in mission success or failure.
"The NCO is supposed to know the situation, and if you get called upon to do that duty you don't have to second-guess yourself. You're already trained in that position," said SSG Venish Robinson, a supply sergeant with Intelligence and Signal Company. "So when your Battle Staff Officer steps out, you, as the NCO, should always step in and fill those responsibilities."
These responsibilities carry over into ensuring that the critical mission of running the COIC does not falter because of the changes in personnel.
"Officers are here on site maybe two years, at the most, in the position. The NCOs are your longevity. They're the ones who have the base knowledge. They're the ones who know how to progress down the road," said Sgt. 1st Class Dallas Corvinus, a Battle Staff NCO Course assistant instructor. "On top of that, this gives them the tools that they need to act as a staff NCO on … a battalion staff, brigade staff, a division, on up the chain of command, so it gives them another tool in their (kits)."
For the graduates of the Battle Staff Course, having that new tool in their kits means the machine that is USARCENT will continue to run smoothly.