JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wa -- In order to promote readiness and synchronize war fighting functions, I Corps Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion conducted Exercise Courage Dawn 18, a tactical command post exercise on Joint Base Lewis-McChord August 27-29, 2018.Exercise Courage Dawn was an opportunity for America's First Corps to facilitate its own, and subordinate unit's training objectives, integrate new headquarters staff and prepare for future exercises."This exercise allows the I Corps staff to come together and nail down our processes," said Lt. Col. James Edwards, I Corps Space Chief. "We refine them if necessary, and make sure we achieve the commander's goals."
Alongside I Corps HHB for the duration of the exercise were elements of the 1st Cavalry Division, the 25th Infantry Division, and the 82nd Airborne Division."Exercises like these help us communicate better with Soldiers who are not necessarily in our unit," said Edwards. "So we bring in other folks, pretty much Army wide, to figure out what differences we have in verbiage and create one Army standard across the board, so there is no confusion in how we operate."Courage Dawn allowed for all the staff sections, such as communications, maintenance, and human resources, to practice operating in a simulated deployed environment."On a more personal note, each Soldier here is basically refining their skills and capitalizing on the knowledge of the Soldiers to their left and right," said Edwards. "They may have more or less experience and everyone can learn form one another."One Soldier fine-tuning his craft was Pfc. Uhuru Evison, a generator mechanic, and Soldier from Headquarters Support Company, HHB, I Corps."I am here at this exercise to help out with any equipment that is damaged or in need of repair", said Evison. "We are maintaining all the equipment and vehicles that have been dispatched. It was quite the process getting everything out here."Another group of Soldiers rehearsing their additional roles in a simulated deployed environment is the 56th Army Band, America's First Corps Band, who provided security for the duration of the exercise."We are here fulfilling our directive and providing security so we can maintain safe operations in the area," said Staff Sgt. Brian Dorgan, a trombone player providing security. "A lot of people don't know that area of operations security is one of our additional duties."Overall, exercises like Courage Dawn 18 provide Soldiers at all levels experience in their occupation and a chance to work together with Soldiers they don't usually work with from units across the Army."We don't work with these other units all the time," said Edwards. "So when you have a close-knit group like the I Corps staff, a group that works together on a day to day basis, you already know what to expect, but when you bring in outside organizations and put them together during an exercise, it creates a common understanding of what we're supposed to do and how to do it. So we can bring all that together and achieve the objective."