By Maj. Gary Loten-BeckfordFebruary 1, 2019
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Unit readiness is top priority at every level of the military, commanders at every level work to enhance their formation for preparedness to answer the Nation's call for contingent and worldwide deployment operations.
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 319th Military Intelligence Battalion, 525th Military Intelligence Brigade is one such unit conducting "stress tests" in its capabilities to ensure unit success on its warfighting functions.
The 319th Military Intelligence Battalion has a storied past. The battalion itself dates back to intelligence operations during WWII through Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada to Operation Just Cause in Panama. For the past 18 years, the 319th Military Intelligence Battalion has multiple deployments in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Resolute Support.
Preparation and readiness is essential for mission success. Mission success is secured with maintaining the basic fundamentals of training. The command team plans, prepares, executes and assess their unit in all phases of training. Through a shared vision, understanding of a desired future and effectively bridging the gap guarantees success.
The detachment commanded by Capt. Linda Benites, planned and resourced the execution of events leading up to her unit's field training. The unit first sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class James A. Drake III, enforced the commander's guidelines through the noncommissioned officers and subordinate leaders within the organization.
"We empowered each section to prepare themselves based off of my intent for the exercise," said Benites. "All priorities of training were based on our mission essential task list (METL) and any training deficiencies the command team identified during our last tent exercise (TENTEX)."
Readiness, modernization and training on the fundamentals are paramount for all units. Throughout the entire military there's been a refocus. The Soldiers and leaders of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 319th Military Intelligence Battalion, 525th Military Intelligence Brigade practiced and refined troop leading procedures in all aspects of training. The unit pounded upon the fundamentals of training through exhaustive repetition. As a result, leaders saw improvement of the skills, knowledge and attributes required to deploy, fight and win our nation's war.
"We can always improve and continue to train on all our tasks," said Benites. "We have a lot of younger Soldiers within our formation who have never done a TENTEX, this was a good start for the company we grew stronger as a team and pushed each other. Our Soldiers performed well in all the tasks that were given to them, and we were able to go over most of our METL Tasks. I'm very proud of the team," added Benites.
One of the key factors of training is building upon previous training exercises. After action reports, training guidelines and productive goals exceeded unit's expectations.
"This is the second phase in our training, I would measure success of this exercise by comparing the execution against the after action review comments provided by both the Soldiers and the leadership from our last TENTEX," said Sgt. 1st Class James A. Drake III, detachment first sergeant. "They adapted, improvised and executed the training based off the commander's intent. We have a great group of Soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers, and they are very good at thinking on their feet," added Drake.
The 525th Military Intelligence Brigade, and Expeditionary Force conducts multidiscipline intelligence operations in support of echelons corps and below, providing downward reinforcing capabilities to the Division, Brigade Combat Teams and other formations. The Brigade and Battalion Headquarters are designed to receive, integrate, employ and sustain intelligence enterprise capabilities in support of Corps, Division and Joint