Lieutenants from the Regimental Engineer Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment, the 15th Engineer Battalion and the 82nd Engineer Battalion came together at Camp Aachen, Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany to learn the fundamentals of being a Task Force Engineer, March 20 - 23, 2018.
This course, sponsored by the RES, 2CR, consisted of four modules: a staff planning section, a defense planning section, an offense planning section and an engineer staff products section.
The staff planning section focused on the Military Decision Making Process, with introductory classes taught by Capt. Mark Zastany, engineer officer in charge, 7th Army Training Command, an Information Preparation of the Battlefield and Enemy Threat Template class taught by Capt. Erik Miller, intelligence officer, RES, 2CR and a Course of Action Development class taught by Master Sgt. Caleb Smith, special projects non-commissioned officer, RES, 2CR.
"Being able to engage with junior leaders across different formations from around the Army was a rewarding experience," said Smith. "Having the ability to cross talk with the lieutenants from different backgrounds helped bring a lot of new knowledge to the classroom."
The offense planning section consisted of classes ranging from combined arms breach, breach force commander and reverse breach planning process taught by Capt. John Franklin, commander, Alpha Troop, RES, 2CR.
The defense planning section consisted of classes on company defense, taught by Capt. Joshua Kornman, commander, Fox Troop, 2nd Squadron, 2CR, obstacle planning and defense planning tools taught by Capt. Matthew Scrivner, commander, Bravo Troop, RES, 2CR, direct fire planning taught by Capt. George Waltensperger, 1st Squadron, 2CR, and an indirect fires planning class taught by Capt. Amanda Hassett, fire support officer, Field Artillery Squadron, 2CR.
The staff products section consisted of classes on engineer running estimates taught by Zastany and operations order writing by Capt. Casey Tuggle, logistics officer in charge, RES, 2CR.
Instructors for each class were subject matter experts from their respective fields and brought a unique outside perspective to the engineer mission set.
"Being able to interact with branches outside of the engineer regiment brought some really valuable perspective on how we plan," explained 1st Lt. Dave Truong, assistant plans and operations officer, HHT, RES, 2CR. "It helped open our view to see how we as engineer officers are not just planning in a vacuum and must work with other branches."
After each block of instruction, students were tested on their knowledge with both written exams and practical exercises. These exams tested both their ability to learn the material from the course, but also to apply it in a realistic fashion.
The students ranged from junior second lieutenants fresh from their branch specific Basic Officer Leadership Course to senior first lieutenants who recently completed their platoon leader time and are preparing to lead staff sections, with all levels of experience in between.
Having a wide range of expertise proved beneficial to the students.
"I really enjoyed being able to bounce ideas and plans off of our peers that have actually had the experience to go out and do these missions," said 2nd Lt. Lucas Finkel, assistant plans and operations officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, RES, 2CR.
At the end of the course, 1st. Lt. Sarah Rosachi, platoon leader, Route Clearance Platoon, B Troop, RES, 2CR, was identified as the honor graduate for the week long training and was awarded the Army Achievement Medal for her hard work.