By Capt. Maria MengroneJuly 25, 2019
SAN ANTONIO - Guardsmen from Texas, Maryland and California launch intense planning and preparation sessions to kick-off Talon Strike 2019, a two-week training event, scheduled July 27 - Aug. 10, at Camp Bullis.
The event is expected to draw in approximately 500 military intelligence and support staff Soldiers. Talon Strike 2019 is designed to test and improve the knowledge and skills of military intelligence (MI) Soldiers in five separate training lanes to include: interrogation, human intelligence, military source operation, signal intelligence and a command post exercise lane.
"Our priority is to ensure we are ready for Talon Strike 2019. We are focused on ensuring our Soldiers from Maryland, California and Texas receive realistic training and are ready to employ their training and skills for the challenges we have planned during this exercise," said Col. Michael J. Liesmann, brigade commander, 71st EMIB and native of Houston.
The two-week event narrows down military intelligence specialties included in each unit's mission essential task list used by the U.S. Army to determine each organization's collective training readiness level.
Training lanes will have observer, controller, trainers (OC/Ts) on-hand to serve as the subject matter experts on U.S. Army doctrine and warfighting functions to facilitate the successful completion of each lane.
"The teams on each lane will be evaluated by OC/Ts using a checklist and at the end of every day, the OC/Ts will conduct an after-action review. This allows the teams to get feedback on identified items they could improve on prior to the next training day," said Maj. Elizabeth Ramirez, intelligence officer, 71st EMIB.
Talon Strike 2019, already poised to double in size and complexity from the previous year, will include a command post exercise lane implemented through the Mission Command Training Support Program of Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., to help prepare guardsmen of the 58th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade of the Maryland Army National Guard on their upcoming deployment.
"We are here to help facilitate the command post exercise," said Capt. Amber Luecke, commander, Alpha Company, 636th Military Intelligence Battalion and Talon Strike 2019 planner. "We are in constant communication with the 58th EMIB as they prepare to travel to Texas to participate in this operation."
The 71st EMIB planners are charged with the overall implementation of all facets of the massive exercise. Talon Strike 2019 planners are leaving no stones unturned in reaching far and wide throughout the U.S. Army military intelligence community for assistance.
"We are going to pull trainers internally but we've also asked the 504th Military Battalion out of Fort Hood if they have anyone that would want to come down to assist during our AT (annual training) period," said Ramirez.
"As we move closer to the actual execution of Talon Strike 2019, I know we will provide the best possible training while maintaining and building lasting partnerships within our military intelligence community," said Liesmann.
Units expected to participate in Talon Strike 2019 include the 71st Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade, 636th Military Intelligence Battalion and the 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Texas Army National Guard, the 58th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade and 629th Military Intelligence Battalion of the Maryland National Guard, the 250th Military Intelligence Battalion of the California National Guard and the 504th Military Intelligence Battalion based in Fort Hood, Texas.