By Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey SmithNovember 12, 2019
FORT STEWART, Ga. -- The 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team tested military command and control systems while integrating training and support from units across Fort Stewart during the division's annual exercise, Marne Focus, November 2019 at Fort Stewart, Ga.
According to Soldiers participating in the exercise, the 1st ABCT, also known as the Raider Brigade, exercised all of its warfighting functions and enhanced its Soldiers' abilities to communicate effective command and control.
"This training is allowing us to build communication systems and processes that we need to command and control a multi-battalion fight across a battlefield," said Maj. Thomas Allen, the primary staff officer in charge of the 1st ABCT's S6 section. "This command exercise allows us to understand processes and procedures within the command post at multiple echelons."
Officer observer, coach, trainers (OC/Ts) assigned to this year's iteration of Marne Focus expanded on the exercise's training objectives.
"Through this training the brigade combat team demonstrates its ability to integrate intelligence, and to integrate the fires warfighting function to enable maneuver and sustainment," said Lt. Col. Thomas Putnam, the commander of 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd ABCT, 3ID. "Also through this exercise, the brigade combat team demonstrates its ability to command and control all of its battalions in order to close with and kill the enemy and destroy his equipment to dominate on the battlefield."
Lt. Col. Arthur L. McGrue III, the commander of 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 2nd ABCT, 3ID, said, "This is a culminating exercise that allows the brigade to exercise its systems and its ability to move at the tactical level. This exercise prepares the brigade for Fort Irwin [National Training Center]."
Through this exercise and others like it, leaders of the Raider Brigade and the 3rd Infantry Division place emphasis in developing competent, professional Soldiers within their organizations in order to increase success. According to Putnam, experienced professionals know there are always opportunities to learn new processes and techniques to improve a military organization and its people.
"Having talented and knowledgeable individuals within an organization enables the mission to succeed, and part of our professionalism as Soldiers is identifying where we need help," said Putnam. "Every engagement we've had here, our people have been very receptive, and wanting to improve, so it's an indicator of the type of talent we have within the organization. It shows that desire to want to be better."
The primary goal for this year's Marne Focus was to test the Raider Brigade's command and staff element in communicating with itself, the commands of sister brigades and higher echelon elements, along with the command teams and staffs of its subordinate battalions. Soldiers and units throughout the 3rd ID, including the 2nd ABCT, the 3rd ID Artillery, and the 3rd Sustainment Brigade, provided support to the Raider Brigade, which aided the division in gaining some secondary training opportunities.
Upon completion of Marne Focus, the commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Antonio Aguto, is expected to validate a higher state of readiness for the Raider Brigade, which will indicate the brigade is ready to take part in a rotation at the National Training Center, a U.S. Army maneuver Combat Training Center located at Fort Irwin, California.