This week 18 soldiers from the Mission Command Training Program (MCTP) returned from supporting Joint Task Force-Civil Support at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., and Joint Task Force-Theater Support Command at Naval Air Station New Orleans. This marks the first redeployment of Fort Leavenworth-based forces supporting U.S. Army North’s (ARNORTH) whole-of-nation mission to help contain the COVID-19 virus.
In early April, MCTP deployed approximately 100 training advisors to five ARNORTH task forces, along with an additional 16 advisors from across Combined Arms Center units based at Fort Leavenworth. According to MCTP’s Commander, Col. Shane Morgan, ARNORTH requested “specifically leaders with operational and strategic level planning expertise.” These teams supported ARNORTH-led task force commands around the nation.
“Our MCTP leaders are currently performing critical COVID-19 leadership duties, ranging from planning, to operations, to logistics, and interagency liaison,” said Morgan. The training advisors from Fort Leavenworth provided analysis to inform commanders’ decision-making as part of integrated military support to the COVID-19 containment efforts, which are led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local authorities.
These training advisors came from across five operations groups. Operations Group Alpha deployed to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., as part of Joint Task Force-Civil Support, with a priority on developing products to assist with COVID-19 command decision-making for virus containment efforts in the northeast U.S.
Operations Group Charlie is serving with the 46th Military Police Brigade in Task Force Center, an Army National Guard headquarters that is responsible for virus response efforts across the Midwest. Located in Battle Creek, Mich., these training advisors are providing planning analysis to better synchronize defense support of FEMA and local authorities in Iowa City, Iowa; Austin, Texas; Minneapolis; Madison, Wis., and Columbus, Ohio.
The training advisors from Operations Group Delta deployed to Salt Lake City, Utah as part of Task Force West, an Army Reserve headquarters that is providing planning assistance, as well as command and control support for the 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command and the 627th Field Hospital.
The team from Operations Group Sierra is serving with Joint Task Force –Theater Support Command, 377th Theater Support Command, from Naval Air Station, New Orleans. Their missions include developing logistics, supporting national border operations, and linking with federal agencies to develop predictive analysis of COVID-19 hot spots across the country.
A team from Operations Group Bravo is serving in the U.S. Army North Headquarters at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, where the overall Army support mission is directed from.
The process for moving over 100 leaders on short notice depended on the quick reaction of agencies across Fort Leavenworth. “We are incredibly proud of our MCTP leaders who answered our Nation’s COVID-19 call, and greatly appreciate all who enabled their immediate deployment in support of this critical mission,” said Morgan. In addition to sending personnel to support ARNORTH’s task forces, MCTP provided teams to support the Fort Leavenworth emergency operations center, garrison public affairs office and Munson Army Health Center.
Though the first elements of the deployed teams are returning, this mission is not yet complete. The situation on the ground continues to evolve at each of the task forces. Decisions on when additional MCTP personnel will return depend on the mission needs at each task force location. Every returning soldier will quarantine for a 14-day quarantine period upon return.