SAGAMI GENERAL DEPOT, Japan – The 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade hosted a Rehearsal of Concept Drill at the Mission Training Complex here April 19-23. The ROC Drill served as a visual learning aide that allowed leaders to sit side by side as they communicated their concepts of operation, describing the sequence of events in detailed phases.
The event focused on answering questions within the analytical framework of Army war-fighting challenges that address how to conduct wide-area security, communication, and medical operations; religious affairs support; arms maneuver; sustainment operations; and air defense joint and bilateral interoperability.
“This was a rehearsal, but the threat is real,” said Col. Matthew W. Dalton, 38th ADA commander. “Conducting this rehearsal helps commanders and staff visualize the plan, identify gaps, and request resources. We need to routinely refine our concepts of operation, so during contingency operations, leaders and Soldiers have a common understanding of our mission and responsibilities to ensure mission success.”
The 38th ADA commander maintains mission command of U.S. Army Air and Missile Defense forces in Japan and Guam and supports U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, and U.S. Forces Japan by providing Integrated Air and Missile Defense oversight.
“We constantly train to integrate our networks and defense systems to increase readiness with joint and bilateral partners,” said Dalton. “We need to execute our wartime mission at a moment’s notice.”
Brigade subject matter experts gathered to identify complex problems and holistic solutions to shape the brigade’s operational framework.
“The ROC drill helps leadership throughout the formation visualize the operation from start to finish and discuss how each element contributes to the course of action in time, space, and purpose,” said Maj. Joshua Withington, brigade operations officer in charge. “The development of shared understanding allows us to ensure we are all capable of executing within the commander’s intent during contingency when wartime fog and friction are inevitably introduced.”
Being the newest Air Defense brigade in the U.S. Army, reactivating a little more than two years ago, presented its challenges to establishing many of the battle drills and courses of action.
“The ROC Drill allowed command teams, staff members, and special staff with varying specialties to overcome challenges together by applying their knowledge, experience, and lessons-learned from past events to ensure we establish the best courses of action for our brigade,” said Maj. Erin A. Stevens, all-source intelligence officer. “It represented an important opportunity to advance senior leader understanding and guidance on the future of Army Air Defense throughout the Indo-Pacific theater.”
Soldiers contributed to the event by creating visual aids, including a large map depicting the Indo-Pacific region and moveable unit asset icons.
“I mostly work with communication equipment, but the ROC Drill allowed me to recreate a map with members of the operations section, meticulously cutting each geographical piece out and positioning them correctly to give participants a better understanding of all the moving parts during the event,” said Spc. Ernest A. Green, nodal network system operator. “It took me out of my comfort zone, but looking at the bigger picture, literally, it was well worth the effort.”
Cultivating concepts of operation requires the continuance of proven training, but can be improved by implementing new processes developed through analysis and rehearsals. At the end of the day, prioritizing how we operate keeps the 38th ADA a multifaceted AD brigade capable of mobilizing the best assets available to complete the mission.