21-01 - FY20 Mission Command Training in Large-Scale Combat Operations Mission Command Training Program (MCTP) Key Observations

By Center for Army Lessons LearnedOctober 1, 2020

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During fiscal year 2020 (FY20), the Mission Command Training Program (MCTP) conducted three warfighter exercises (WFXs) supporting the training readiness for one corps headquarters, four division headquarters, and their associated functional/multifunctional brigades. The units trained include Active Army and National Guard component units. Two of the originally scheduled five FY20 WFXs (WFX 21-4 and WFX 21-5) were postponed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The training audiences scheduled for training during the postponed exercises will participate in already scheduled FY21 WFXs.

MCTP continued integration of the following U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM)-directed training requirements, including displacement of division-level command and control nodes; use of tactical communications; division-level wet-gap crossing; and integration of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear capability. MCTP observed improved unit performance in the FORSCOM-directed training requirements and attributed the improvement to shared lessons learned and best practices among training audiences and revised MCTP pre-WFX mission command training.

MCTP uses several avenues to facilitate shared understanding of WFX experiences to educate and inform the force. MCTP recognizes that this key observations bulletin is for use not only by units preparing for WFXs, but by the total army. Beginning in FY21, the MCTP WFX key observations will be published semiannually by the Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL). The new publications will be more portable, pocket-sized books and will remain packed with current and relevant observations. MCTP relies on units to take advantage of training opportunities to prepare for WFXs. The opportunities include the opposing force ride along and unit participation as a higher command, MCTP-assisted Command Post Exercise (CPX) 3. These initiatives better prepare units for WFXs and deployments. Units that utilize these pre-WFX training opportunities tend to field higher-performing staffs at WFXs and enter their WFX better poised to engage the scenario.

This publication starts with an executive summary of common trends that were identified throughout the FY20 WFX program and serve to frame the specific observations found later in this publication. The chapters are arranged to effectively highlight the key observations from FY20 by warfighting function

(WfF) and by echelon. Many of the observations are data points that reinforce what the executive summary describes. The following trends are a distillation of observations compiled from the three FY20 WFXs.

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