With 78,000 acres of maneuver and training area available, Camp Guernsey, Wyoming, provided an adequate training environment for XCTC 21-05, or an eXportable Capability Training Capability, a training exercise which accommodates a brigade-sized unit to train and prepare U.S. Army units in platoon-level proficiency. This exercise also showed the critical aspect of First Army’s coordinated partnership between its active and reserve components in order to support and train the reserve unit in its specific training needs.
Observing and evaluating the supervision of this training is the First Army OC/Ts. The OC/Ts, or observer, coach, and trainers, provide a vital element in testing the reserve unit and ensuring realistic training is operated at the tactical level so the unit-in-training can excel at its brigade-level strategic initiatives.
First Army OC/Ts, like Chief Warrant Officer 4, Lanorris G. Ford, an OC/T of the 157th Infantry Brigade, uses certain strategies to ensure realistic training is achieved, such as telling the unit-in-training to keep firing their weapons after jamming occurs, so that the unit understands the importance of cleaning their weapons to avoid jamming during real military operations.
Being from one of First Army’s active supporting brigades, this active component, the 157th Infantry Brigade, shows the importance of First Army’s active-reserve partnerships; active components bring their full-time experience, knowledge, and skills to the reserve units-in-training, in this case, the 995th Support Maintenance Company, of 130th Field
Artillery Brigade, Kansas National Guard.
This tactical level training, through active and reserve partnerships, supports the strategic-level initiatives of the total force. First Army enables this partnership by utilizing its 10 brigades to support such training. Supporting this training at Camp Guernsey is the 157th Infantry Brigade. Lt. Col. Peter M. Gray, the Battalion Commander of 2nd Battalion, 307th Field Artillery Regiment, 157th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, of Camp Atterbury, Indiana, views his unit as having much more than just a supporting role in this training.
“It’s really a team effort, but what we’re out here to do is to coach and teach, our mission is to advise, assist, coach, teach, and train our National Guard partners, in our case, those are Field Artillery Battalions, but we come together out here to give them sets and reps on those tactical tasks that they’re going to need to execute in combat.”