FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kansas –- The Mission Command Training Program executed its first warfighter exercise of the fiscal year to support the training and certification of the Army's V Corps in a training environment distributed across Fort Stewart, Ga., Fort Riley, Kan., and Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany, September 26 – October 6.
"Warfighter Exercise 22-1 served as the capstone training event for this headquarters, certifying us as the Army's fourth warfighting corps," said Lt. Gen. John Kolasheski, commanding general, V Corps.
The exercise involved V Corps commanding the Army's 3rd Infantry Division and 34th Infantry Division in a large-scale combat operations scenario against a peer threat, notionally based in Europe. It allowed V Corps to train and demonstrate its ability to command and control combat divisions and a diverse set of combat enablers to perform multi-domain operations against a formidable adversary.
"The warfighter is a nine-day sprint in large scale ground combat operations," said Col. Robert Molinari, Chief of Operations Group A, Mission Command Training Program, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center. "It is rigorous, complex, and very time intensive."
"It's the only time our corps and divisions are collaboratively immersed against an unfriendly competitor, where they're forced to really understand and improve their wartime mission."
The simulation presented some challenging scenarios for V Corps against MCTP's world-class opposing force. It allowed them to experience first-hand the complexity of conducting multi-domain operations and the gravity of large-scale combat operations.
It exercised all of V Corps’ warfighting functions and elements of combat power across domains with heavy emphasis on lethal and non-lethal fires and employment of all its information-related capabilities. It even allowed replication of military deception that V Corps and the OPFOR performed against one another.
Multi-domain operations entail operating in all domains (sea, land, air, space, cyber) simultaneously. The new operating concept has driven the Army to modernize its training for great power competition. Warfighter exercises' newest capabilities are a product of MDO modernization efforts by Training and Doctrine Command to keep pace with evolving operational environments and Army doctrine.
"The rigor and complexity of the warfighter allowed them [V Corps] to build their team and better understand each other," said Molinari. They gave 110 percent daily and were receptive to coaching and observations.
"Every single day, across the board, they got better, which I know will assist them going forward with whatever requirements U.S. Army Europe-Africa has for them," said Molinari.
Established only a year ago, V Corps is now officially trained and ready as it assumes its new post as the U.S.'s forward-deployed corps in Europe. The new formation gives the U.S. European Command a command and control capability to support U.S. interests, allies, and partners in the region, according to Army officials.
The warfighter exercise proved to be a historic milestone in the renewed history of the organization.
"The difference between this exercise and the last exercise is that this is like our exam," said Sgt. Maj. Michael Lamkins, operations, training, and plans (G3/5/7) sergeant major, V Corps.
"Coming through this exercise successfully and meeting our training objectives signals to the United States Army, the Department of Defense, and, frankly, to the whole world that V Corps is ready to assume its role as a warfighting headquarters," said Lamkins.