Soldiers of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, conduct a simulated reconnaissance mission during Dagger Crucible III on November 3, 2021 at Fort Riley, Kansas. Dagger Crucible III ensures the combat readiness of the Dagger Brigade while also focusing on warfighting mastery.
Soldiers of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, conduct a simulated reconnaissance mission during Dagger Crucible III on November 3, 2021 at Fort Riley, Kansas. Dagger Crucible III ensures the combat readiness of the Dagger Brigade while also focusing on warfighting mastery. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Joshua Oh) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT RILEY, Kan. — Soldiers of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, tested their skills at Dagger Crucible III, November 1-10, 2021 at Ft. Riley, Kansas.

Dagger Crucible III simulated large-scale combat operations for 2nd ABCT with other Big Red One Soldiers operating as the “enemy”. There were also coaches behind the scenes observing and assessing the exercise at Ft. Riley’s Mission Training Complex.

“Here at Fort Riley, Kansas, we are fortunate to have all the resources we need to conduct these exercises at the Mission Training Complex. At the MTC, we utilize computer-simulated functions that operate as a war game to allow field command posts to tie into scenarios, executing missions in the same manner they would in a real operational environment,” said Col. Geoffrey A. Norman, 1ID Deputy Commanding Officer of Sustainment.

Soldiers of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, fight simulated battles during the Dagger Crucible III on November 3, 2021, at Fort Riley, Kansas. Dagger Crucible III simulated large-scale combat operations for the 2nd ABCT with other Big Red One Soldiers operating as the “enemy.”
Soldiers of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, fight simulated battles during the Dagger Crucible III on November 3, 2021, at Fort Riley, Kansas. Dagger Crucible III simulated large-scale combat operations for the 2nd ABCT with other Big Red One Soldiers operating as the “enemy.” (Photo Credit: Sgt. Joshua Oh) VIEW ORIGINAL

With the 2nd ABCT scheduled for a rotation at the National Training Center (NTC) in February, Lt. Col. Nathan Brookshire, the lead observer coach and trainer for the exercise said he sees this exercise, as a way to hit these focus areas and fine-tune their mission essential tasks before they leave.

“This is their last opportunity to work on their people, processes, and command and control ability before heading to the NTC,” said Brookshire. “We help the brigade see themselves. We see their weaknesses and their strengths and then offer them best practices.”

While Brookshire normally would not work with the 2nd ABCT as a member of the 1ID staff, here he has the unique opportunity to provide critical feedback of the brigade’s operations and observe their processes.

Soldiers of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, tests their skills during Dagger Crucible III, from November 1-10, 2021, at Fort Riley, Kansas. Dagger Crucible III will be the brigade’s last chance to smooth out operations before leaving for their scheduled rotation to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin.
Soldiers of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, tests their skills during Dagger Crucible III, from November 1-10, 2021, at Fort Riley, Kansas. Dagger Crucible III will be the brigade’s last chance to smooth out operations before leaving for their scheduled rotation to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Joshua Oh) VIEW ORIGINAL

“The Brigade must not only learn how to operate efficiently internally, but they also have to work with their higher headquarters and adjacent units, which adds an added level of complexity” said Norman. “Additionally, there are planned events integrated into the exercise to stress specific staff cells. This includes airstrikes, chemical attacks, civilians on the battlefield and cyber threats.”

According to Brookshire, this type of exercise not only ensures the combat readiness of the ‘Dagger’ Brigade but it also ensures that the 1st Infantry Division is focused on warfighting mastery.

“The 1st Infantry Division is getting a lot out of this as well,” said Brookshire. “The division staff working the exercise gets to see what the ‘Dagger’ Brigade is doing and then we can adhere to and achieve those same standards.”