UNDISCOLOSED LOCATION – Soldiers from the 28th Infantry Division who are deployed to the Middle East participated in Exercise Juniper Oak 2023.
The Soldiers supporting Task Force Spartan deployed their division tactical command, or DTAC, during the exercise, which enhanced interoperability between the U.S. and Israeli militaries.
“Attention in the DTAC! Weapons are armed,” called Staff Sgt. Ryan Jimmerson, fires noncommissioned officer with the 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan, communicating to the staff that the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems were ready to fire.
The small staff of Soldiers in the DTAC coordinated communications among various countries, levels of command, and units with different mission objectives. Within Task Force Spartan, the DTAC supported aviation, infantry, and field artillery (or fires) assets during their training with the Israel Defense Force.
Jimmerson said the HIMARS coordination was particularly challenging.
“Our mission is multi-faceted,” said Jimmerson. “Working with our partners in the Air Force, our Joint Tactical Air Control operators, and the Israel Defense Force, we designated targets and coordinated through the HIMARS battery on ground for the fire mission.”
One of the training wrinkles was integrating the Israelis into the fires process, said Jimmerson. The fire missions were conducted by U.S. Army HIMARS and Israeli Multiple Launch Rocket Systems in a combined series of fire missions.
Exercise Juniper Oak 2023 was the largest U.S.-Israel partnered exercise in history, involving about 6,400 U.S. troops and more than 1,500 Israeli troops, according to U.S. Central Command.
Developing the combined fire mission teamed Soldiers from U.S. Central Command, U.S. Army Central, Task Force Spartan, and more with their Israeli partners. All echelons of command had to develop the plan quickly and execute the mission in Israel – an added challenge for leaders separated by a time difference of more than eight hours.
The ability to plan, deploy and execute was demonstrated by the success of the planners leading up to the execution of the mission and by the skill and expertise of the Soldiers on the ground from Task Force Spartan and the IDF.
“Attention in the DTAC! End of mission!” Jimmerson called Jan. 26, signaling the completion of another successful Task Force Spartan mission.