The U.S. Army III Armored Corps partnered with the Mission Command Training Program to conduct a multinational warfighter exercise over nine days, April 19-27, at Fort Hood and Fort Bliss, Texas.
It involved the corps leading three combat divisions, the 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Armored Division, and the 3rd (United Kingdom) Division, through a large-scale combat operation scenario under a North Atlantic Treaty Organization command structure.
The exercise featured significant evolutions in the training environment. MCTP rolled out a more dynamic scenario and opposing force and additional training stimulus for information-related capabilities.
“We’re constantly finding ways to increase the sophistication of the warfighter exercise,” said Col. Bryan Babich, MCTP Commander. “We want to simulate a realistic and rigorous environment that matches the operational environments the Joint force must be prepared to operate.”
“Warfighter exercises are the premier capstone training events where corps and divisions advance the Army’s understanding of multi-domain operations at scale while providing a critical developmental experience for future senior leaders.”
The Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. James McConville, visited Fort Hood to observe the training event where he suggested the importance of the training’s modernizations.
“We spent the last 20-plus years doing counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and irregular warfare,” said McConville. “We believe the next battle—seen unfold in Ukraine — is going to be large-scale combat operations.”
MCTP instituted a new LSCO scenario for III AC to enable more dynamic decision-making and intel analysis to support those decisions from the start. Normally, corps and divisions face an opposing force in a deliberate defense after invading an allied country. Enemy positions in the areas of operation are typically known, and their courses of action are relatively limited.
The new scenario postured NATO forces as ready to respond to the crisis before the invasion. Once the adversary’s provocation was significant enough to invoke NATO’s Article 5 mutual defense principle, its forces were at the line of departure, ready to confront the OPFOR.
Yet, the response speed introduced more significant unknowns, such as where the adversary would likely attack. Like a grand-chess match, it involved a race by both forces for positioning and key terrain while contesting one another along the way.