The Mission Command Training Program change of command ceremony was July 14, 2023 at McHugh Training Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The occasion marked the welcome of the 21st MCTP commander, Col. Richard J. Ikena, Jr. and farewell to Col. Bryan L. Babich.
The change of command at MCTP is significant as it highlights 36 years of modernization and adaptability of one of the most significant institutions that provides leadership and innovation on how the Army trains and fights echelons above brigade.
Through the evolution of the organization from the Battle Command Training Program to its current MCTP structure, the organization has continuously adapted to meet the Army’s mission.
Combined Arms Center-Training Deputy Commander Col. Scott Woodward presided over the ceremony. Woodward thanked Babich for his endless efforts during his tenure and highlighted the challenges of transitioning the Army’s way of thinking of warfighting from counterinsurgency operations back to large-scale combat operations.
“The Mission Command Training Program continues to create training experiences that enable Army senior commanders to prepare units for large-scale combat operations,” Woodward said. “Most, if not all, of today’s general officers have been through an MCTP Warfighter exercise.”
Babich was responsible for leading the first Pacific Scenario Warfighter Exercise under the direction of U.S. Army Pacific to adapt to the way we fight, as a joint force. The exercise proved fundamental in establishing the foundation of how MCTP will continue to evolve warfighter exercises to deliver realistic training for army divisions and corps.
During his remarks, Babich thanked many of the organization's leaders that ensured the success of the overall MCTP mission.
“You are kindred spirits in the urgency to make sure that we are giving the proper training for our Army to fight and win our nation’s wars,” Babich said. “That’s the foundation of MCTP.”
Babich spoke about how important the people who make up MCTP are, and said the people make the organization highly effective.
“MCTP’s mission is deadly serious and it’s about urgency,” Babich said. “It’s good that we’re thinking of modernization. It’s good that we’re thinking how we are going to transform this Army for future conflicts, but we always know that it could be ‘fight tonight.’"
Babich assumed responsibility of the Mission Command Center of Excellence in June.
Ikena’s previous assignment was as the 1st Infantry Division Artillery Commander, Fort Riley, Kan. He said he was committed to providing everything he has to the continued success of the organization.
“With clarity and purpose and a deep love for soldiering, as well as being a lifelong, passionate learner, I am humbled for the opportunity to join this great team of teams,” Ikena said.
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command U.S. Army Combined Arms Center US Army Combined Arms Center-Training U.S. Army Mission Command Center of Excellence U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) 1st Infantry Division Fort Irwin Fires Center 1st. Division-Artillery