CAMP ATTERBURY, INDIANA. — Advisors with the 3rd, 4th, and 54th Security Force Assistance Brigades trained in the Security Force Assistance Command’s validation exercise, Operation Combined Victory, Aug. 1-28, 2023. This exercise tested Advisors’ ability to operate within a contested information and operational environment, training for Army 2030.
“What we want to do in OCV is challenge those battalions on all of the teams from the very base team level all the way up through maneuver, logistics, the fires and the engineer teams,” said Col. Johnny M. Casiano, 4th Security Force Assistance Brigade commander. “We challenged their advising, supporting, liaising and assessing at the multi-echelon level so that we maximize and leverage an advisor network.”
The training took place at Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Training Center, Indiana. OCV provided scenarios of stressful decision-making in a politically ambiguous, rapidly evolving information and operational environment testing Advisors’ ability to advise, support, liaise and assist a replicated partner force in conflict.
"We understand what the Army needs from us strategically and how we want to amplify operations in the contact layer worldwide,” Casiano stated. "That's where we have teams with an enduring presence today.”
Our Advisor teams have an enduring presence in more than 30 countries at any given time, campaigning across the globe with our Allies and partners.
“OCV has better prepared us for real-world missions by implementing replicated partner forces and their feedback on what to do and how to come together to complete the mission,” said Staff Sgt. David H. Dividu, Senior Support Advisor assigned to 54th Security Force Assistance Brigade, Georgia Army National Guard.
Our National Guard Advisors with the 54th SFAB are critical to meet the nation’s need for a Total Army approach to national security objectives.
“This training has been truthfully helpful in understanding how we would partner with an active-duty unit. Being a traditional National Guardsman, working with active duty and the echelons coming together has been a success,” Dividu stated.
54th SFAB consists of Advisors from all 54 states and territories, ready to deploy globally and augment advising capabilities with our active-duty SFABs. This requires mature, competent and well-trained Advisors.
“The idea is that we are pulling the right people into the organization, exposing them to different cultures, advanced skills, different weapon systems and partner forces with different capabilities. And then we blend the interoperability with the advising, supporting, liaising and assessing overall,” Casiano stated.
OCV utilizes one of the best urban training environments available to US forces and enables contested cross-domain training that replicates threats associated with current theaters of operation.
“In OCV, we simulated the environment that we train in overseas by creating an intranet that we use to kind of practice and get reps in on how we work with our partners,” said Staff Sergeant McGee, Dayton, Network Communication Systems Specialist, assigned to 4th SFAB. “We work with the people who run the facility here to make sure that we've got access to the facility to establish the infrastructure and set up the network.”
Our Signal Advisors worked with the Indiana National Guard to establish a connection between Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Training Center for the first time in history.
OCV provided firsts in more than just information networks. We established a theater support element, providing logistics and support to more than 500 Soldiers within the exercise.
“Our job as the theater support element is to create a similar architecture that an organization would find in a theater sustainment command,” said Maj. Amy Beatty, 3rd Battalion, 353rd Regiment.
“When they are down-range, they would receive base life support locations to stay, food to eat, class three fuel and other similar components for any maintenance equipment or class five items,” said Beatty. “So anything that can be shared between foreign partner nations and our sustainment elements enables us to augment support.”
The theater support element can provide context and connections, which helps complete the overall picture of the theater's sustainment position.
Sustainment is a critical enabler to mission success. The TSE set conditions for Advisors to properly plan, prepare, execute, and access operations in a familiar operational environment.
“We, today are looking at what tomorrow's information and operational environment is looking like and we are designing our training and our exercises to answer that call to be exactly what joint task forces or Army Service Component Command commanders around the globe need us to be on the ground every single time,” said Casiano.