By Sgt. Tiffany EvansApril 6, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - As 10th Mountain Division (LI) Headquarters prepares for its deployment to Afghanistan later this year, Soldiers have spent last week and this week participating in a command post exercise at the Battle Command Training Center on post.
A major part of the CPX has been stability operations seminars, in which government, military and civilian personnel who have been in Afghanistan recently or who have a thorough knowledge of the current situation brief division personnel.
"We are getting a perspective from all of these people, which we will include into our training and future operational design as we get to our tactical training," said Maj. Gen. James L. Terry, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander. "I know enough about Afghanistan that I know I'll never know enough."
Many of the division Soldiers have been to Iraq recently, but Iraq and its people are different in many ways from Afghanistan and its people, Terry said.
"This is the start of our learning process before we deploy," said Brig. Gen. Jeffery Bannister, deputy commander-operations. "This exercise will help educate us early on so we can organize ourselves for our mission. Another purpose of the CPX is to increase our situational awareness and understanding of Afghanistan."
The seminars include discussion of politics and culture, developments, and understanding of the people, as well as strategies being used now that will help the division prepare its own strategy, Bannister said.
"I talked about the current conditions in Afghanistan," said Todd Greentree, U.S. State Department employee. "Mainly, I discussed the strategy and policy in Regional Command South, where the division is headed."
Greentree said he was happy to be involved in the CPX, because exercises like this one are important for Soldiers gearing up for deployment.
"It's great to see incoming units learn about what strategies are in place and working or not working over in Afghanistan," Greentree said. "This will allow the division commander and his staff to develop a working strategy before the upcoming deployment."
Sgt. 1st Class Delmar Shipp, who works in the division Provost Marshal's Office, sat in on the seminars where he said he learned a lot and gained a better overall picture of the situation in Afghanistan.
"This exercise is helping to give us an overall perspective on the cultural and political aspects of Afghanistan, along with the many different and varied people of Afghanistan," Shipp said. "All in all, this exercise has been very helpful so far and has helped to expand my personal knowledge of Afghanistan and its people."