Unlike the numerous exercises that take place on Fort Bliss's sprawling ranges, Talon-Strike and Omni Fusion are executed indoors in temporary Tactical Operation Centers housed within the Future Force Integration Directorate's Battle Command Complex. Following two weeks of ramp up which will begin April 26, Talon-Strike will start May 10, and will be followed by Omni Fusion, which will conclude on May 21. The Army's annual event, now in its fifth year, is designed to evaluate Command and Control at the division level, in a coalition environment.

The Talon strike exercise will take place in a simulated, modern-day environment and Omni Fusion will address predicted capabilities in the future.

"What we are specifically looking at is an accurate representation of enhanced infantry brigade combat teams in today's fight and also in 2017 after it has been equipped with the Brigade Combat Team Modernization's capability packages," said Mike McCarthy, program manager and director of operations for the FFID Battle Command Complex. "This is a training event for the Army Evaluation Task Force, [5th Infantry Brigade Combat Team,1st Armored Division,] while supporting the experiment. We are leveraging it to provide a brigade-level command and control exercise to get to additional AETF training objectives."

McCarthy explained that this event will allow company-level TOCs access to the computers which run the simulation, unlike previous experiments where only the battalion and division level at Fort Leavenworth, Kans., had access. The simulation will be hosted at Leavenworth and distributed electronically to the Land Warfare Center and various locations across the United States, including Tactical Operations Centers on Fort Bliss.

Led by the Combined Arms Center and TRADOC Analysis Center, the experiment will explore interoperability between the United Kingdom and the United States Army and provide solutions for the future.

The multi-echelon event will allow the AETF to train at a division level, unlike their normal testing schedule with the Brigade Combat Team Modernization Program which had only been previously conducted at the battalion level.

To highlight the differences in this year's exercise, McCarthy explained "this year we are using an Afghan scenario with Afghan terrain with different force names. We are modeling the Afghan National Police, and Afghan Nation Army who will be part of the coalition fight."

For more information on the upcoming Talon-Strike and Omni Fusion exercises, contact the FFID Public Affairs Office at 568-4278.