When it comes to saving lives in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere, determining which training approach emphasizes preventing the network from placing the improvised explosive device (IED) vice reacting to the detonation of an IED is the key to addressing the "left of the boom" pre-deployment training. The Combined Arms Center-Training's Collective Training Directorate (CTD) Counter-IED (C-IED) Branch conducted Battle Staff Attack the Network pre-deployment training for the 111th Engineer Battalion, 36th Infantry Division Texas National Guard at Brownwood, Texas and the Special Troops Battalion of 4th Brigade, 1st Armor Division at FT Bliss, Texas in August and September, respectively. Lt. Col. Samuel E. Hales, Commander, 4-1 STB, 4BDE, 1AD, commented that this was the best training his unit has received and that the MTT just instructed his class.

Both units, slated to deploy in support of operations New Dawn (formerly Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom next year, requested CAC-T/CTD's assistance in fulfilling a new CENTCOM-directed requirement to complete Attack the Network (C-IED) training prior to deployment. CTD, the proponent for developing and maintaining a Battle Staff Attack the Network Training Support Package (TSP), facilitated the Battle Staff Attack the Network training via a Mobile Training Team (MTT) with expertise and experience in Intelligence, Military Police, Weapons Intelligence Team, Targeting, Engineers, sniper employment, and battle staff operations. Francisco Melero, Battle Staff Attack the Network Training Support Package - Contract Lead, stated that the main intent of the Attack the Network training is to enhance a staff's knowledge and awareness of IED and sniper threats, while training them on how to integrate and synchronize their planning efforts to attack the network. Prior to the MTT operation, the C-IED Branch personnel, in coordination with the units, tailor the lessons to unit specific requirements, highlighting critical aspects of their specified theater. Each unit requested specific tailored Attack the Network lessons directed at the brigade/battalion battle staff, company and platoon leaders, and enablers (augmentees), depending on the Commander's intent and training objections.

The Battle Staff Attack the Network training walks the battle staff through an Attack the Network (Framework) planning process which consists of addressing six critical capabilities: Understanding the Campaign (Commanders' Intent/End State), Understanding the Environment, Understanding the Network, Organize for the Fight, Defeat the Network, and Assess. To help battle staffs Understand the Campaign, the MTT utilizes an Attack the Network introductory lesson that captures the importance of understanding the commander's intent and end state with respect to the overall mission and friendly forces (Host Nation) capability and operations. To facilitate Understanding the Environment and the significant characteristics of the human terrain and civil considerations, the MTT focuses on two lessons PMESII+PT (Political, Military, Economic, Social, Infrastructure, Information, Physical environment, and Time) and ASCOPE (Areas, Structures, Capabilities, Organizations, People, and Events). Today's complex population-centric operational environment centers on urban areas, fighting against small radical groups in the midst of large populations of varying cultures. To separate and target the network participants from the surrounding population and to assist with building the concept of operations, the analytical tools of PMESII+PT and ASCOPE help commanders and battle staffs focus on what to look for within the human terrain and how to respond accordingly.

The next four Lessons (The IED, Intelligence, Forensics, and Biometrics) focus the battle staffs on Understanding the Network and its threat characteristics to ensure actions are attributed to a specific network. In Organize for the Fight, a battle staff must identify specific requirements to match appropriate enablers to the target which are addressed during the ISR, Site Exploitation, and Enablers lessons. In essence, these lessons highlight the multitude of enablers (and their applicability) available to a unit when conducting Attack the Network operations. The battle staff must then select and prioritize targets (lethal and non-lethal) and match an appropriate response in order to mitigate, neutralize, or defeat the network. The Targeting lesson addresses the Defeat the Network capability by walking the battle staff through the targeting process in relation to the network. The Targeting lesson also captures new Tactical, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) by emphasizing the Warrant/Prosecution-Based Targeting or Law Enforcement-centric approach, employed in Iraq since the implementation of the 2009 Security Agreement between the United States and the Government of Iraq.

To complete the training and address the Assess critical capability step, MTT personnel present a Measures of Effectiveness class which walks a battle staff through the assessment process. Practical exercises or functional (Intelligence, Command and Control - battle staff) mentor sessions are conducted either immediately after a lesson or at the end of platform training, depending on the Commander's training objectives and time. These practical exercises and mentor sessions are designed to reinforce the training objectives.

The Battle Staff Attack the Network training addresses battle staffs' training gaps, as well as the fundamentals of mission planning as described in the military decision making process (MDMP). The training, conducted during the Train/Ready phase of ARFORGEN, concentrates on mission essential tasks (Collective Tasks), combat readiness requirements, enhanced survivability in an operational environment, and enhanced overall mission success (stability).

Lt. Col. Mark Martinez's (C-IED Branch Chief) initial target audience was the Active Duty units who are designated to deploy in support of New Dawn and OEF, but is now expanding with planned MTT operations in November 2010 and February 2011 to the Reserve and the National Guard units who have also received orders to deploy to theater.

IEDs (explosively formed projectiles (EFP), vehicle-borne, personal-borne, house-borne, etc) continue to be the number one killers of Coalition forces in theater. Attack the Network and C-IED training has become an enduring requirement and CTD's Battle Staff Attack the Network TSP and MTT stand ready to assist units as they conduct their pre-deployment training.
For information and to schedule training, please contact Cape Rust at 913-684-7205 or email cape.rust@us.army.mil. For access to the Battle Staff Attack the Network Training Support Package, go to https://cacnet2.army.mil/site/ctd/std/cied.

Based at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the U.S. Army's Combined Arms Center-Training delivers training programs, products and services to leaders and units in support of Army readiness. Wherever Army training occurs, the Combined Arms Center-Training helps make it happen. To learn more about the Combined Arms Center-Training, visit http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cac-t/, www.facebook.com/usacactraining or www.twitter.com/usacactraining.