OPTEMPO and Full-Spectrum Operations Training

By G3/5/7 for STAND-TO!January 26, 2011

OPTEMPO and Full-Spectrum Operations Training

What is it'

OPTEMPO is an Army program and provides the critical resources required for MTOE units to conduct and support full-spectrum operations (FSO) training, maintain unit equipment, and sustain routine, day-to-day operations. It is the MTOE unit commander's primary means of resourcing unit training and readiness. For an Army BCT, it includes the fuel, repair parts, supplies, and transportation costs the BCT incurs while conducting FSO training.

FSO training prepares Army forces for operations at any point along the spectrum of conflict - whether for peace, unstable peace, insurgency, or general war. FSO training addresses fundamental offense, defense, and stability/civil support tasks units must be prepared to execute during any assigned mission. FSO training provides a doctrinal framework from which units adjust training for a specific assigned mission by selecting specific mission-related FSO-supporting tasks to be trained under assigned mission conditions.

What has the Army done'

The Army has postured itself to support FSO training at home station and the combat training centers based on increased dwell as the demand for forces in support of United States Central Command has decreased. To this end, the Army has adjusted unit-level training strategies for FSO, has adopted a new metric to measure unit training activity (the full spectrum training mile), and has designed full spectrum training scenarios (including both wide-area security and combined arms maneuver) for unit rotations to Army Maneuver Combat Training Centers (MCTC).

OPTEMPO and the associated Army unit-level training strategies represented in FY12 President's budget have been adjusted to allow forces to prepare for contingencies across the spectrum of conflict. Primary changes account for the shift from major combat operations (MCO) to FSO training and for achieving progressive readiness and unit level proficiency enabled by Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN).

What is the Full Spectrum Training Mile (FSTM)'

The new Army OPTEMPO ground metric for measuring training activity, the FSTM, is based on a composite average of key units and vehicles conducting FSO. The previous "Tank Mile" metric was a good indicator of training activity required to prepare for Major Combat Operations, but the FSTM metric more accurately measures FSO training activity for all Army components (AC, ARNG and USAR). The composition of vehicles in the FSTM metric varies by component and includes the M1, M2, M3, Stryker, Up Armored-HMMWV, Medium Tactical Vehicle (MTV) and Palletized Load System (PLS). The composite training mile is more representative of the key units and equipment that conduct FSO training and consume OPTEMPO resources.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future'

As experience with FSO training increases over time, the Army will refine unit-level training strategies and identify essential training enablers to ensure Army units prepare efficiently and effectively for operations anywhere along the spectrum of conflict. Based on the results of these refinements, the FSTM will be refined to ensure the OPTEMPO program supports the needs of unit commanders.