By Maj. Eric VerzolaJanuary 31, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas -- Observer/trainers from the Battle Command Training Program's Operations Group Alpha conducted a mission rehearsal exercise, or MRX, from Jan. 23 to Jan. 28 at Fort Hood, Texas.
The MRX assisted the 1st Cavalry Division to prepare for replacing Combined Joint Task Force 101 in Regional Command, East under NATO's International Security Assistance Force. They are scheduled to begin duty in Afghanistan this spring.
The division deployed to Iraq three times previously, since 2003. This scheduled deployment is the unit's first rotation to Afghanistan.
The division will support the government of Afghanistan by working closely with Afghan officials and NATO forces, performing counter-insurgency operations, training and equipping the Afghan national security forces and assisting with reconstruction.
The MRX challenged the division's leaders to interact effectively with the NATO higher command and subordinate task forces assigned to RC-E.
Battle Command Training Program Operations Group Alpha partnered with U.S. Joint Forces Command in conducting the MRX. Battle Command Training Program Operations Group Alpha and U.S. Joint Forces Command worked together to design, develop, plan and conduct the MRX.
Battle Command Training Program Operations Group Alpha executed the first week of the exercise, while U.S. Joint Forces Command conducted the second half. The MRX focused on multiple challenges the division will encounter in Afghanistan, to include counterinsurgency, economic development and reconstruction.
The Battle Command Training Program assists the chief of staff of the Army in fulfilling his obligation to provide trained and ready units to win decisively on the modern battlefield and to conduct contingency operations. Based at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the Battle Command Training Program prepares commanders and their staffs for warfighting overseas and in the contemporary operations environment.
Maj. Pat Wentz, an Operations Group Alpha observer/trainer, said, "It was extremely gratifying to see the current operations and engineer sections grow in their ability to disseminate orders and guidance, manage running estimates and control current operations for the division."
"It was an honor to help the 'First Team' in preparation for its historic mission and deployment to Afghanistan," Wentz added.
The exercise worked in conjunction with Maj. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, the 1st Cavalry Division commanding general, and his staff in preparing for battle command in Afghanistan.
During the MRX, the division dealt with a scenario that included U.S. forces supporting Afghan units in counter-insurgency operations; exercising command and control of an integrated force; dealing with resource prioritization and allocation; developing, planning and executing a single unified communications effort; assessing and assisting Afghan Nation Security Forces; working with local and regional Afghan leaders; and sustaining the force in an environment that effectively replicates the logistical demands of the operation area.
Operations Group Alpha commander, Col. Jack Flowers, called the effort "another absolute stellar effort by every member of Operations Group Alpha during the MRX for First Cav. Their hard work to prepare these Soldiers for their historic first mission as a division headquarters in this area of operation will greatly assist the government of Afghanistan to create a secure and safe environment for its people," he said.
Based at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the U.S. Army's Battle Command Training Program provides training for commanders and staffs so they can fight and win in a wide spectrum of warfighting environments. Battle Command Training Program provides experienced and knowledgeable trainers who employ sophisticated simulations to help maximize unit readiness.
The Battle Command Training Program is part of the Combined Arms Center-Training, which 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 Battle Command Training Program and the Combined Arms Center-Training, visit http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cac-t/.