This appendix provides an overview of training exercises. It also tells how commanders select the exercise they train.
Training exercises provide an excellent environment for the simultaneous performance of multiechelon training activities to evaluate and to sustain the skills of soldiers, leaders, teams, staffs, and units. Exercises simulate battle conditions to train leaders under mission-unique conditions and standards for applying the best tactics, techniques, and procedures to the unit METT-T. Some exercises use minimal troop support in providing commanders and staffs realistic practice in executing wartime missions. Other exercises combine units, including other services, to train critical teamwork and synchronization skills. Some goals associated with training exercises are--
Commanders select a particular training exercise or combination of exercises based on specific training objectives and on available resources (Figure C-1). When selecting exercises, commanders must consider several key questions:
- Who will be trained (soldiers, leaders, teams, or units)?
- What are the training objectives?
- Which, if any, of the training exercises are most suitable to accomplish each objective?
- What are the available resources (time, training areas, equipment, money)?
- Which of the training exercises or combination will help meet the training objectives within the available training resources?
Figure C-1. Realism versus level of resourcing.
To accomplish training objectives for all mission essential tasks, commanders often must be innovative. Their units may be untrained in certain tasks because they lack the proper resources. A common example is the task Conduct a River Crossing. Many installations do not have a river that is wide enough or that has crossing sites. However, most of the subtasks associated with a tactical river crossing do not require water. Preparation of Units, Assembly Area Operations, Engineer Regulating Points, Equipment Holding Areas, Preparation of Approaches, Fire Support, Security Measures, Command and Control, and many other tasks can be trained using any of the exercises described in this appendix. Of course, the engineer bridge company needs to train in water, as do combat arms units when training with rubber boats or other crossing equipment. Positioning an armored vehicle launched bridge (AVLB) at the motor pool rear gate, however, will enable squad leaders and vehicle commanders to practice guiding vehicles onto and off a bridge or raft. The key is to focus on the METL and to break tasks down into subtasks that can be trained.
Pre-execution and precombat checks (see Chapters 3 and 4) are tailored to specific exercises. Leaders must provide time on the training schedule for prerequisite training prior to the execution of the selected exercise. Prerequisite training is essential to ensure that soldiers, leaders, and units are prepared and ready to properly execute the exercises.
The exercises discussed in this appendix are: MAPEX, TEWT, FCX, CPX, STX, CFX, LCX, FTX, and LFX. Chapter 4 contains examples of a CFX and an FTX. Commanders and leaders can use the exercise matrix at Figure C-2 to determine which exercise provides training on a specific function. For example, a commander may want to conduct training on engineer systems. He could use MAPEX, TEWT, CPX, CFX, and FTX to train his soldiers, leaders, or unit.
The MAPEX portrays military situations on maps and overlays. It requires a minimum number of support personnel and may be conducted in garrison or in the field. When conducted in garrison, it is low-cost in terms of training dollars and facilities; it is an excellent training tool for a resource-constrained unit. Communications equipment may be used. A MAPEX helps the commander train his staff and leaders in planning, coordinating, and executing operations tasks on map boards, chalkboards, training mock-ups, and sand tables. It is an excellent training tool before conducting other more costly exercises. A MAPEX trains the following:
- Functioning as an effective team.
- Exchanging information.
- Preparing estimates.
- Giving appraisals.
- Making recommendations and decisions.
- Preparing plans.
- Issuing orders.
- Coordinating execution of orders.
A MAPEX can be conducted internally at platoon, company, and battalion level or externally with a brigade or division MAPEX. It should include all the leadership of attached and supporting elements. Figure C-3 shows personnel (as a minimum) that should attend.
The TEWT is conducted on actual terrain with unit leaders and staffs, without soldiers. A TEWT allows the battalion TF or company commander to train his staff and subordinate leaders. It also allows him to analyze, plan, and present how he would conduct an operation on the actual terrain.
TEWTs are normally conducted internally. Because only the battle staff and selected support personnel are involved, the TEWT is an inexpensive way to familiarize leaders with the area of operations.
Figure C-2. Exercise selection matrix.
Figure C-2 (continued).
A TEWT can be used to train personnel--
- To analyze terrain.
- To employ units according to terrain analysis.
- To emplace weapons systems to best support the unit's mission.
- To prepare and validate plans.
- To plan CS and CSS operations.
Figure C-4 shows TEWT participants.
The FCX is used to train the combined arms team chain of command and related fire control elements to rapidly synchronize fires on the battlefield. The exercise can use reduced-scale targets and ranges to depict combat situations. The chain of command must respond in the form of maneuver and fire coordination techniques and procedures. Each subunit is represented by a single weapon system which can be equipped with a subcaliber device and commanded by platoon or section leader.
Figure C-3. MAPEX participants.
Commanders use FCXs--
- To develop the chain of command into a team.
- To synchronize fires within the combined arms team.
- To train the chain of command prior to a live fire exercise.
- To exercise the communications net.
- To assist in integrating new weapons system.
- To portray a rapidly changing situation for the chain of command to react to.
FCXs are normally used to train platoon through-battalion level. The entire task force chain of command can be trained. Figure C-5 shows participants.
The CPX may be conducted in garrison or in the field. It requires the establishment of the command post. When compared with the MAPEX or TEWT, it represents a greater commitment of soldiers' time and resources. A CPX is an expanded MAPEX for staff and all commanders to lead and control tactical operations by using tactical communications systems. Often the CPX is driven by a simulation or is part of a larger exercise. Normal battlefield distances between CPs may be reduced. A CPX trains commanders and staff--
- To build teamwork and cohesion.
- To exchange information by proper reporting IAW tactical SOPs.
- To prepare estimates, plans, and orders.
- To establish and employ tactical communications.
- To displace headquarters and command posts.
- To integrate synchronized BOS.
Figure C-5. FCX participants.
Battalions and companies may participate in a CPX as part of a larger force (brigade, division, and corps); they also may conduct internal CPXs. Figure C-6 shows minimum personnel required.
STXs are mission-related, limited exercises designed to train one collective task, or a group of related tasks and drills, through practice. STXs teach the standard, preferred method for carrying out the task. They are more flexible than drills and usually include drills, leader tasks, and soldier tasks. STXs may be modified, based on the unit METL, or expanded to meet special mission requirements. To ensure standardization, service schools develop STXs to teach the doctrinally preferred way to perform specific missions or tasks.
Figure C-6. CPX participants.
The company commander trains STXs and other similar exercises while platoons execute combat and crew drills. The battalion commander does the same for company exercises. The battalion commander assigns his staff to evaluate and assist with the STX. The STX's final objective is to prepare units for larger scale exercises.
Prerequisite training for the STX is progressive with heavy emphasis on drills. "Close-in" or local training follows with drills executed in a tactical setting using MILES. Using TEWTs, sand tables, and simulation, the STX should bring C2 elements to a high level of proficiency.
An STX may be conducted like a CFX. The maneuver elements participate with slice elements (represented with only a portion of their personnel and equipment). An FA battery, for example, may be represented by a single howitzer section and fire direction center (FDC). An air cavalry troop may be represented by two or three helicopters. All elements must work together as they would in actual combat. There are no administrative aspects to the exercise. Vehicles that are destroyed must be evacuated under combat conditions. Calls for fire must be computed and shot using either full-service or subcaliber ammunition. Figure C-7 is an example of an example of an infantry platoon STX.
The CFX lies on a scale between the CPX and FTX. Available resources determine where the CFX fits on the scale. The CFX can also be a backup for the FTX if maneuver damage, weather, or other factors prohibit the planned FTX. The CFX is an FTX with reduced unit and vehicle density, but with full C2, CS, and CSS elements. For example, the platoon leader in his vehicle represents the entire platoon. Or a battery HQ, the FDC, and base gun represent an artillery firing battery.
CFXs are excellent vehicles for training leaders and staff with full command, control, communications, and logistical systems. They are less expensive and exercise intersystem linkages and real distances. They sharpen unit skills in such areas as--
- Fire support.
- Slice integration.
- Rear area operations.
- Command, control, and communications.
A CFX can train as much, or as little, of the task force as necessary, depending on the commander's assessment and training objectives.
LCXs allow leaders to become proficient at conducting unit sustainment operations such as supply, transportation, medical, personnel replacement, maintenance, and graves registration. LCXs provide a valuable, hands-on opportunity to deal with combat-related challenges of these activities. Most important, leaders can develop the SOPs so essential to their effective accomplishment. An LCX--
- Clarifies key elements of the battalion or TF logistics apparatus.
- Exercises the flow of logistical information.
- Incorporates a tactical war game that produces a wide variety of logistical requirements.
- Allows plenty of opportunity for instruction and critique.
- Exercises the communications network.
Figure C-7. Infantry platoon STX example.
Figure C-8 shows the leaders and soldiers who normally conduct LCXs.
Figure C-8. LCX participants.
As the primary leaders and soldiers train for the exercise, the interplay of CSS activities can be fully examined. Unit SOPs can be developed, modified, and verified. As proficiency in logistical operations is attained, LCX can be tied to other task force exercises to complete the integration of CSS with other combat operations.
FTXs are conducted under simulated combat conditions in the field. FTXs fully integrate the total force in a realistic combat environment. They involve combat arms, CS, and CSS units. FTXs encompass such training as battle drills, crew drills, and STXs to reinforce soldier and collective training integration. They are used to train the commander, staff, subordinate units, and slice elements--
- To move and maneuver units realistically.
- To employ organic weapons systems effectively.
- To build teamwork and cohesion.
- To plan and coordinate supporting fires.
- To plan and coordinate logistical activities to support tactical operations.
LFXs are resource-intensive; player units maneuver and employ organic and supporting weapons systems using full-service ammunition. LFXs integrate all combat arms, CS, and CSS elements. The extensive range and resource requirements usually limit them to platoon and company team levels. Consequently, their principal focus is unit and weapons integration at company team level. LFXs provide realistic training on collective and soldier skills in such areas as--
- Fire control and distribution.
- Command and control in a noisy, confusing environment.
- Individual movement techniques.
- Integration of all fire support assets.
- Small-unit tactics.
- Weapons, demolitions, and other pyrotechnics not used in other exercises.
- Safety awareness.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|