Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise (EDRE)
If a unit does not participate in large scale exercises often enough to train the unit adequately in deployment procedures, commanders must find alternate methods of training to ensure readiness. Training should focus on particular segments of the deployment operation or key personnel and should rehearse or exercise that one element. Deployment training usually requires a great deal of simulation and challenges commanders to provide realism. Training exercises may range from an emergency deployment readiness exercise (EDRE) to testing the load plan of any given vehicle in the unit.
An EDRE is designed to exercise the movement plans of a unit or higher level to deploy to an overseas theater of operations. All deployable units normally participate in an EDRE annually. If executed realistically, an EDRE can be the most valuable evaluation process for commanders at all levels to determine their strengths and weaknesses in a deployment. An EDRE can be conducted at the company level or as high as the highest level of command.
A properly executed EDRE identifies the need for support personnel, maintenance assistance teams, mess support, security, PSA/DACG, and marshaling and staging area operations. A successful EDRE gives each command level the opportunity to experience the challenge associated with equipment readiness and equipment transfers in deployment. Units with a short notice deployment may have to acquire equipment from sources on the installation. Units must consider the inspection criteria for receiving filler equipment, training needs, new lines of PLL (if filler equipment is issued in lieu of an authorized item), and subsequent alterations to the unit movement plans.
A no-notice battalion emergency deployment readiness exercise (EDRE) is a realistic operation testing all aspects of a battalion's readiness. An EDRE is a rapid deployment exercise for air and ground forces in response to an emergency threat situation. The objective is to minimize response time for deployment while achieving maximum benefit from testing and training opportunities. During an Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise the battalion simulates a rapid deployment.
The XVIII Airborne Corps executes a highly demanding Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise (EDRE) program to ensure all organizations can meet crisis response timelines. Beginning with a portion of the 82nd Airborne Division and Corps headquarters which must be ready to deploy within 18 hours of notification, most of organizations have part or all of their units which must be ready to deploy within 120 hours of alert. To assist units in maintaining this standard, monthly the XVIII Airborne Corps alerts, marshals, conducts crisis action planning and deploys a portion of the force without warning in order to refine these skills and validate this capability.
The 82nd Airborne Division is the only force in the Army that can deploy in 18 hours with sustained combat power. An emergency deployment exercise determines how well paratroopers are prepared to execute their missions and allows the division to test the 18-hour deployment sequence. And there is always the element of surprise. When the call comes in, troopers can never be 100 percent sure if they are deploying for an exercise or the real deal. Most EDREs currently conducted at Ft. Bragg, NC feature minimal realism with limited training opportunities. Time on target is the only significantly measurable parameter. The 82nd Airborne Division Aviation Brigade has participated in almost every emergency deployment readiness exercise, joint readiness training exercise, combined practical exercise, exercise evaluation, joint readiness training center and national training center rotations involving the 82d Airborne Division.
The primary option for the deployment of a Command Post Exercise (CPX) battalion to Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) is to fully integrate the battalion for all parts of the JRTC preparation. This includes deployment on FTXs, OPDs, and as part of the brigade Leaders Training Program (LTP) at Ft. Polk. This battalion can be the third battalion from the brigade or from another brigade in the division (possibly the red cycle battalion). The second option is to conduct a shorter duration CPX. The CPX battalion can follow the brigade to JRTC and integrate into the rotation for one or two missions. This option allows the battalion commander and his staff to maximize their training opportunity and spend a minimum amount of time away from home station. The 101st Airborne (AASLT) Division used this option in January 1997 to conduct a battalion Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise (EDRE).
During an 8-month period in 1998 the 710th Main Support Battalion of the 10th Mountain Division supported the division's class VIII (medical materiel) demands for two Joint Readiness Training Center rotations at Fort Polk, Louisiana, two Sinai deployments, one Panama deployment, and one 96-hour emergency deployment readiness exercise.
On 01 October 1999 approximately 130 soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 508th Airborne Battalion Combat Team, jumped from several C-130 Hercules aircraft about one mile outside of Vitina. The joint effort between the Army and Air Force proved the unparalleled capabilities of U.S. forces. Company A, 1-508th soldiers accomplished their mission by deploying within approximately 24 hours notice during Operation Rapid Guardian, an Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise. The EDRE also showed that U.S. forces are able to rapidly deploy into the war-torn province at a minute's notice.
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