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135th Rear Operations Center (ROC)

In August 1998 the Missouri Army National Guard's 135th Support Detachment Rear Operations Center (ROC) of Kansas City hosted operation "ROC Thunder" - an exercise simulating the 135th's role as a key component in coordinating rear area support. The three day exercise was unique because the 135th , while coordinating with two Guard Units in different states, used cutting edge software to train up without ever leaving their Armory.

The operation utilized SPECTRUM software, which simulates rear area conditions by providing fluid tactical situations, in real-time, over a network of computers. The simulation was very realistic. The software provides a perspective of the big picture of the area of operation, but doesn't let you get away without thinking about every detail. For example, if you forget to feed your people, they die.

The operation marked the first time National Guard troops have utilized the high-tech training tool. Members of the 135th ROC coordinated with the 2nd Simulation Exercise Group, 1st Brigade, 75th Division from Fort Sill, Okla. to host and participate in the exercise. The 607th Military Police Battalion of Fort Worth, Texas and the 530th Military Police Battalion of Omaha, Neb. also participated in the exercise via phone and network connection.

The action flowed faster, and the software keeps constant movement. The tempo of the simulation forced him to coordinate with other participating units more often, and remain mission focused. The big advantage of the SPECTRUM software is that it offers training opportunities seldom available in the field for units of its type. Before the development of SPECTRUM, the unit was forced to self-train in rear operations because so few exercises are played at the Area Support Group (ASG) level.



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