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Friedberg Local Training Area, Germany

In 1998 the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division noted that it was consistently unable to train to standard due to severe maneuver restrictions at Friedberg Training Area. This prompted the 7th ATC to explore options for increasing maneuver space at Friedberg, and at Schweinfurt Training Areas. The Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) at Colorado State University (CSU) is a longstanding partner of USAREUR and the 7th Army Training Command (ATC). By mid-2001 CEMML had completed two major projects for the 7th ATC; one involving proposed expansion of the training areas at Schweinfurt and Friedberg, the other a comprehensive survey of the flora at CMTC Hohenfels.

The Friedberg Training Area is large enough to accommodate platoon-sized maneuvers, but thick forest cover currently limits maneuver space and lines of sight. CEMML was tasked to determine how the proposed expansions would affect potential soil erosion and visual impact. At Friedberg, using the recommended width of 400-700 meters for the additional training lanes, four lanes were found to be feasible. By overlapping the lanes, the diversity of training scenarios was maximized. As expected, given the steep slopes at Friedberg, soil erosion will be severe if the lanes are deforested. To determine the visual impact of the proposed deforestation for the increased maneuver space, CEMML used a digital elevation model of the training areas and simulated views of the training areas from several surrounding communities using a GIS. At Friedberg, the maneuver lanes would be visible only from communities north of the training area, as proposed buffer strips effectively block views from other directions.

Force protection and survivability aren't the first terms that come to mind with Army signal soldiers training. But they were top priorities when soldiers of V Corps' 22nd Signal Brigade deployed in December 2001 for an eight-day exercise in Friedberg, Germany. Of course, the "communicators," from companies of the brigade's 440th and 32nd Signal Battalions also sharpened their signal skills during exercise "Eagle Warrior," as the training rotated the units into realistic tactical scenarios to prepare them for operations ranging from mid-intensity conflict to stability and support operations. The focus of the training was to develop and train junior leaders in communications "node centers," V Corps' major command and control communications systems on the battlefield. The training is designed to increase the units' communications and force protection skills in an austere tactical environment. During the training, platoons encountered scenarios that included nuclear, biological and chemical attacks, snipers, ambushes and even dealing with news reporters and civilians on the battlefield. The exercise scenario depicted V Corps conducting offensive operations and pushing the enemy on the battlefield. Node center platoons worked to "jump" their node centers and connect command posts on the battlefield as V Corps moved forward, to allow the corps to maintain its offensive tempo.



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