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Battle Command Training Program now Mission Command Training Program

May 12, 2011

By Lt. Col. James D. Crabtree, Mission Command Training Program

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (May 12, 2011) - In keeping with the U.S. Army's move from the use of "battle command" terminology to "mission command," the Battle Command Training Program is changing its name to the Mission Command Training Program.

The move reflects recent changes in Army doctrine and the evolution of training over the last decade for the unit, which is the Army's only worldwide deployable combat training center.

Organized in 1986 as the Battle Command Training Program, the unit was part of a revolution in Army training, a revolution that saw the creation of maneuver combat training centers at Fort Irwin, Calif.; Fort Polk, La.; and in Germany. These combat training centers concentrated on the training of maneuver battalions fighting against a realistic opposing force. For nearly 25 years, BCTP has been a deployable training center that sent teams wherever needed to support commanders as they trained their brigade, division and corps staffs.

In addition to its role of providing a realistic training environment and supporting commanders as they train their staffs, the unit has also served as a reservoir of skilled officers who can supplement the staffs of deploying units conducting contingency missions such as Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and Operation Iraqi Freedom I. In 2010, BCTP received the Army Superior Unit Award, one of the Army's top unit awards, for its unique contributions to U.S. Army readiness and capabilities in 2007-2008.

Its name change to Mission Command Training Program will not affect the organization's training legacy. While the terms mission command and battle command both emphasize the importance of leadership, mission command concentrates on the commander's need to empower operationally adaptive leaders to conduct full-spectrum operations - simultaneous offensive, defensive, and stability or civil support operations - anywhere in the spectrum of conflict.

MCTP will continue to support mission readiness exercises for deployable expeditionary forces. For contingency expeditionary forces, MCTP will support full-spectrum operations exercises against a hybrid threat - a combination of conventional forces, irregular combatants, terrorist organizations and criminal gangs. This emphasis on mission command will be a culture change that will result in more capable, more adaptive units and leaders. MCTP will be placing greater and greater emphasis on full-spectrum exercises over the coming years.

The Mission Command Training Program will continue to serve as a key gate in the Army force generation process and will do its part to keep America's Army the best fighting force in the world.

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