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501st SBDE Operations Center prepares for Warpath III

October 16, 2012

By Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux

CAMP CARROLL, South Korea-- Unblinking grey eyes follow along a digital map depicting troop movements heading north from South Korea. "Attention in the TOC!" The 501st Sustainment Brigade Tactical Operations Center falls silent as Battle Cpt. Barbara Drapeau, briefs the crowded room concerning significant battle activity during the last day of simulated war gaming exercise, Warpath II held at Camp Carroll, Oct 6 2012.

The 501st Sustainment Brigade Operations Cell uses Field and Simulated Training exercises to improve operating procedures in preparation wargaming exercise, Warpath III.

"The 501st SBDE began Warpath training and preparations in mid September and will continue at select locations in the Republic of Korea to train on the 2nd Infantry Division designed exercise scenarios in order to provide a trained and ready force to support 2nd ID and the 8th Army," said Drapeau, 501st SBDE Operations Officer serving as one of her Brigades Battle Captains.

Warpath is a series of Simulated and Command Post training events conducted in three phases used to exercise 2nd ID's wartime mission. 501st SBDE is the primary sustainment element in the event of Contingency Operations.

"The S-3[operations cell] as is commonly referred is the nucleus, the center of all tactical and logistic operations," said Drapeau a Northglenn, Colo., native. "As the battle Captain I keep track of everything that happens on the battlefield, in the TOC, then communicate that information with the Commander, the battalions and the other staff sections"

During the Field and Simulated Training exercises the Operations cell is also responsible for developing, coordinating, tracking and executing the necessary plans and objectives based on the Commanders guidance.

"Not only do we make the plans we have to ensure they are implemented and that the subordinate units are communicating with us," explained Drapeau "Sergeant Major is added enforcement in the TOC and steps in if we are not getting what we need."

The 501st SBDE has four subordinate battalions normally participating in the exercises from different locations around the Korean Peninsula. Each unit has a subordinate Operations cell with a Sergeant Major that must continue to keep the brigade informed.

"The hub of information during any exercise exists within the Operations Cell," said Sgt. Maj. Kelvin Broadnax, 501st SBDE Operations Sergeant Major. "Teamwork, effective communication, and proper situational awareness are essential to improving ourselves as an Operations Cell."

Correct management and distribution of information received from higher headquarters and lower echelons assist us in the pursuit of successful mission accomplishment, whether in an exercise or in real conflict, explained Broadnax.

The Brigade Commander has outlined several key tasks that must be accomplished during these exercises, as the Operations cell they must ensure the training objectives are met.

"Visualization, Understanding, and Assessing the Brigade's mission on the battlefield are paramount to our success," said Broadnax the Operations Cell's senior noncommissioned officer, listing areas he will emphasis during Warpath III in addition to the commanders training objectives

"Even as we are managing these training exercises we are our always improving our skills and processes," concluded Broadnax.

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