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Military

CHAPTER 3

Conduct of Training Exercises

INITIAL CONSIDERATIONS

The training exercises described in this chapter provide the preferred methods to teach, sustain, and reinforce individual and collective skills. They provide training methods to develop, sustain, and evaluate command and control skills. They are essential team-building tools, inasmuch as they teach the employment of the internal and external systems necessary to coordinate and integrate combined arms and services teamwork in order to fight and win air-land battles.

Training exercises are a vital part of the spectrum of training. Commanders use them to train individual, leader, and collective skills in battle staff, survivability, and combined arms and services training. Commanders select a particular training exercise or combination of exercises based on specific training objectives and on available resources. They select the specific training exercise that will best attain their objectives and expend the fewest resources.

COMMAND AND CONTROL PROFICIENCY

In order to conduct successful maneuvers or FTXs at battalion level and above, commanders and their staffs must already be proficient in fundamental command and control skills. The exercises described in this chapter train staffs to issue orders in a timely sequence so that the available combat power can be committed at the right place and time. Exercises allow commanders to train their staffs--

  • To prepare orders to maneuver or move units.
  • To plan and coordinate fire support.
  • To integrate all supporting systems.

CONTENTS

INITIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Command and Control Proficiency

Active Involvement

Autonomy

MAP EXERCISES

Description

Phases

TACTICAL EXERCISES WITHOUT TROOPS

Description

Phases

COMMAND POST EXERCISES

Description

Phases

FIELD TRAINING EXERCISES

Description

Phases

COMMAND FIELD EXERCISES

Description

Phases

LIVE-FIRE EXERCISES

Description

Phases

FIRE COORDINATION EXERCISE

DEPLOYMENT EXERCISES

JOINT TRAINING EXERCISES

COMBINED TRAINING EXERCISES

Engineer barrier plans, for example, must be coordinated with final protecting fires. Battalion battle positions and natural obstacles must be tied to engineer tank obstacles. Where appropriate, exercises should use automated data information and automated data processing (ADP) systems to teach operators to support staff requirements. Moreover, scenarios should be intense enough to stretch ADP systems in providing timely information.

ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT

Commanders must caution their staffs to recognize that reality is the basis for decision making. Operations centers, current situation maps, and ADP printouts are not reality. They are no more accurate than the fragmentary information fed into the tactical operations center (TOC). Decision making must ultimately rely upon the commander's judgment based upon his personal observation of the battlefield. The purpose of the staff training through simulations, TEWTs, and ultimately major exercises is to teach unit teamwork and the proper preparation of estimates and orders in support of the commander.

The well-trained staff assists the commander in recognizing the critical actions unfolding on the battlefield. The commander positions himself behind the main effort to encourage his soldiers, to see the battle develop, and to be in position to make the critical decisions that will determine the outcome of the battle. The staff members take the commander's decisions and use their communications and their teamwork to make maximum combat power available to implement his decisions. Exercises teach the unit to achieve this vital teamwork that enables the commander to translate his decisions into actions that produce a decisive advantage at the critical period of the battle.

AUTONOMY

The commander teaches his staff to operate without him. Inasmuch as he can seldom be at the TOC except to receive a periodic update during periods of reduced activity, the commander uses a series of exercises to train the staff. He ensures they are capable of continuous operations by insisting upon designation and observance of working shifts. The next war is unlikely to be a short war. Consequently, the commander must teach the staff to make operations routine, allowing personnel to be rested and alert for their tour of duty. To avoid a break in duty personnel thoroughly abreast of the tactical situation, officer and NCO shifts should not coincide.

The commander should receive an update briefing from the staff upon his return to the TOC. This practice requires the staff to maintain an estimate of the situation, which is continually updated during the course of their duties. TOC operators brief their replacements when relieved at the end of their tour of duty. The update briefing for the commander normally takes one of two forms: a formal briefing attended by the senior shift personnel or individual updates for the commander at each staff section.

The commander uses the update to ensure his estimate of the situation is current, to evaluate the staff estimate, and to train the staff. Normally the commander, who has observed the major actions of the unit and visited his subordinate commanders, will have more current information than does his staff. The staff update will often show that subordinate units have failed to report essential information that SOP requires them to report. This experience teaches the staff to insist upon prompt and continuous reporting. During the update briefing, the commander coaches the staff on the proper formulation of estimates, a disciplined thought process developed over time.

Through the conduct of austere exercises, the commander trains his commanders and the staff so that they are prepared to perform their duties during maneuvers or the conduct of combat operations. During a MAPEX or CPX, the commander can observe individual staff sections and critique specific actions, such as--

  • Posting situation maps.
  • Using radio telephone procedures.
  • Preparing estimates and orders.
  • Exchanging information within the staff.
  • Arranging the TOC to facilitate coordination.

The commander must emphasize coordination and information flow since they are essential to an efficient operation. He must insist that information be disseminated down the chain, as well as to higher and adjacent units. Each echelon can become a filter of essential information unless the staff continually works at information sharing. Recognition that the staff serves the lower units, as well as the commander, is a profound concept--a mark of professional staff organization.

Mastery of troop-leading procedures allows subordinates adequate time to issue warning orders, to conduct reconnaissance, and to prepare and issue timely orders. Such mastery is a key training objective of the commander. This objective can be achieved only through practice. The time for mistakes and omissions is during training exercises that do not involve troops. The AAR should highlight this important dimension of command and control, upon which successful operations are predicated. Once the commander's concept of operations is provided to his commanders and detailed orders are published, a shared understanding of operations is established. It can become the basis for verbal FRAGOs to adjust to the changing tactical situation. The compression of time in the troop-leading steps for the use of a FRAGO is made possible by the previous employment of full troop-leading steps. These ensure a common understanding of the enemy, mission and friendly situation, current control measures, and detailed reconnaissance (map or ground) of the operational area. The teamwork of a trained staff facilitates this process. Staff proficiency and teamwork are developed over time through the exercises discussed in this chapter.

MAP EXERCISES

DESCRIPTION

MAPEXs are low-cost, low-overhead training exercises that portray military situations on maps and overlays that may be supplemented with, or replaced by, terrain models and sand tables. MAPEXs allow commanders to train their staffs to perform essential integrating and control functions to sup-port their decisions under simulated wartime conditions. MAPEXs may be employed by commanders to train the staffs at any echelon--

  • To function as effective teams.
  • To exchange information.
  • To prepare estimates.
  • To give appraisals.
  • To make recommendations and decisions.
  • To prepare plans.
  • To issue orders.
  • To be proficient in integration of all branch elements of the teams.

MAPEXs are suitable for command and control training from battalion through corps levels. They are especially useful for multi-echelon staff training when commanders want to involve the minimum number of soldiers while fully exercising staff procedures and techniques at multiple echelons. MAPEXs are relatively inexpensive. Their scenarios derive from event schedules or from battle simulations, depending upon the resources available.

MAPEXs can provide survivability training through the practice of continuous operations, operations in a mission-oriented protection posture (MOPP) 4 environment passing control to alternate operations centers and jump CPs, as well as practice in operation in a dispersed posture.

Characteristics

MAPEXs should attempt to portray the battlefield as realistically as possible. They should include NBC play, both defensive and offensive, to demonstrate and prepare participants for the physical and psychological effects of continuous NBC operations. They portray exercise administrative and logistical situations realistically to integrate all aspects of the battle. They portray EW realistically to allow participants to achieve proficiency in working through jamming and in exercising appropriate countermeasures.

Controllers must consider how the information they input affects player staff sections under actual battle conditions. These inputs should make players aware of the tactical and logistical situations, both friendly and enemy, as well as of the impact of the civilian situation upon tactical operations. The control group must render prompt and logical rulings for all tactical and logistical situations that arise. When player and enemy forces make contact, controllers allow the situation to develop until a tactical ruling is indicated or required. The control group assesses casualties and damage and announces engagement results. The company players use this information to paint the battlefield picture to battalion headquarters. Since MAPEXs are training vehicles, players, and controllers must not reveal information unavailable in a real situation.

MAPEXs require the controllers to avoid influencing exercise play artificially since doing so creates other artificial situations later. Controllers should not interfere with player personnel even though they may be allowed free access to player facilities so they can perform their assigned duties. Controllers should provide their insights and suggestions during periodic AARs to assist players in maximizing lessons learned through the exercise.

Personnel

The player personnel for MAPEXs should include representatives from all elements of the combat team or task force. MAPEXs require control teams to regulate the exercise and cause play to flow to a logical conclusion. The chief controller supervises the entire controller facility and acts as the director of controller personnel. The assistant chief controller acts as the chief battle map (terrain model) controller. He is responsible for the battle portrayal on the map, to include battle damage assessment. The assistant battle map controllers ensure that players report to higher headquarters only what they could observe in an actual tactical situation. They ensure that maneuver, fire support, CS, and CSS functions are realistically portrayed by both friendly personnel and threat controllers. They also arbitrate all points of disagreement concerning battle map play.

The threat controllers ensure that enemy actions are portrayed according to threat doctrine and the exercise order of battle. They begin the exercise by displaying the initial threat situation prepared by the exercise planning group. They continue exercise play by interacting with the player commanders and by continually presenting realistic situations using threat tactics. The damage assessment controllers assess personnel and equipment loss and determine when damaged equipment and wounded personnel can be returned to action. Controllers must not usurp player functions. For example, medical personnel of the player unit should be required to determine when or if wounded personnel can return to the battle.

The number of control personnel required depends upon the size of the player organization and the scope of the exercise scenario. If a simulation drives the MAPEX, the instructions contained in the simulation package will provide guidance for developing controller manning tables.

Both controller and player personnel must understand the specific job positions and command echelons represented by members of the control group. The control group represents all persons and units except those specifically represented by the player units.

Equipment and Facilities

MAPEXs require only minimal equipment. It may consist of the following:

  • Exercise maps sufficient in number to meet the demands of the exercise objectives. Terrain models or sand tables that are exact replicas of the maps may be used in conjunction with the maps or alone. If they are used, they should be large enough to allow all player and controller personnel to observe and to perform as assigned.
  • General purpose items such as office supplies, overlay production material, message and journal logs, report forms, unit SOPs, and appropriate reference materials.
  • Simple point-to-point wire communications to permit simulation of communication links to be practiced during the exercise. If radio or wire links are employed in an operational environment, players should not be permitted to make face-to-face communication with other players.

Requiring little communications equipment and a minimum number of support personnel, MAPEXs may be conducted in permanent or temporary locations. Planners must provide buildings or tents large enough to house both player and control functions. The work area should be relatively uncrowded. Planners must make provisions for security, visitor reception and briefing, food service, and vehicle parking, as appropriate. If the MAPEX is conducted away from the unit's cantonment area, planners must arrange transportation and medical support. If the MAPEX is to last longer than one day, they must arrange for billeting.

PHASES

Preexercise

Prior to selecting the MAPEX training mode, commanders must ensure that staff members and leaders are familiar with the individual skills of their duty positions and the collective skills of their staff section or command group. Full proficiency is not required for participation, inasmuch as the purpose of the MAPEX is to build proficiency.

Planners must consider the planning steps discussed in Chapter 2. Commanders and staffs at battalion level plan and conduct MAPEXs for their own units. At higher echelons, planning staffs and controller teams plan, prepare, conduct, and review the exercise. Once the objectives, scope, troop list, exercise area, and outline are approved, the player unit commander and selected unit personnel should be briefed on the exercise. The commander of the player unit uses the MAPEX LOI as the basis for providing exercise information to subordinates. The planning staff also uses the LOI to brief controllers, umpires, and evaluators.

Normally 24 to 48 hours before STARTEX, the controllers train the players in the conduct of the MAPEX. Players who receive battlefield information directly from controllers must have additional training on how to translate it into usable and recognizable formats. These formats include spot reports, situation reports, NBC reports, shell reports, and others.

Controller and player training prior to a MAPEX involves the following:

  • Purpose and scope.
  • Training objectives.
  • Participating units.
  • Enemy situation.
  • Control organization.
  • Communications plan.
  • Casualty and damage assessment.
  • Time delays in message transmission.
  • Controller records and reports.
  • Intelligence play.
  • War-game procedures.
  • Information flow.
  • In-progress and after-action reviews.
  • Controller duties.

Execution

The LOI for the MAPEX will include instructions for moving to the exercise site, if appropriate. Time must be set aside and personnel assigned prior to STARTEX to install any necessary point-to-point wire communications, to set up the player and controller TOC, and to prepare maps, sand tables, or terrain models.

Prior to STARTEX, the chief controller gives the player commander a commander's update briefing. This briefing includes any changes to the LOI not already announced or any items requiring reiteration. The chief controller may assume the role of the player unit's higher commander, unless the commander elects to play this role himself in the training of his subordinates. At this point, the chief controller is briefed by controllers representing staff members. This briefing sets the stage for the remainder of the exercise and imparts realism. The chief controller, acting as the higher commander, converts the exercise OPLAN to an OPORD and announces that staff members are available for coordination with their player counterparts. This normally constitutes STARTEX.

The brigade-level MAPEX functions as follows:

  • The players are presented with a general and a special situation.
  • The players react to the situation and provide information and reports to higher, lower, and adjacent units, as appropriate.
  • The control group, in its role as higher headquarters, evaluates the player orders for mission accomplishment, fights its portion of the air-land battles, and responds to player requests for support, as appropriate. At the same time, company commanders gather around the battle map and fight the battle according to battalion orders.
  • The results of battle board actions are relayed to the player battalion headquarters in the form of reports and requests. These portray the battle and create new situations requiring additional player actions or reactions. Battalion TOCs, in turn, feed information, reports, and requests to the brigade.
  • The players react to the new situations as they normally would in combat. This forces the brigade and battalions to alter battle plans, issue FRAGOs, and place demands on CS and CSS units.
  • This process continues until the MAPEX ends.

Postexercise

At ENDEX, the chief controller holds an immediate AAR so that all players and controllers gain the maximum training benefit from the exercise. At a minimum, the AAR should--

  • Provide an opportunity for the players and controllers to exchange information, ideas, and lessons learned.
  • Allow the threat controllers to explain their battle plans, battle outcomes, and strength at ENDEX. An assessment of future threat capabilities should also be presented.
Appendix G contains a complete discussion of the AAR and after-action reports.

TACTICAL EXERCISES WITHOUT TROOPS

DESCRIPTION

TEWTs are low-cost, low-overhead exercises conducted in the field on actual terrain suitable for training units for specific missions. Using few support troops, TEWTs are used by commanders to train subordinate leaders and battle staffs at any echelon--

  • To analyze terrain.
  • To employ units according to terrain analysis.
  • To emplace weapon systems to best support the unit's mission.
  • To plan conduct of the unit mission.
  • To coach subordinates on the best use of terrain and proper employment of all combat arms (CA), CS, and CSS assets.

Unit personnel participate in a TEWT as members of small groups. The commander or his S3 orients them on the terrain, pointing out prominent features and their importance to the exercise. The commander then-presents the special situation--an extension of the general situation that was issued in advance of the TEWT--followed by the initial requirement. Group members then solve each requirement individually and prepare to present their solutions. Next, the group discusses individual solutions and develops a group solution. The commander critiques the group and presents his solution. Discussion of individual solutions generates interest and understanding of tactics and optimum use of the terrain. By allowing group leaders to explain unit dispositions for a given operation, TEWTs create a favorable environment for a professionally challenging and informative class on subjects that impact directly upon the unit mission.

Characteristics

For a successful TEWT, the commander must select the proper terrain and reconnoiter it. This process is vital since the TEWT teaches tactics by using actual terrain. The general area is selected from a map reconnaissance and then followed up with an on-the-ground reconnaissance. Sites preselected should be appropriate for the training objectives and flexible enough to portray more than one practical solution. The various locations selected for specific events during the reconnaissance become training sites for specific situations. The time schedule identifies these locations by six-digit grid coordinates.

Personnel

The personnel participating in a TEWT are subordinate commanders, leaders, and staffs selected by the unit commander. Commanders or S3s from direct support organizations may supply advice on situations concerning their own specialties. Based on their participation, the TEWT can provide combat team training. The participants from supporting organizations should be consulted during the preparation of the exercise and be available during its execution.

The procedures involved in the TEWT can also be applied to achieve battle staff and combined arms training in--

  • MOUT.
  • Deployment planning.
  • Mobilization planning.
  • Amphibious operations.
  • Combat and field trains establishment and operations.
  • Intelligence-gathering techniques.

Equipment and Facilities

Equipment required for a TEWT depends on the amount of time to be spent on the exercise and the objectives of the exercise. TEWTs are always conducted in the field on terrain suitable for training the units to perform in specific missions.

PHASES

Preexercise

Prior to selecting the TEWT training mode, commanders determine whether subordinate leaders and staff members are proficient in the individual and leader skills their duty positions require. Although a TEWT may be the best way to teach tactical principles on the ground, it does not emphasize time and distance factors and their significance for effective troop-leading procedures. Before conducting other exercises with soldiers, commanders should recognize these limitations and provide appropriate emphasis to ensure that participants recognize how important time, distance, and light conditions are to actual operations. Planners must consider the planning steps discussed in Chapter 2.

The exercise directive for a TEWT can be as simple as a warning order from the commander that states--

  • Why the TEWT is being conducted.
  • Who will participate.
  • What equipment is required.
  • When and where the TEWT will be conducted.
  • What the special instructions are.

Plans for a TEWT are normally formatted by the unit staff and should include the tasking of assistant trainers, if required.

Research for a TEWT consists of--

  • Reviewing missions, weapons capabilities, and tactics.
  • Reviewing appropriate laws, regulations, and SOPs pertinent to the use of a particular piece of land.

During the preliminary reconnaissance of the terrain, the planners--

  • Walk the terrain, making a careful inspection of the entire area to ensure that the military aspects of the terrain are fully appreciated. The commander normally makes this reconnaissance and selects teaching points that support his mission, as well as his training objectives.
  • Take notes at each training site concerning the problem to be presented and its solution.
  • Select the initial rendezvous point for all personnel.
  • Choose vehicle parking areas, if required.
  • Confirm routes and movement times from vehicle parking areas to each training site and between training sites.
  • Select an area for meals, if necessary.

If the TEWT is to be conducted off a military reservation, planners must contact landowners to get permission to use the land.

After the first reconnaissance, planners prepare a draft of the exercise with situation narratives for each requirement and solution. They may have to visit each training site several times to finalize details of the situation and to check the proposed solutions. Doing so is particularly important if the solutions will become the bases for subsequent situations and requirements.

Once the commander approves the tactical problems and solutions, a scenario is developed. The scenario includes a general situation, initial situation and requirement, subsequent situations and requirements, and a time schedule. The general situation describes the friendly and enemy units involved, their locations on the ground, and the significant activities for the previous 24 hours. Subsequent situations and requirements are derived from the training objectives.

The time schedule should indicate the estimated time needed for presenting each situation and requirement at each training site. The schedule helps ensure that no one spends too much time on any one requirement or at any one location. Figure 3-5 shows a time schedule for a single training objective covered at two different locations.

Once the time schedule is developed, the scenario is checked to ensure that it fits the terrain selected. During this check all likely responses to situations and requirements should be war-gamed.

Narratives covering the subsequent situations should create a realistic battlefield picture. They should be as short as possible, be compatible with the exercise, and contain only the information players need to weigh relevant factors and produce an acceptable solution. Narratives should cover the composition of forces and the air situation. Participants are expected to know the TOE and weapon capabilities; consequently, the problem is normally in the form of orders and appropriate graphics. Short verbal orders to introduce new situations will not only save time, but also give subordinate commanders and staffs practice in working from verbal orders.

The LOI includes--

  • Administrative instructions (mess, transportation, medical).
  • Maneuver damage procedures.
  • Actual time and duration of the TEWT.
  • Training objectives.
  • Personnel to be trained.
  • Preexercise training requirements.

The OPORD for the TEWT should be issued at least 24 hours prior to STARTEX. It is written in the five-paragraph field order format with annexes, as appropriate. It contains information developed from the general and initial situations and the first requirement.

Execution

For a battalion-level TEWT, the battalion commander begins at the first training site by explaining the purpose of the exercise and the tasks to be covered. The commander then presents the general situation, the initial situation, and the first requirement.

After giving the first requirement, the commander--

  • Allows time for players to develop solutions.
  • Selects one leader to present a solution.
  • Selects other leaders to present their solutions.
  • Guides a discussion of the various solutions.
  • Presents a solution and the reasons for it.
  • Guides a discussion of all solutions for the requirement and explains the preferred solution.
  • Gives instructions and time limits for proceeding to the next training site.

This procedure occurs at all subsequent training sites until the TEWT is completed.

Postexercise

Inasmuch as the TEWT is a formal part of the officer development program of the unit, the lessons learned should provide a foundation for subsequent instruction. Materials compiled during preparation and conduct of the TEWT may be retained for reference on future TEWTs. Some service schools offer additional information and examples of TEWTs through their catalogs of instructional materials. Planners should consult these catalogs to determine the suitability and availability of appropriate supporting materials.

COMMAND POST EXERCISES

DESCRIPTION

CPXs are medium-cost, medium-overhead training exercises that may be conducted at garrison locations or in the field. In garrison, CPXs are expanded MAPEXs using tactical communications systems and personnel in a command post environment. Normal battle-field distances between the CPs are usually reduced, and CPs do not need to exercise all tactical communications.

The most effective CPXs are conducted in the field. In field operations, time and distance should realistically reflect AirLand Battle doctrine. Operations should be continuous and use all organic and supporting communications equipment. Commanders practice combined arms integration and tactical emplacement and displacement of CPs. Each headquarters should practice survivability operations such as dispersion, camouflage, and security.

Commanders use CPXs to train subordinate leaders and staffs at all echelons--

  • To function as effective teams and build cohesion.
  • To exchange information.
  • To prepare estimates.
  • To give appraisals.
  • To prepare plans.
  • To issue orders.
  • To reconnoiter, select, and tactically occupy CP locations.
  • To establish and employ communications.
  • To displace headquarters and command posts.

CPXs also provide commanders with valuable training experiences in planning and executing CS and CSS activities. Troops other than headquarters and communications personnel are normally represented by controllers. CPXs may be driven either by master schedules of events or battle simulations.

Characteristics

Successful CPXs are conducted under battlefield conditions. To validate staff and unit procedures, tactical exercises integrate nuclear and chemical weapons employment; NBC warning and reporting; reconnaissance; and MOPP, logistical, decontamination, and smoke operations. Administrative and logistical situations are portrayed and played realistically so that player commanders and staffs realize their effects on all aspects of the battle. EW should be portrayed to show how important it is to all elements and how it hinders commanders and staff officers who are not prepared for it.

Controllers should avoid influencing exercise play artificially since doing so creates other artificial situations later. When inputting information, controllers consider which player staff section would be most affected under actual battle conditions. Inputs should make the player personnel aware of the tactical and logistical situations and cause player action. Field CPXs should force the player units at all echelons to emplace and displace their TOC. TOC displacement teaches the units to use tactical and main CPs, to perform continuous operations and reconnaissance, and to set up organic and supporting communications systems. It also provides realistic time and distance experience.

The control group renders prompt and logical rulings for all tactical and logistical situations that arise during exercise play. When player and threat forces make contact, controllers allow the situation to develop until a tactical ruling is indicated or required. Rulings are based on results obtained from war-gaming, based on player-directed actions. The control group assesses casualties and damage and announces engagement rulings. The company players use this information to paint the battlefield picture to the battalion headquarters. Controllers are allowed free access to player facilities to perform their assigned duties, but they do not interfere with player personnel.

Personnel

In addition to the commander, staff, and subordinate commanders and staffs of the player units, CPXs require controllers and evaluators. The controllers, directed by the chief controller, manage the exercise and cause play to flow to a logical conclusion. The evaluators observe player activities to deter-mine if tasks are performed to preestablished standards at each echelon. The number of evaluators and their qualifications depend on the scope of the exercise and the tasks or procedures to be evaluated. If an external evaluation has been directed, the chief evaluator will form evaluator teams.

It is essential that both controller and player personnel understand the specific job positions and command echelons represented by the control group. The control group represents all persons and units except the job positions and functions specifically represented by the player units.

The exercise control center (ECC) functions as the player unit higher headquarters. One of the functions of the ECC is to monitor the player actions, situations, and plans. ECC personnel also--

  • Maintain controllers' battle maps.
  • Portray the threat force.
  • Insert incidents and messages.
  • Assess equipment and personnel losses.

The chief controller is in charge of the ECC and all subordinate controllers, umpires, and evaluators. Additionally, the chief controller acts as the higher commander. Staff controllers act as the higher HQ staff. In support of the chief controller, they fight the air-land battles. They prepare orders, request information, and receive and act on reports and requests from the players. The assistant chief controller acts as the chief controller when necessary and performs as the higher HQ chief of staff for the player units.

The service support controller supervises the activities of the service support staff controllers. They prepare orders, request information, and act on requests and messages from players.

OPFOR controllers are responsible for enemy actions according to threat doctrine and order of battle. They show the initial threat situation prepared by the exercise planning group. They also interact with the player company commanders and continually present them with realistic situations using threat tactics.

Damage assessment controllers assess personnel and equipment losses and deter-mine when damaged equipment and wounded personnel can be returned to the player for use in the CPX. They do not circumvent actions taken by the players. For example, medical personnel in the exercise determine when wounded personnel can be returned to action.

Player personnel include the company commanders, XOs, and FIST chiefs from the battalions. They execute the battalion OPORD and fight the battle according to orders received. Since the exercise is a training vehicle for the battalion, they do not reveal information unavailable in a real situation.

Equipment and Facilities

The equipment required for a CPX consists of--

  • Communications equipment to replicate the higher headquarters of the player unit.
  • General purpose items such as office supplies, overlay production material, message and journal logs, report forms, unit SOPs, and appropriate reference material.
  • Equipment required to replicate the TOC of the player units' higher headquarters if the CPX is to be conducted in a field environment.
  • Appropriate military references (field manuals, training circulars).
  • Equipment necessary to identify participants and provide security for the TOC (ID badges, signs).

CPXs conducted in garrison require separate buildings or tents large enough to house the control team and player units. The available space should be adequate for the unit's TOC. Provisions should be made for security, visitor reception and briefing, feeding, and vehicle parking. If the exercises are conducted away from the unit's immediate cantonment area, transportation and medical support must also be arranged. Exercises lasting longer than one day require billeting arrangements.

For CPXs conducted in the field, maneuver areas must be large enough for player headquarters to disperse realistically. The control headquarters will ensure good radio and/or wire communications with player units and subordinate control elements. The control headquarters should be located to obtain the best possible communications and to facilitate travel to and from player headquarters. Facilities to support the control headquarters must also be planned. They provide--

  • Security.
  • Visitor reception and briefing.
  • Food service.
  • Medical aid.
  • Maintenance.
  • Hygiene.

The amount of outside support required for the control organization depends on the scope and duration of the exercise. Assistance from outside agencies may be required in the following areas:

  • Prepackaged battle simulations.
  • Additional communications.
  • Additional map coverage.
  • Maneuver area clearances.
  • Billeting.
  • Medical support.
  • Food service.

Sample division CPX controller facility configurations and relationships are shown in the following diagrams. These can be tailored or augmented for use in CPXs con-ducted at other echelons. These diagrams do not portray specific vehicles or buildings. They are presented to show the personnel, elements, and equipment required and their physical relationships. Controller and player relationships are as shown. The division command structure extending through the brigade, division artillery (DIVARTY), and division support command (DISCOM) to the battalions should function as it would in a tactical situation. These echelons inject realism by forcing units to respond to higher and lower unit needs.

PHASES

Preexercise

Prior to selecting the CPX training mode, the commander should determine whether the personnel chosen to participate are proficient in the individual and collective skills required by their duty positions and assigned units. Planners must consider the steps listed in Chapter 2.

Sufficient time must be allocated to allow for thorough planning and preparation. The size and length of the exercise impacts on the time required for these functions.

Normally 24 to 48 hours before STARTEX, the controllers train the players in the conduct of the CPX. Players who receive battlefield information directly from controllers must be given additional training on how to convert that information into usable and recognizable formats. These formats include spot reports, situation reports, NBC reports, shell reports, and others.

For controller and player training prior to a CPX, planners should consider the following subjects, as appropriate:

  • Purpose and scope of the exercise.
  • Training objectives.
  • Maneuver area rights and restrictions.
  • Participating units.
  • Enemy situation.
  • Control organization.
  • Communications plan for the exercise.
  • Controller duties.
  • Casualty and damage assessment.
  • Use of time delays in message transmission.
  • Controller records and reports.
  • Intelligence play.
  • War-game procedures.
  • Information flow.
  • Controller communications check.
  • Controller reconnaissance of exercise area.
  • After-action reviews.

A CPX at the battalion level is normally conceived, planned, and conducted by the commander and his staff. At higher echelons, planning staffs and controller teams are normally formed to plan, prepare, conduct, and review the exercise. The commander directing the CPX first approves the objectives, scope, troop list, exercise area, and outline plan of the CPX. Then the player unit commander and selected personnel should be briefed by the controllers.

The planning staff completes the exercise LOI and sends it to the player unit for use in planning for the exercise. The planning staff also uses the LOI to brief controllers, umpires, and evaluators. The LOI for the CPX includes instructions for movement to the exercise site, if appropriate. Time must be set aside and personnel assigned prior STARTEX to install necessary communications equipment, set up the controller TOC, and prepare maps.

Execution

Immediately prior to STARTEX, the chief controller and staff give the player commander and staff a commander's update briefing. Included in this briefing are any changes to the LOI which have not already been announced or any items requiring reiteration. When this portion of the briefing is completed, the chief controller assumes the role of the players' higher commander and is briefed by controllers, who represent the staff. This briefing sets the stage for the exercise and imparts realism to it. At this point the chief controller, in the role of higher commander, first converts the exercise OPLAN to an OPORD. Then he announces that the staff is available for coordination with player counterparts. This is normally STARTEX.

The division-level CPX functions as follows:

  • The players are presented with a general and a special situation.
  • The players react to the situation and provide information and reports, as appropriate, to higher, lower, and adjacent units.
  • The control group, in its role as the corps, evaluates the player orders for mission accomplishment, fights its own portion of the air-land battle, and responds to player requests for support, as appropriate. At the same time, company commanders gathered around the battle map in each brigade battle facility fight the battle according to battalion orders. The results of engagements are relayed to the player headquarters as reports and requests that combine to create new situations and continue to portray the battle.
  • The players react to the new situations as they would in combat. This forces battalions to alter battle plans, issue FRAGOs, and place demands on CS and CSS units.
  • The process continues until the CPX is terminated.

Postexercise

At ENDEX, the chief controller holds an immediate AAR for all players and controllers, in order to gain the maximum training benefit from the exercise. At a minimum, the AAR--

  • Provides an opportunity for the players and controllers to exchange information, ideas, and lessons learned.
  • Allows the threat controllers to explain their battle plans, battle outcomes, and strength at ENDEX. An assessment of future threat capabilities is also presented.

Exercises conducted at brigade level and above offer an excellent opportunity to conduct a multiechelon AAR. For example, a division CPX AAR could involve the following:

  • A battalion-level AAR conducted by battalion controllers for the battalion commander, staff, company commanders, and threat controllers from the brigade battle facility.
  • A brigade-level AAR conducted by the battle facility controller for the brigade commander and staff, battalion commanders, and controllers from the brigade battle facility.
  • A division-level AAR conducted by the exercise director for the division commander, staff, major subordinate commanders, and selected staff members. Controllers from the ECC and selected controllers from the brigade battle facilities participate in the AAR according to the agenda.

Following the division-level AAR, individual sessions may be held for functional areas: intelligence, maneuver, fire sup-port, logistics, and communications. These discuss the action and interaction of each staff function in detail. Appendix G contains a complete description of the AAR and after-action report.

FIELD TRAINING EXERCISES

DESCRIPTION

FTXs are high-cost, high-overhead exercises conducted under simulated combat conditions in the field. They exercise command and control of all echelons in battle functions--intelligence, combat support, combat service support, maneuver, communications--against an actual or simulated OPFOR. They are conducted in a realistic environment using the full combined arms teams. They provide both intersystems and intrasystems training to fight air-land battles, using all unit personnel and equipment. FTXs must include all attached units.

FTXs provide the most realistic environment of all training exercises. FTXs allow participants to appreciate real time and distance factors. FTXs involve several tactical situations in which one or more units participate. They may require movement and communications over long distances. FTXs do not use live fire. However, they may use a TES such as MILES to assess losses realistically. TC 25-6 provides details regarding MILES employment.

FTXs are used to train the commander, staff, and subordinate units--

  • To move and/or maneuver units realistically.
  • To employ organic weapon systems effectively.
  • To build teamwork and cohesion.
  • To plan and coordinate supporting fires.
  • To plan and coordinate logistical activities to support tactical operations.

FTXs are the only exercises that fully integrate the total force in a realistic combat environment. They involve combat, CS, and CSS units to include battle staff, survivability, and combined arms training. FTXs encompass battle drills, crew drills, situational training exercises, and other types of training to reinforce individual and collective task integration.

Characteristics

FTXs are executed under battlefield conditions. They provide opportunities to practice both offensive and defensive operations. Thus, they enhance the ability of soldiers and leaders to fight and survive on an integrated battlefield. Such training builds teamwork under conditions likely to prevail in time of war and impresses players, commanders, and staffs with the magnitude and scope of planning and operations.

FTXs portray administrative and logistical situations realistically so that player commanders and staffs experience their impact on all aspects of the battle. FTXs should also integrate E W and NBC warfare into exercise play. Doing so familiarizes commanders and staffs with the capabilities, availability, and employment doctrine of EW and NBC assets. When properly employed, EW assets become a combat multiplier that extends a unit's tactical capability. They provide commanders with nonlethal means, which can accomplish desired results and conserve combat capability. PW play should be realistic. Trained personnel should act as PWs so that interrogators and capturing units get realistic training.

FTX controllers, umpires, or evaluators must consider how players will be affected by the information they input. These inputs should make the players aware of the tactical and logistical situations. The inputs present situations and requirements that will cause players to act.

Controllers must not influence play artificially. The control group must render prompt and logical rulings in all tactical and logistical situations that arise. When the players and OPFOR controllers make contact, the control group allows the situation to develop until a tactical ruling is indicated or required. The control group assesses casualties and damage. It announces rulings in a manner that provides as much realism as possible. These rulings are based on observation of the player units, as well as on results from war-gaming, player-directed actions. Controllers have free access to player facilities so they can perform their assigned duties. However, they do not interfere with the players.

Personnel

Player unit personnel perform their assigned functions and duties. Controllers guide the exercise through OPFOR actions. To do so they create tactical situations which achieve exercise objectives and cause the play to flow to a logical conclusion. Evaluators observe player and OPFOR unit activities and determine whether tasks are performed to predetermined standards. Umpires determine the results of battle engagements, fires and obstacles, and support activities. They report the results to players, evaluators, and controllers. OPFORs replicate enemy forces in the appropriate size and strength to portray the threat activities realistically at specific times and places on the battlefield. The number of controller, umpire, evaluator, and OPFOR personnel that will be required depends upon the size of the player organization and the objectives of the exercise.

Equipment and Facilities

The equipment required for an FTX consists of--

  • Communications equipment that will portray the higher headquarters of the player unit.
  • General purpose items such as office supplies, overlay production materials, message and journal logs, report forms, unit SOPs, and appropriate reference materials.
  • Equipment that player units at all echelons need to operate in the field for a sustained period.
  • Appropriate military reference materials.

The exercise area should be large enough to allow realistic dispersion of all player units according to AirLand Battle doctrine. See TC 25-1 for guidance in determining space requirements. The site for the control headquarters should ensure good communications. The control headquarters should be located where it will support the exercise and allow for easy travel to and from player headquarters. Facilities in support of the control headquarters include--

  • Security.
  • Visitor reception and briefing.
  • Food service.
  • Medical service.
  • Maintenance.
  • Hygiene facilities.

The amount of outside support required will also depend on the scope and duration of the exercise. Assistance from outside agencies may be required in the following areas:

  • Additional communications capability.
  • Additional map coverage.
  • Maneuver area clearances.
  • Billeting.
  • Medical service.
  • Food service.

PHASES

Preexercise

Prior to selecting the FTX training mode, commanders must determine that subordinate commanders, leaders, and soldiers are proficient in the individual, leader, and collective skills required by their duty positions. Commanders will also ensure that all squads, platoons, and companies have attained basic proficiency in appropriate ARTEP tasks and missions. This must be done to obtain the appropriate training benefit from maneuvering tactical units while conducting a battalion-or brigade-level FTX. Planners must consider the steps discussed in Chapter 2.

Normally within 72 hours before STARTEX, the planners of the excercise train the controllers and umpires. Controller, evaluator, OPFOR, and umpire training for an FTX involves some or all of the following:

  • Purpose and scope.
  • Training objectives.
  • Maneuver area rights and restrictions.
  • Participating units.
  • Enemy situation.
  • OPFOR organization.
  • Rules of engagement.
  • Communications plan.
  • Controller duties.
  • Casualty and damage assessment.
  • Controller records and reports.
  • Intelligence play.
  • Information flow.
  • Controller communications checks.
  • Controller reconnaissance of exercise.
  • After-action review.

The chief controller first trains his staff in supporting umpires/controllers. Then the controllers brief the player unit commanders and selected personnel on the exercise.

Execution

The LOI should include instructions for moving to the exercise site. Time should be set aside and personnel assigned prior to STARTEX to install the necessary controller communications equipment, to set up the controller TOC, and to prepare maps and overlays.

The controller manning tables for a division FTX in Appendix D can be used as guidelines for manning the ECC. Manning tables should be modified to fit the echelon at which the FTX is being conducted. For example, battalion ECCs need fewer personnel than division ECCs, and their functions are narrower.

Immediately prior to STARTEX, the chief controller and controller staff give the player commander and staff a commander's update briefing. This briefing includes any changes to the LOI not already announced or items that require reiteration. Then the chief controller assumes the role of the players' higher commander. He is briefed by the controllers, who represent the staff. This briefing sets the stage for the exercise and imparts realism. At this time, the chief controller, as the higher commander, converts the exercise OPLAN to an OPORD. He then announces that the command staff is available for coordination with their player counterparts. This normally constitutes STARTEX.

The battalion FTX functions as follows:

  • Player units with their respective evaluators and umpires, controller elements, and OPFOR personnel with their controllers and umpires move to initial field positions for STARTEX. They receive an orientation on administrative requirements and exercise objectives. The general and initial situations are issued to players.
  • OPFOR personnel are briefed separately and in a different location. They execute their role in the FTX, using predesignated incidents from the schedule of events to trigger player actions.
  • Players fight the battle according to the initial OPORD. OPFOR actions are used to build intelligence estimates, which require players' staffs to make estimates and commanders to issue guidance and make decisions. FRAGOs are issued as needed in order to continue the battle.
  • Players provide reports to higher headquarters, request support, and allocate or apply combat power, as appropriate.
  • Umpires determine the results of maneuver engagements and the effects of fire support. They assess losses accordingly.
  • Controllers guide battle play in order to accomplish the exercise objectives and to keep the exercise within the limits prescribed by the scenario.
  • Evaluators judge units and soldiers according to established standards in ARTEPs and soldiers manuals.
  • This process continues until the FTX ends. The player commander in coordination with the chief controller should monitor the attainment of the exercise objectives. If necessary, the exercise may be halted to reorient either the OPFOR or the player units in order to accomplish the exercise objectives.

All unit leaders and controllers must stress safety. They ensure that all participants follow the established procedures for preventing injuries and keeping incidents caused by carelessness or overly aggressive personnel from interrupting the exercise. These include--

  • Stand-off distances between troops and vehicles to prevent physical contact.
  • Safety procedures for firing blanks and using pyrotechnics.
  • Search procedures for captured personnel.
  • Procedures for returning captured personnel to their own units as quickly as possible so the soldiers can continue FTX training.
  • Safety procedures to halt all exercise activity.
  • Safety requirements for vehicle movement at night or in limited visibility.

FTXs must be thoroughly planned and executed, or extensive maneuver damage can result. Great care must be taken to prevent water pollution or damage to roads, fields, crops, trees, animals, or man-made structures.

Postexercise

At ENDEX, the chief controller holds an immediate AAR for all players and controllers in order to obtain the maximum training benefit from the exercise. This AAR will--

  • Provide an opportunity for the players and controllers to exchange information, ideas, and lessons learned.
  • Allow the OPFOR controllers to explain their battle plans, the battle results, and their strength at ENDEX. They should also present an assessment of future OPFOR capabilities. Appendix G contains a full description of the AAR and after-action reports.

COMMAND FIELD EXERCISES

DESCRIPTION

CFXs lie on a scale between CPXs and FTXs. Available resources-- money, time, personnel, equipment--determine where CFXs fall on the scale. CFXs can also be used as backups for FTXs in the event that maneuver damage or other factors such as changes in the weather prohibit the planned FTX.

The CFX is an FTX with reduced combat unit and vehicle density, but with full command and control, CS, and CSS elements. For example, the platoon leader in his combat vehicle represents the entire platoon. The battery headquarters, the fire direction center (FDC), and the base piece represent the artillery firing battery. The CFX allows the full-up employment of certain assets such as the signal battalion, the CEWI battalion, and the target acquisition battery (TAB). CFXs are not simply scaled-down FTXs. They are, in fact, excellent vehicles for training commanders and staffs with certain full-up systems to gather information, to provide communication links, and to develop intelligence. CFXs provide real-time operations over actual distances with appropriate logistical support. They are driven by schedules of events or by controlled OPFORs operating under the exercise director.

Characteristics

CFXs are less expensive than FTXs. Yet they provide equal training value for training of the staff. They may be the single best way to train intersystems linkages for full-up integration of all brigade and above assets. Commanders should use CFXs to sharpen unit skills in such areas as--

  • Fire support.
  • Resupply procedures.
  • Rear area combat operations (RACO).
  • COSCOM interface.
  • CEWI collection interpretation. and dissemination procedures.

Personnel

Personnel requirements are similar to those in the FTX with fewer controllers/umpires needed at lower levels.

Equipment and Facilities

Because CFXs use fewer soldiers than FTXs, they need less logistical support. The support should be sufficient for the personnel and equipment actually employed. The maneuver area required for a CFX is the same as for an FTX at the same echelon. However, because the CFX uses fewer vehicles, maneuver damage is considerably less.

PHASES

Preexercise

CFXs follow the same planning steps as FTXs. Prior to selecting the CFX training mode, commanders should determine if subordinate commanders, leaders, and soldiers are proficient in the individual, leader, and collective skills required by their duty positions. Preliminary training through TEWTs, MAPEXs, and CPXs can ensure that participants are sufficiently trained to justify the use of the CFX. Planners must consider the steps discussed in Chapter 2. The complexity of each step depends upon the desires of the commander directing the exercise and the echelon at which the exercise is con-ducted. Planning and preparation must be thorough. The size and length of the exercise impacts on the time required for preparation.

Normally within 72 hours before STARTEX, the controllers train the players in the conduct of the CFX. Controller, evaluator, OPFOR, and umpire training is similar to the training requirements in preparation for an FTX. The chief controller trains his umpires and controllers. Then they brief the player unit commanders and selected personnel on the exercise. The planning staff completes the LOI and sends it to the players for preparing for the exercise. The planning staff also uses the LOI to brief controllers, umpires, OPFORs, and evaluators.

Execution

Control requirements are approximately the same as for an FTX. Additional control input is required when more realism is added and more systems integrated. Moreover, additional controller input will be required to simulate enemy activity, EW, or fire support as troop participation decreases.

Basic umpire functions in a CFX are the same as those required in an FTX, as described in Appendix D. Umpires base their decisions on the orders and actions of player unit commanders, as understood and executed by the lowest echelon player head-quarters. Umpires visualize how the units would actually be employed based on the detailed plans and orders of the participating units.

Umpires are even more critical to successful CFXs than to FTXs. They must see the concept of the exercise through the eyes of unit commanders. They must make decisions critical to exercise control and unit evaluation. They must be present when company OPLANs, OPORDs, and FRAGOs are issued. They must observe each platoon leader brief a simulated platoon to ensure that they have detailed pictures of unit deployment when they meet with OPFOR umpires to determine the results of unit engagements.

Once platoon leaders have had sufficient time to simulate deployment, they should walk over the terrain with the umpires or evaluators and explain the deployment. In turn, umpires must be able to explain the disposition and maneuver of their player units to the OPFOR umpires, so that they can work together to resolve the outcome of each engagement accurately and professionally. This coordination takes place before the OPFOR and friendly units make contact. To do so, player and OPFOR umpires, who know unit disposition and activities in detail, should meet at a vantage point to umpire the ensuing action.

Platoon umpires stay with their units and maintain radio contact with their company umpires. The company umpires assess damage and casualties and consider reports from platoon umpires as fire and maneuver take place on the battlefield. Platoon umpires relay the decisions of the company umpires to the unit commanders. When platoons or companies do not physically participate, the umpires and their player counterparts exchange plans, developments, and directed actions to war-game engagements and assess the outcome of the action.

Postexercise

A face-to-face exchange between company umpires and their player counterparts is required at the conclusion of each engagement. The CFX is executed and an AAR is conducted, as previously described for the FTX.

LIVE-FIRE EXERCISES

DESCRIPTION

LFXs are high-cost, resource-intensive exercises in which player units move or maneuver and employ organic and sup-porting weapon systems using full-service ammunition with attendant integration of all CA, CS, and CSS.

The extensive range and ammunition requirements for LFXs usually limit them to platoon and company team levels. Consequently, unit and weapon systems integration at the company team level is the principal focus of the exercise.

LFXs can provide maximum training benefits through multiple iterations. These iterations, each including an AAR, normally occur in the following sequence:

1. A dry run conducted to review the unit SOP and battle drills.

2. An AAR to discuss actions on this dry run.

3. A second run with a reduced amount of ammunition to show the complexities of fire and maneuver coordination.

4. An AAR to discuss actions on this second run.

5. A third run with full ammunition to reinforce previous training and to build confidence.

6. An AAR to discuss actions on the third run.

7. A fourth iteration, preferably with ammunition, conducted at night or during limited visibility.

8. Other iterations using ammunition saved by crews/units to sustain and attain proficiency for new or unqualified crews/units.

Characteristics

LFXs are executed under simulated battlefield conditions. They are employed by commanders to train integration of fire and maneuver or movement against a realistic target array. They train squads, crews, and sections to employ their weapons in a tactical environment. They permit evaluation of tactical employment and precise measurement of the effectiveness of fire employed against target arrays.

Personnel

LFXs require commanders, leaders, and soldiers from the participating units. They also require controllers, evaluators, umpires, and range support personnel. The control team, developed by the chief controller, manages the exercise and causes exercise play to flow to a logical conclusion.

Evaluators and umpires observe the activities of the players and player units to assess the results of fires and determine whether tasks are performed to standard. Range support personnel include an officer in charge (OIC) and a chief safety officer. An ammunition detail is necessary to handle, secure, and account for ammunition. A guard detail controls traffic adjacent to and entering the range. If targets are left in place overnight, additional guards are required. A target detail checks targets after each unit run. Demolition personnel emplace and detonate the explosives in demolition pits. Moving target operators, if applicable, activate the appropriate targets at the appropriate time in the scenario. Administrative personnel assist the range OIC and chief safety officer in operating radios and telephones and in tabulating scores. Medical personnel and a litter-carrying vehicle stand by.

Equipment and Facilities

Player units are expected to have assigned TOE equipment on hand. LFXs are con-ducted according to local range regulations and SOPs. Target arrays should adequately display the appearance and characteristics of the threat force targets. Communications equipment must be available for range operations (according to the range SOP) and for controller/evaluator personnel.

Transportation, food service, ammunition, and administrative support for the LFXs are dictated by the level and scope of the exercise. LFXs for maneuver elements also require the following materials:

The target engagement chart describes the manner and sequence in which targets will be displayed. It keys the target display to events from the scenario. Before the LFX starts, controller personnel must receive instructions from range personnel on using the scenario, chart, and target system.

The target map is normally in strip map format and shows where each target, by number, is located on the range. The demolition pit map shows the location of each demolition pit on the range, displaying its number.

Fire support information details the weapons and ammunition that can be fired be fired and specifies when they can be fired. It provides special instructions to the players and controllers. Approved overlays of all firing points and the to weapons and ammunition from them must be developed and approved by range control. Information concerning ammunition requirements must be provided.

PHASES

Preexercise

Before selecting the LFX training mode, commanders must ensure that subordinate commanders, leaders, and soldiers are proficient in the individual and collective skills required for maneuvering or moving and for employing weapons and weapon systems in tactical environments. Planners must consider the steps discussed in Chapter 2.

Scenarios for LFXs differ from those described in Chapter 2. because of the specific control measures dictated by safety requirements. Scenarios are normally modified to fit the range on which the LFX is conducted. Scenarios should precisely define the sequence of events in terms of the types of targets and the time that specific target arrays are displayed.

Scenarios must be flexible enough to allow the commander and other leaders to decide how to use the terrain. They must also be extensive enough to facilitate training and evaluation of unit tasks executed in accordance with the commander's concept for the operation, which is formulated through a METT assessment. They must be varied enough to allow leaders to engage the proper targets with the right weapons at the appropriate times. Sample scenarios for defense and offense in a platoon LFX are shown in Figures 22 and 23. More detailed scenarios are available from the commanders of local live-fire complexes. The battalion commander and company commanders normally plan LFXs, and battle simulations are not used.

The OPORD issued to the player unit for an LFX is in the form of a standard five-paragraph field order. It contains enough detail to ensure that the player unit deploys properly to begin the exercise and to allow the LFX to flow smoothly.

The commander directing the LFX approves its objectives, scope, troop list, exercise area, and outline plan. Then the player unit commander and selected personnel, such as controllers, umpires, and evaluators, must be briefed on the exercise. The company commander uses the exercise LOI as a basis for providing instructions to subordinates.

Before the unit occupies the range, each OIC, controller, umpire, and evaluator must be briefed by range control personnel. Briefings are scheduled with range control operations and conducted at least 24 hours before STARTEX. These briefings include a terrain walk of the entire range area. It familiarizes evaluators and safety personnel with all the safety requirements.

Controller, evaluator, and umpire training for an LFX include the following:

  • Purpose and scope.
  • Training objectives.
  • Range regulations and restrictions.
  • Participating units.
  • Enemy situation and its relationship to the target array.
  • Control measures.
  • Communications plan.
  • Controller duties.
  • Casualty and damage assessment.
  • Controller, evaluator, and umpire records and reports.
  • Intelligence play.
  • Safety during live fire.
  • Medical treatment and evacuation procedures.

Execution

The unit moves to and tactically occupies an assembly area. The assembly area may be task force size with other teams depicted as notional units. At this time, live ammunition is issued but not loaded in weapons. MILES should be integrated into the exercise when range or resource limitations prevent live fire for certain weapon systems such as the Dragon, TOW, or HELLFIRE.

Final briefings occur at the task force command post in the vicinity. The task force commander and staff brief the team commander and selected key personnel on the immediate enemy situation. They also give any last minute administrative and safety instructions. Leaders conduct a reconnaissance under the supervision of the range OIC. The team commander prepares plans and gives a briefing to the task force commander and staff. The team commander then briefs his subordinates.

The team conducts a tactical move to the attack position, which is close to the line of departure/line of contact (LD/LC). here the live ammunition is loaded in the weapons, and the safeties are locked. The controller gives the order to begin the attack. Once the team is across the LD/LC, it may begin live firing. The exercise then continues until the scenario is completed.

After the exercise, participants clear all weapons, and controllers immediately collect all the live ammunition. Safety personnel check and clear all weapons before the unit moves off the range. The company returns tactically to the assembly area where it receives an AAR.

Postexercise

The chief controller and commander conduct the AAR. It should include range control personnel and evaluators who lead a discussion of the unit's performance in relation to--

  • Troop-leading procedures.
  • Maneuver.
  • Close support.
  • Weapons employment.
  • Communication of orders and directives.
  • Combined arms integration.

FIRE COORDINATION EXERCISES

FCXs are medium-cost, reduced-scale exercises that can be conducted at platoon, company/team, and battalion/task force levels. The purpose of FCXs is to exercise the command and control skills of the leadership of the unit through the integration of all organic weapon systems, as well as indirect and supporting fires. Subcaliber devices are substituted for service ammunition to permit fire planning and simulated employment of all weapon systems available to support the commander in the execution of his assigned mission. FCXs should stress target acquisition. FCXs present target arrays and target information to player units, placing commanders and leaders in realistic battle-field situations. Targets controlled mechanically and electronically appear at the appropriate places and times according to the scenario. Commanders employ FCXs to train subordinate leaders to integrate and distribute direct and indirect fire systems so that the optimum weapons engage the targets at optimum ranges as they become vulnerable to engagement.

FCXs should be fast moving, with several weapon systems engaging multiple targets simultaneously as targets enter optimum engagement ranges. FCXs should challenge the skills of commanders, subordinate leaders, crews of direct fire weapons, FDC personnel and forward observers. They facilitate training in the effective use of organic weapon systems, employment of supporting weapon systems, and target acquisition systems. FCXs require players to react to fluid battlefield situations by promptly applying supporting and organic fires against changing target arrays.

Note: TC 25-4-1 should be used as a study guide prior to participation in FCXs.

DEPLOYMENT EXERCISES

Deployment exercises (DEPEXs) provide training for individual soldiers, units, and support agencies in the tasks and procedures for deploying from home stations or installations to areas of hostilities. Practicing these tasks and procedures ensures that--

  • Soldiers have properly secured and accounted for military equipment and personal property in case of actual deployment.
  • Soldiers have their personal and family affairs in order.
  • Soldiers are qualified in the minimum essential combat skills such as weapon qualification and NBC proficiency.
  • Unit alert and recall plans are current and adequate.

  • Unit equipment disposition plans and loading plans are current and accurate.
  • Unit SOPs for movement to the embarkation point and from the debarkation point to the mission site are current and adequate.
  • Units, higher headquarters, installation, and supporting agencies such as maintenance, logistics, and transportation have current and adequate staff and support functions for deployment.
DEPEXs are conducted under simulated emergency conditions. They use immediate deployment such as the emergency deployment readiness exercise (EDRE); or if time is available, they use time-phased deployment with AARs built in. Deployment involves a complex matrix of SOPs that are very time-critical and sequential, both hour-by-hour and day-by-day. They may be conducted as stand-alone exercises or as parts of CPXs or FTXs.

Commanders vary the scope and complexity of DEPEXs based on resources, time, and training objectives. One option is a full-scale exercise. In it, units actually move deployable equipment to staging areas and load equipment and personnel aboard air, rail, or sea transport. At the other extreme, no equipment is moved. Personnel report to designated locations for coordination and for any necessary activities short of moving equipment. Deployment procedures are also exercised with facilities that simulate deployment processing agencies. For example, medical personnel and transportation stations as required by the scenario may set up in a large gymnasium. Designated personnel representing the deploying unit and participating agencies report to the proper station to coordinate activities. In such environments, DEPEXs are conducted like MAPEXs, using scenarios, maps, and appropriate sketches.

JOINT TRAINING EXERCISES

Joint training exercises (JTXs) involve two or more services of the US armed forces. A JTX at brigade level and higher may be a--

  • MAPEX.
  • CPX.
  • CFX.
  • FTX.
  • DEPEX.

The planning steps for JTXs are similar to those employed in preparation for the conduct of other types of exercises. The planning staff includes representatives from all the services involved. Each service must have adequate time to plan, staff, and approve its exercise support plans. Special accountability arrangements may be required for logistics support to accommodate the elements of each service. For example, if the Army provides all the fuel, it must establish an accounting system for the fuel consumed by other services.

In preexercise training, participants review each service's tactical SOP and joint training regulations. Umpires study the capabilities of the various weapon systems used by each service. They prepare appropriate effects tables to assess weapon effects and battle casualties.

The following considerations are essential to the success of JTXs. They must receive detailed attention during the planning, execution, and evaluation phases:

  • Command and control relationships.
  • Interoperability of weapon and support systems.
  • Communication and electronics compatibility and procedures.
  • Map compatibility.
  • Administrative and logistics arrangements.

During the planning phase, services must be advised of AAR procedures and the necessity for their participation. Representatives from each service must actively participate in the AAR.

COMBINED TRAINING EXERCISES

Combined training exercises (CTXs) involve armed forces from two or more nations. CTXs may be in the form of any of the training exercises previously described. The planning steps for CTXs are the same as those discussed in Chapter 2.

Language differences among participants must be addressed and practical steps taken to ensure effective two-way communication. CTX planners must also consider differences in doctrine, organization, logistics, and customs. The unified commander of the multinational armed forces involved in a CTX must establish an exercise planning group to ensure these matters are considered. This group must include planning staff representatives from all the armed forces elements involved. The group's primary goal throughout the planning, execution, and evaluation phases is interoperability of both equipment and methods of operations. Interoperability allows multinational armed forces to work smoothly and effectively together.

The following considerations are vital to successful CTXs and must receive detailed attention during the planning process:

  • Common objectives. Multinational armed forces participating in a CTX must agree upon training objectives.
  • Command and control relationships. CTXs should exercise the wartime operational command structure as established by international agreement.
  • Standing operating procedures. For effective operations, the nations involved will exchange SOPs and translations of commonly used terms.
  • Coordination. Because boundaries between multinational armed forces are particularly vulnerable, areas adjacent to them require detailed coordination. Operational procedures must be established to ensure mutually supporting and responsive employment of all direct and indirect fire to include close air support (CAS).
  • Communications. Communications equipment and language training must permit interoperability in the nets of the armed forces elements involved.
  • Language. Interpreter-translators will be required in key positions to allow commanders to communicate effectively with adjacent, supporting, and supported units.
  • Liaison. Liaison teams must be bilingual and know the organization, procedures, and equipment of the armed forces with which they will be operating.
  • Plans and orders. Commanders must take differences in tactics, terminology, graphics, and language into consideration when issuing orders. Personal contact among commanders and liaison teams is necessary to ensure mutually agreed upon and supporting actions during the exercise.

During the planning phase, all national armed forces must be advised of AAR procedures and the necessity for their participation. Representatives from each-national force should participate actively in the AAR.




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