DEVELOPING THE STRATEGY
THE OBSTACLES OF TRAINING WHILE EMPLOYING
The initial focus of the deployment of Task Force Eagle into Bosnia was to first get into the area of responsibility, separate the warring factions, and establish the zone of separation. The Division training officers were involved in planning the deployment and performing duties as members of the Assault Command Post. It was not until after the implementation of the General Framework for Peace that the Task Force could begin to plan training.
As the training strategy was developed, constraints were identified:
- The Mission came first. Task Force Eagle had to train while employing.
- Force protection requirements limited the area available to train.
- The operational mission and decentralized nature of the operation in the area of responsibility limited collective training opportunities.
- Many training assets/aids were not available to the units.
- Training guidance was not issued until D+120 because of operational requirements.
- Training doctrine did not fully address the implications and factors associated with the conduct of training simultaneous to performing a prolonged operation.
Nevertheless, Field Manuals 25-100 and 25-101 were the cornerstone documents for training management and developing the training strategy. Because Task Force Eagle had entered the sustainment phase of the operation, U.S. training doctrine could be applied in a broad context. Task Force Eagle essentially took what doctrine said for peacetime and adjusted it to the operational environment. Nonetheless, the planning and execution of training required manipulation of the doctrine to correspond with the METT-T conditions.
THE COMMANDER'S GUIDANCE
Several months into the deployment, the USAREUR commander issued his training guidance. This guidance stressed the importance of maintaining warfighting skills during the operation. The training goal was to sustain a trained and combat-ready force during the Implementation Force's mission and develop plans to reorient training when redeployed to prepare for follow-on missions. The following represents a summary of the USAREUR Commander's training guidance.
Training Priorities. Conventional combat individual and collective skills remain paramount in any USAREUR training program and must continue to be our focal point for resources. Based on their own assessment of their unit's mission, enemy, terrain, troops, and time available (METT-T), commanders will prioritize foremost in their plans.
Preparation for Stability Operations. Leaders must identify Stability Operations tasks and train their units on them. The 7th Army Training Command's White Paper, Operations Other Than War Mission Training Plan, Dec 94, is USAREUR's source document for Stability Operations tasks, conditions, and performance standards for battalion-sized units and below.
Sergeant's Time Training. Non-commissioned Officers (NCOs) run individual training, focusing on individual warfighting tasks and how these tasks support each battle task at squad and higher levels. Sergeant's Time will be used to reinforce individual skills and to build the capabilities of crews, teams, sections, and squads. Sergeant's Time is also an opportunity to train mission-essential tasks in Stability Operations, where the skills, abilities, and actions of individuals and small-unit leaders can have international impact. Deployment of USAREUR forces should in no way dilute the importance of Sergeant's Time. Commanders will ensure that Sergeant's Time training is executed both in USAREUR and in deployed units of Task Force Eagle when conditions of the mission allow it.
USAREUR Training Model. Leaders at every level will use FM 25-100 and FM 25-101 as the basis for planning and conducting all training. Officers are collective trainers; NCOs train individuals, crews, teams, and sections. Leaders prioritize what training they must conduct based on their METL. The following model will be used to plan and execute training in USAREUR. These eight steps make up a simple, progressive approach that will be applied to all training events by all units regardless of type: combat, combat support, combat service support. These eight steps are the USAREUR standard for conducting training.
- Plan the training.
- Teach the leaders who will execute the training, doctrine, tactics and procedures required, and certify their readiness to train their subordinates on the given collective tasks.
- Reconnoiter the training site; do a terrain walk with the leaders.
- Issue a complete operations order for the training.
- Execute the training.
- Conduct an After-Action Review (AAR) of the training.
- Retrain until the standard is met.
To compliment the training in theater, a gunnery training area was established in Taborfalva, Hungary. It is important to note that the gunnery in Hungary was not an end state. The focus on training remained on mission-related tasks and skills with a secondary intent of sustaining warfighting skills to support Task Force Eagle's return to Germany and their return to readiness. However, Hungary did impact training in Bosnia because units conducted pre-gunnery prior to deploying to Taborfalva.
The Task Force Eagle Commander used the assets available and guidance provided by the USAREUR Commander to develop his training strategy emphasizing the development and management of training that sustained the operational mission. This guidance was the focal point for the Task Force Eagle training program.
Just after the 120-day mark of the deployment, the Task Force Eagle Commander published his training guidance. Within this succinct 470-word document, the Commander provided the framework for the conduct of training while executing peace operations.
The guidance concentrated on the sustainment of basic combat skills and on mission-essential tasks, while ensuring successful completion of the mission. The Commander established four focused training objectives for Task Force Eagle. These objectives were:
- Battle Command/Staff Training
- Warfighting Skills
- Leader Training
- Training Management
The endstate requirement was two-fold: (1) to maintain a highly trained combat unit in the AOR, and (2) to develop an accurate unit assessment prior to redeployment.
Section II - Executing The Strategy
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