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SECTION II

EXECUTING THE STRATEGY


The brigades took the Task Force Eagle's guidance and developed their plan to execute the training. The following represents one brigade's strategy.

BATTLE COMMAND AND STAFF TRAINING

" Command and control of forces are critical to successful mission accomplishment, and battle command/ staff training is key to the development of those skills. We must emphasize troop-leading procedures, BOS integration and synchronization, and situational awareness. All must also be proficient at battle-tracking and receiving/transmitting accurate, timely reports."
--From Task Force Eagle Commander Training Guidance

This training would be conducted during daily operations. The emphasis was on troop-leading procedures, integration and synchronization of the battlefield operating systems, and situational awareness and proficiency at battle tracking and receiving/transmitting accurate and timely reports.

The units developed battle staff exercises that were used to train new personnel and refine the battle command process. The technique used involved the traditional planning process in coordination with daily operations. The focus of the training was to ensure that operations were effectively planned, synchronized and executed. This planning process emphasized the synchronization of battlefield operating systems (BOSs) and functional areas. Added benefits were improved command and control, reporting and situational awareness within the unit.

Precise reporting was a daily requirement within the area of operations. Units reported the results of continuous daily missions to higher headquarters to provide situational awareness for decisionmaking purposes. The focus of battle staff training on current and future operations enhanced and reinforced effective reporting.

The planning process was used by battle staff personnel to train and sustain skills. Each unit developed and practiced plans for contingencies within the area of operations. As the mission requirements became more stable, plans for battle staff development began to gain substance. The Brigade- and Battalion-level battle staffs developed objectives that supported the training guidance with the scheduled CPX as the cornerstone to battle staff training.

The staff positions were constantly changing because of personnel changes. The intensity of staff operations developed efficient staff officers that were cross-trained in several positions in the staff. Battle staffs presented a battlefield update brief daily to the unit commander. These updates incorporated subordinate unit reports in the daily assessment of operations presented to the commander. This was an excellent forum to familiarize personnel with all aspects of the operational mission. Staff personnel became familiar with the requirements of each staff cell. The deployment presented a unique opportunity to develop a staff that was not distracted by the normal extra duty requirements. Staff operations planned, executed and monitored daily missions in the AOR.

The transition to training was not difficult because of the procedures developed in standing operating procedures and proven in daily operations. One challenge was the requirement to separate training missions from daily missions to ensure the conduct of training was not mistaken for an actual mission. Another challenge was the decentralized missions that required the units to exercise the planning and then transmit the plans to higher headquarters. Each unit had to provide an evaluator from within the unit because of the lack of O/Cs in the AOR.

WARFIGHTING SKILLS

"Train on the basic warfighting skills based on CTT requirements, MOS specific, and collective warfighting tasks. Units will focus on individual, squad/crew and platoon-level operations using the principles established in the listed references. Again, troop-leading procedures, to include rehearsals and PCIs as well as battle drills, must be emphasized."
--From Task Force Eagle Commander Training Guidance

The focus of this training was on basic warfighting skills based on Common Task Training requirements, specific Military Occupational Specialty training, and collective warfighting tasks. Units would be required to also focus on individual, squad/crew and platoon-level operations using the principles established in Field and Soldier Manuals.

The training conducted during the operation had essentially two audiences: soldiers and leaders who deployed into Bosnia from the start and those soldiers and leaders who arrived into theater after the initial deployment.

The first group underwent an extensive trainup during Mountain Eagle in Grafenwhoer and Hohenfels, Germany. Members of the second group that were stationed in Germany or elsewhere in Europe and deployed had to conduct certification training at Hohenfels before they were allowed to enter the theater. The remaining members of the second group deployed from the U.S. and received an orientation at Ft. Benning, GA prior to deploying to Germany where they had to conduct the certification training at Hohenfels before being allowed to enter the operational area.

Training New Arrivals. Training the new arrivals relied on the experiences of the veterans. These experiences were captured through a detailed after-action review process that was conducted by every unit down to squad level. In addition, the Center for Army Lessons Learned published a "lesson learned" every 72 hours which was disseminated down to platoon level. From this collective experience and other individual training requirements, battalions developed "New Soldier" training programs.

A squadron within the task force instituted the new soldier training plan shown here. The plan was flexible to add new information that developed during the deployment. Each soldier received the following training information. All new soldier training was complete within the first 24 hours after arriving at the final assignment. After the initial training, the new soldier continued to work with experienced soldiers to continue to train and sustain skills to support the daily operation.

SQUADRON -- WITHIN 24 HOURS OF ARRIVAL

  • Welcome
  • Location of Subordinate Units
  • Squadron's Mission
  • Squadron's Task Organization
  • Squadron's Chain of Command
  • Troop Assignment

TROOP -- WITHIN 24 HOURS OF ASSIGNMENT

  • Location of Assigned Unit in Relation to Others
  • Inprocess and Assign to a Platoon
  • Update ROE
  • Read all Lessons Learned
  • Read all Current Division, Brigade, and Squadron Policies
  • Read General Order No. 1
  • Receive Mine Awareness Update
  • Take NCO Certification (leader) Test (E- 5 to E-7) (within 30 days)
  • Receive Troop Mission
  • Receive Troop Task Organization
  • Issue and Account for Ammunition
  • Conduct TA-50 Shakedown
  • Receive and Pass PMCS Verification
  • Offer Soldier Tick Shot

Coupled with the "New Soldier" training program, squad drills were used to integrate new soldiers into the unit. The "right seat" and "buddy" programs ensured that a seasoned soldier helped train new soldiers in individual and crew skills.

"What I am selling to everyone, and it's a lesson learned, is that I am thoroughly convinced that our success is directly proportional to our credibility and proficiency at warfighting. The environment has some differences, yes, but the differences are more tactics, techniques and procedures than doctrine . . . the thing to remember is that we are warfighters."
--MG Nash, Task Force Eagle Commander

Individual and Collective Task Training. Once the new arrivals received their orientation training, they were better prepared to participate in the individual and collective training. Units practiced mission skills on a daily basis. Doing the mission right, by the published standards and performance measures, was training. However, the "heart" of the training was in the after-action review. Although not a new idea, Task Force Eagle made the after-action review process an integral aspect of operations. Missions were not allowed to become routine and repetitious. Leadership within the units used daily missions to practice mission preparation and reinforce individual, crew and collective skills. When soldiers mastered basic skill, they were cross-trained in other MOS skills.

NCOs trained individual and crew skills at the checkpoints and in the base camps. The skills were used during day-to-day operations. Platoon collective training was conducted when possible during the daily operations. All training was reviewed in an informal after-action review to ensure that lessons learned were addressed. Retraining was conducted prior to and during the next mission. Leaders at all levels practiced troop-leading procedures. Rehearsals and pre-combat inspections were used to ensure soldiers did not become complacent when executing a recurring mission.

Daily missions required training in a number of skills that were applicable to the mission and also crossed over into traditional warfighting skills. Units identified missions where embedded tasks were similar to collective tasks on the unit's Mission-Essential Task List. For example, the tasks associated with establishing and operating an observation post is similar to that of establishing a battle position and establishing and operating a checkpoint is similar to constructing a strongpoint.

Units used the following methodology when executing training while conducting the mission. The example used is establishing and maintaining a checkpoint.

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Marksmanship and Gunnery Training. Possibly the most degradable of all skills in any unit is marksmanship and gunnery.

"Destroying or suppressing the enemy with direct fires is essential to all combat operations"
--FM 23-1, Bradley Gunnery

There were three components of marksmanship and gunnery training: Individual weapons training, Pre-gunnery training, and Gunnery. Small arms ranges were constructed in the base camps and surrounding areas that were accessible to the units. Micro-gunnery and pre-gunnery training also took place in basecamps and at checkpoints. An artillery and attack helicopter range was constructed in Glamoc, Bosnia, in the western portion of the country in the British sector. Tank and Bradley gunnery, along with some small unit maneuver live fire training, was conducted in Taborfalva, Hungary.

Individual Weapons Training. Twenty-four small arms ranges were constructed in Bosnia. These ranges could accommodate M9, M16, M249, M60, M203, and caliber .50 firing. Before construction of ranges could begin, the following requirements had to be met:

  • Units had to conduct a risk assessment on the development and operation of the range.

  • Unit civil affairs teams had to coordinate with local authorities for land use.

  • Potential training areas and access to the areas had to be cleared and proofed of mines and unexploded ordnance.

  • The proposed design of the range had to be submitted to G3 Training and the Division Safety Office for approval. Division Safety would evaluate the plan on the ground and certify it for firing.

  • All ranges required a surface danger area analysis to ensure safe conduct of the range. The analysis had to take into account, but was not limited to, the maximum range of the weapon to be fired and ricochet danger area as a potential hazard to populated areas. The standard for the surface danger area analysis was found in AR 385-63.

  • Upon approval, units could begin to construct the range. In addition, on-call restricted overfly zones had to be developed for the ranges.

Pre-Gunnery Training. Although gunnery at Taborfalva was not an end state for all training in Bosnia, it was a goal for units as they conducted pre-gunnery. Gunnery in Taborfalva validated the quality of that pre-gunnery training. Units did not have the maneuver space to build full-scale gunnery practice ranges. Task Force Eagle units used micro armor and small scale ranges to practice engagements and rehearse gunnery skills. If micro armor was not available, substitutes, such as platoon rubber duck kits, could serve as a comparable training tool.

TCPC/BCPC courses built-in sector allowed the Bradley and Tank crews to exercise pregunnery skill prior to deployment to the Taborfalva Training Area (TTA) in Taborfalva, Hungary. The TCPC/BCPC courses were built to evaluate the training conducted in sector. The courses were built by soldiers using scale targets and the training devices known as Tank Weapon Gunnery Simulation System (TWGSS)/Precision Gunnery System (PGS). The Task Force fielded the TWGSS/PGS during the deployment after some units had qualified at TTA. The units that received TWGSSs/PGSs improved in fire commands and crew tasks during gunnery qualification.

The development of ranges and courses in or near the unit base camps was a considerable effort. Unit master gunners developed the range plans and standards needed to prepare the course. The course design was limited by the available training space. Design concerns centered on the course scale, target-size presentation techniques and course speed. The result was an effective scaled course that depicted target scenarios closely resembling the actual gunnery range.

Gunnery Training. Task Force Eagle units rotated through the Tborfalva Training Area to conduct crew qualification training. The 7th Army Training Command (7ATC) provided the personnel to build and run the range and the support facilities to house and sustain the units. Crew evaluators are trained by 7ATC and have experience at Grafenwhoer evaluating gunnery skills during qualification. The range is on a leased Hungarian military training facility located approximately 60 kilometers South East of Budapest. It consists of a life support area/administrative area, a small arms range, a maneuver area, an artillery firing area, a maneuver range and a small artillery impact area. The range is capable of supporting up to Tank and Bradley Table XII and Artillery Table VI.

The range consists of a live-fire maneuver range, a range tower, a range operations center, a VIP shelter, an After-Action Review (AAR) facility and two GP medium tents with wooden floors set up for the training unit's command post, warm-up tent and dining facility for those soldiers fed on the range. An M16, M9, M249 and Infantry Squad Assault Course is located on the left most portion of the range. The live fire maneuver range will support up to a Table XII. Tanks and Bradleys will fire only training ammunition.

LEADER TRAINING

"The impact of sustained operations should be, for our junior leaders, a career-defining experience that internalizes into their professional souls the lessons of doing things right. We must take advantage of this unique opportunity to create a cadre of professional soldiers that are able to sustain operations to standard and have the moral courage to do what is right all the time."
--From Task Force Eagle Commander Training Guidance

As stated by the Task Force Eagle commander, "The impact of sustained operations should be, for our junior leaders, a career defining experience . . ." The deployment offers the unique opportunity to train leaders within an operational environment. The lessons learned from daily operations had to be internalized, and this was accomplished through professional development classes and performance-oriented after-action reviews.

There were two aspects to leader training:

  • Junior leader training
  • Senior leader training.

Junior Leader Training. Units developed Officer and NCO professional development programs (OPD/NCOPD) that addressed both tactical and technical training. The training developed and sustained warfighting skills in junior officers, NCOs and battle staffs. Training objectives addressed the need to maintain operational skills while sustaining warfighting skills that were not used in theater. Topics covered in OPD/NCOPD sessions were oriented on the operational requirements of warfighting missions. Critical resources were terrain boards and rehearsal sites. Again, the after-action review process was central to successful leader training. A senior leader (battalion/squadron commander, company/troop commander, CSM, and or 1SG) facilitated the AAR as the observer/controller (O/C).

OPD/NCOPDs were also conducted as performance-oriented exercises. These exercises were specifically oriented on a specific operation. After a doctrinal teach occurred, the battle staff would begin the orders drill and then issue the final order to the commander (O/C). The same type of training was conducted with company commanders with platoon leaders.

"Let me say a few words on Leader Training. The Army hasn't done a long mission like this since Vietnam -- long time in a hostile environment. The Conduct of sustained operations over a long time increases the factors of turbulence, turnover, and mission development. Requires an extraordinary degree of discipline and focus to avoid complacency. You are embarking on something that will stay with you for your entire career. I challenge you to make this a good experience -- a defining experience."
--MG Nash, Task Force Eagle Commander

Senior Leader Training. A technique for senior leader training that was implemented by Task Force Eagle was the Battalion Commander's Exchange Program. The exchange program was designed to allow battalion commanders the opportunity to exchange ideas and engage in professional dialogue with a fellow commander located in the TF area of responsibility. This would allow each commander to learn and gain a better understanding of other organizations in the Task Force. By gaining a fuller understanding of how other battalions operate and their different responsibilities and focus, commanders would understand the contributions made, thereby contributing to the overall success of Task Force Eagle's mission.

At a time to be determined by both commanders and in coordination with both brigade and Task Force Headquarters, the visiting commander would fly to the host battalion commander's headquarters where he would spend two days right-seating with the host commander. It was intended for every commander to take advantage of the opportunity to become better acquainted with both the operational missions of the host battalion and to develop an understanding and professional respect for the leaders of Task Force Eagle.

TRAINING MANAGEMENT

"Commanders at all levels must ensure rigorous integration of the Army's philosophy and doctrine of training with our daily mission requirements -- to standard."
--From Task Force Eagle Commander Training Guidance

Training management will always be a challenge for units that are conducting peace operations. Units are required to maintain sufficient combat power to counter possible threats and maintain forces to conduct daily operations. Finding the resources, particularly time, to allocate for units to conduct training was a difficult task.

"Training is at the core of who we are in the brigade. The purpose of brigades is to create the conditions for success by battalions. Brigade staff will dedicate itself to this end. At battalion and below, commanders and leaders plan the effective use of training resources (time in particular) and seize opportunities to train."
--From a Brigade Commander's Training Guidance

The following sections discuss available resources, tactics, techniques, and procedures that Task Force Eagle used to manage their sustainment training strategy.



Section I - Developing the Strategy
Section III - Resourcing the Strategy



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