COMBAT TRAINING CENTER BRANCH
Virtually every day of the year, corps- to squad-level Army units fight fierce battles against a well-trained and equipped enemy in terrain varying from barren desert to densely vegetated woodlands. This simulated combat challenges every type of maneuver and support unit the U.S. Army can muster. The missions run the gamut from conventional warfare to contingency operations. This daily warfare occurs at the Combat Training Centers (CTCs). The CTCs provide the richest, continuous source of observations and lessons available to the U.S. Army, as units routinely measure their skills in a realistic, unforgiving environment.
To capture lessons learned and TTP derived from the CTCs for dissemination to the Total Army, as part of the overall lessons learned process.
The CTC Quarterly Bulletin and the CTC Trends are the major sources of CTC-derived lessons that CALL disseminates. The CTC Branch is also responsible for the execution of the CTC Focused Rotation Program, where the TRADOC schools, centers and Battle Labs can use the respective CTCs to help identify, develop, and solve warfighting issues. The CTC Branch also provides training support packages tailored to specific unit requirements, and distributes the packages to units approximately six months before their scheduled rotation. Additionally, the CTC Branch publishes topic newsletters and CTC Orders to assist in training brigade and battalion staffs.
CTC Quarterly Bulletin: This publication showcases articles that focus on techniques and procedures that work! The articles encompass all aspects of warfighting, including the preparation for combat as well as for the execution of combat missions. The authors are most often current or former CTC Observer/Controllers (O/C), but certainly not limited to that group. The primary audience is leaders and soldiers of units scheduled for a CTC rotation. However, successful techniques and procedures related to the planning, preparation, and execution of tactical-level warfare is the business of the Total Army. The CTC Branch routinely solicits articles for the bulletin that deal not only with combat, but also with combat support and combat service support.
1. CTC Trends Bulletin. CALL receives trends and associated TTPs from the training centers on a routine schedule. The trends and TTPs are identified by observers/controllers (O/Cs) during unit rotations at the CTCs. The CTC Branch of CALL organizes the trends in accordance with TRADOC Pamphlet 11-9, Blueprint of the Battlefield, and publishes a trends bulletin every six months for each CTC.
2. CTC Priority Trends Compendium. CALL compiles the recurring trends and associated TTPs for each CTC into a compendium of priority trends, published annually. The compendium also contains a matrix chart which shows the number of times per quarter that a particular trend/observation was documented over the previous two or more years.
3. CTC Trends Analysis. CALL's Trends Analysis is a two-part product. First, for each CTC, CALL publishes a separate analytical review of each of the repeated (priority) trends, both positive and negative, that were included in their respective CTC Priority Trends Compendiums. This analysis highlights doctrine, training, leader development, organization, materiel, and soldier (DTLOMS) implications. They are published periodically with limited distribution as requirements dictate. Second, CALL conducts a cross-BOS, cross-CTC analysis of all CTC trends. This analysis discusses DTLOMS implications across all CTCs and provides direct input into the TRADOC Remedial Action Program (T-RAP), TRADOC Regulation 11-13.
Topic Newsletters: This publication highlights a specific subject or issue. For example, CALL Newsletter No. 95-7, May 95, Tactical Operations Center (TOC), identifies problem areas and provides useful techniques and procedures.
CTC Orders: Upon request, CALL provides sample CTC orders to units to facilitate training the staff planning process. The orders are provided by the CTC Operations Group and prepared for dissemination by CALL.
TRADOC Remedial Action Program (T-RAP): T-RAP is a systematic process for prioritizing and then resolving issues affecting Army warfighting capabilities. CALL's T-RAP responsibilities, as defined in TRADOC Reg 11-13, are to collect warfighting issues via all-source collection, review, identify sufficiency, and submit potential issues for entry into the T-RAP process. CALL also collects observations on post issue-resolution performance to help determine the effect of implemented solutions.
HEADS UP: This program evolved from the belief that CALL's greatest potential for positively impacting unit performance rests with impacting Home-Station Training. HEADS UP is a training support package (TSP) containing the most recent trend and lessons information, relevant CALL newsletters and CTC-produced "how to" tapes. This information is designed to help units assess themselves in light of identified CTC shortcomings, while providing some solutions to those shortcomings. If received and incorporated early in unit training, the lessons inherent in HEADS UP should help units avoid repeating the mistakes made by others. If this is accomplished, then the ultimate objective of a lessons learned system is accomplished.
Focused Rotation: CALL serves as TRADOC's executive agent for this program designed to allow TRADOC schools, centers, and Battle Labs to use the CTCs as a major source for both issue identification and solution. Specifically, the program allows subject matter expert (SME) collectors, coordinated through the CTC Operations Group by CALL, to augment the normal O/C staff. These SMEs focus their efforts on a specific issue. Ideally, the initial collection effort is used as part of an active collection diagnostic to corroborate data already derived from the CTC archives. The initial issue collection should concentrate on further defining the scope of the issue, and also begin to look for potential issue solutions. The results of the initial collection should form a significant basis for the development of solutions for an issue, based on some combination of doctrine, training, leader development, organization, materiel, and soldier support (DTLOMS). As the DTLOMS solutions are implemented, typically a second focused rotation would be used to determine if the implemented solutions work. The CTC Branch, in conjunction with the respective CALL Observation Divisions at the CTCs, conducts the coordination and liaison necessary between the TRADOC proponent and the Operations Group to make the rotation occur.
Requests for Information and Unit Assistance: CALL provides unit assistance through several means: telephone, E-mail, the World Wide Web, list servers and assistance to deploying units.
Archives: Through CALL, all of the CTC rotation Take-Home Packets (THPs) are maintained in a CTC relational data base.
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