Combat Maneuver Training Center Exercises
Until recently, the Combat Maneuver Training Center [CMTC] was loosely considered the "NTC of Europe," focusing on force-on-force maneuver training. However, CMTC now boasts state-of-the-art MOUT and ancillary training facilities that allow CMTC to provide training in both combat operations and military operations other than war (MOOTW). The CMTC provides training across the spectrum of conflict, using scenarios developed from recent operations (Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo, etc.) and mission rehearsals to prepare forces for deployment or likely contingency operations. The CMTC focuses on brigade and below commands and staffs, force-on-force maneuver training for armored and mechanized infantry battalions, company-level situational training exercises (STXs), and individual replacement training (IRT) for forces entering the Bosnia and Kosovo theaters of operations.
The maneuver "box" at the CMTC is 10 km x 20 km in area. The size of the "box" is ideal for battalion task force sized elements. Typically, a brigade headquarters will deploy to the CMTC and serve as the higher headquarters as each of its battalions rotates through their training exercise. At least twice during each rotation, two battalions operate in the "box" at one time. During these periods, the brigade headquarters also deploys into the "box" and operates with the two battalions, conducting both defensive and offensive operations. The brigade judge advocate functions within the brigade headquarters, responding to legal issues both during "brigade ops" and when only one battalion is in rotation.
CMTC offers training in both high-intensity conflict (HIC), force-on-force scenarios, and low-to-mid-intensity conflict (LIC/MIC), and military operations other than war (MOOTW). Except for mission-specific rehearsal exercises, CMTC uses the same general scenario. The HIC portion generally involves three neighboring countries, Sowenia, Vilslakia, and Juraland. Sowenia is a fledgling democracy and an ally with the United States and NATO. The Vilslakian government was recently overthrown by a military coup and is now making claims to a small portion of Sowenia, inhabited mostly by ethnic Vilslakians. Juraland struggles to remain neutral. The scenario begins either as a PSO scenario that moves to HIC when the Vilslakians cross the international border or it begins as a HIC rotation once the Vilslakians have already crossed the border.
CMTC conducts approximately 5 brigade rotations (up to 63 days each) per year, each with imbedded battalion rotations (25 days each). CMTC also conducts two Mission Rehearsal Exercises (up to 28 days each) per year and teaches 4 Individual Readiness Training Situational Training Exercises (IRT STX) per month. Each brigade rotation is comprised of up to 3 task forces and 1 Cavalry squadron. Rotations typically employ the 3-5-14-3 day rotational task force window model: 3 day deployment/MILES draw; 5 day company focus lane training (STXs); 14 day force-on-OPFOR maneuver exercise in movement to contact / attack / defend stages; and a 3 day recovery.
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