Joint Readiness Training Center Scenarios
The following is a fictional scenario used in conjunction with JRTC exercises. The training scenario at JRTC is built around operations on the island of "Aragon," which is divided into the countries of "Victoria" in the north, "Cortina" in the west and "Atlantica" in the east. Though each rotation is tailored to the needs of the visiting Blue Force units, the OPFOR normally conducts three main types of fights: the insurgent fight; the more conventional motorized regiment attack; and a defense.
The mythical Island of Aragon is located in the Atlantic Ocean between the West Indies and the Azores in the Sargasso Sea approximately 2,123 nautical miles from the east coast of the United States of America. The Republic of Cortina is located on the southwestern portion of the island, the Republic of Victoria is located on the northwest portion, and the People's Democratic Republic of Atlantica (PDRA) is located on the eastern half.
The player unit (BLUEFOR) is located in the operational area in the vicinity of Fort Polk conducting combat operations against enemy forces.
Cortina Liberation Front (CLF) insurgent forces have operated in Cortina for about 25 years. Recently, the CLF forces have expanded operations and escalated terrorist activities against the government of Cortina. The PDRA has increased its support to the CLF insurgency by providing arms, equipment and supplies, advisors, and training.
About a month ago, People's Revolutionary Armed Forces of Atlantica (PRAFA) committed the 140th Special Operations Brigade into Cortina to conduct combat operations in support of CLF insurgents. The brigade infiltrated into Cortina and is operating east of Fort Polk. PRAFA regular and reserve army divisions, brigades and combat support units have been moving to positions along the border between Cortina and PDRA.
Cortinian counterinsurgency operations have been fragmented and ineffective due to the deteriorating economic and political situation within Cortina. Political infighting within the Cortinian government and lack of political support to the Cortinian military have caused Cortinian counterinsurgency operations to be less than effective.
After the introduction of the PRAFA brigade, Cortinian forces began to lose the use of Fort Polk and their ability to continue counterinsurgency operations in the Department of Beauregard. Since Cortinian forces could not continue these operations against the CLF and defeat the 140th Special Operations Brigade, the President of Cortina requested U.S. military assistance. A US Joint Chiefs of Staff order transmitted national command authority directives to conduct military operations in Cortina. With Secretary of Defense approval, the Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Command directed deployment of Joint Task Force (Cortina) air, land, naval, and special operations forces to Cortina to conduct peacetime contingency operations and restore stability to the region as a deterrent to PDRA aggression.
US operations are intended to restore regional stability, support Cortinian internal defense and development efforts, protect the Cortinian government from aggression by the PDRA, protect U.S. national security interests, and demonstrate U.S. resolve in promoting the democracy of free nations. Deployment is pursuant to the:
a. Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States of America and Republic of Cortina, May 1985.
b. Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States of America and Republic of Cortina, May 1985.
c. Agreement between the United States of America and Republic of Cortina concerning Military Assistance, July 1985.
Conduct of operations is limited by the Presidential War Powers Act. Operations will comply with international law, and the Law of Armed Conflict.
Joint Task Force (Cortina) air, land, naval, and special operations forces conducted a rapid strategic deployment to Cortina in the past several days. U.S. special operations forces have been operating in Cortina prior to this deployment. Joint Task Force (Cortina) plans to conduct joint operations in the operational area to destroy enemy forces. Humanitarian and civic assistance operations are planned to promote the security interests of the Cortinian government. Meanwhile, the PDRA Ministry of National Defense continues to move combat units closer to the international border between the PDRA and Cortina.
One scenario for the exercise, dubbed Empire Peak, revolves around a show of force operation in the fictional country of Cortina. Its aggressive neighbor, Atlantica, is pursuing territory through guerrilla warfare and potential invasion. The US Brigade's mission is to deploy to Cortina and provide a deterrence to Atlantican hostilities, defeat any Atlantican attacks across the international border, and provide a stable environment for the Cortinian government and military to restore order in the countryside. It is a scenario that encompasses military operations other than war and offensive as well as defensive combat operations.
The core of JRTC's OPFOR is two companies of the 1st Bn., 509th Inf., supported by up to 500 additional troops and visually modified armored vehicles drawn from the Fort Polk-based 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment and other FORSCOM units. This 1,000-strong OPFOR routinely engages Blue Force units four times its size.
There is one rotation a month for 10 months of the year, with the OPFOR troops in the field three weeks out of the month. The other week of each month is spent preparing for the next cycle. The June and December breaks in the cycle aren't really breaks, though, because those are the periods when they do weapon qualifications and all the other things any MTOE unit is required to do.
The OPFOR mission is to put as much pressure as possible on the troops that come here to train. And though they try to be successful in achieving our goals on the battlefield, success is not defined by beating these units. It's defined by doing everything we can to make sure they leave here better units than when they came. If they can beat the OPFOR, they can beat anybody.
The "Leesville Urban Group" is a band of some 20 soldiers drawn from Fort Polk's main OPFOR unit, the 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry. The LUG is a terrorist cell within the "Cortinian Liberation Front," the insurgent organization that plagues Blue Force units during their JRTC rotations, and it performs a unique and vital training role. Figuring out how to control the civilian population and identify and neutralize terrorists are some of the greatest challenges Blue Force units face at JRTC. They have to identify friend and foe, and at the same time develop and carry out civil-affairs operations aimed at winning over the local population. The LUG terrorists help make that aspect of the battle much more realistic here at JRTC than it is at any other training center."
To enhance realism and increase the value of the training Blue Force units receive, the LUG is organized in the classic cell pattern. The group's intelligence cell gathers information on Blue Force units; a direct-action cell conducts car bombings, drive-by shootings and other mayhem; a psychological-operations cell produces and disseminates propaganda; and a logistics cell supports the LUG and other OPFOR units. Wearing civilian clothes and MILES gear, the LUG members use any cover that will give them mobility and anonymity on the battlefield. By mingling with the "civilian" population of the several villages that dot JRTC's sprawling maneuver box, the terrorists are able to gather detailed information on Blue Force units, operations and movements. The LUG's intelligence-gathering activities don't go unchallenged, of course. Identifying and neutralizing the terrorists is a primary goal for Blue Force military intelligence and civil affairs units in the maneuver box.
Not neutralizing the LUG can prove disastrous for the Blue Force units, for the terrorists are equally adept at "direct action" missions. Though these can be isolated events like drive-by shootings or assassinations of key Blue Force commanders, they are more often concerted campaigns carried out to support larger OPFOR goals.
The LUG soldiers work seven days a week during JRTC's 10 annual rotations, and are on one-hour recall even when off duty. They might get a call at three in the morning to go into the box on a mission, and if caught by the Blue Force could be detained and interrogated for days. Putting up with the job's unique and constantly changing demands takes a special kind of soldier.
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