Unified Endeavor (UE) exercises are for Joint Task Force Component Commanders and their staffs to train at the operational level. The UE Exercise is a 3-phase program that culminates with a simulation driven computer-aided exercise (CAX). The 3 phases consist of 1) academic training (how to develop a plan) 2) development of the operations plan, and 3) execution of the operations order. The United States Joint Forces Command [formerly Atlantic Command] Joint Training and Analysis Simulation Center (JTASC), generally hosts three or four UE exercises each year.
The semi-annual Unified Endeavor series of exercises was developed in 1995 as a way to train commanders with new, computer simulation technology "for less than 1/10 of the cost," than expensive field maneuvers. The expense of large field training programs indicated a need for a more inexpensive solution to train joint staffs in Joint Task Force (JTF) operations. Computer war gaming had been used successfully since the early 1980's by the U.S. Army and provided potential cost-savings towards the training of these joint staffs. To that end, USACOM established the Joint Training, Analysis, and Simulations Center (JTASC) in Suffolk, Virginia. JTASC would provide the infrastructure and support for high-level computer war gaming using state of the art Modeling and Simulation (M&S) equipment.
The USACOM J7 utilized this facility to develop the UNIFIED ENDEAVOR series of exercises. Designed to train a Joint Task Force commander, UNIFIED ENDEAVOR only required the JTF staff and representatives from each component (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines). Actual forces in the field were simulated. The first UNIFIED ENDEAVOR was held in 1995, and established a program for Joint Task Force commander training which continues to this day. The cost savings are astronomical. Previous exercises similar to UNIFIED ENDEAVOR cost in excess of 37 million dollars. UNIFIED ENDEAVOR 95 cost 3.4 million dollars.
In Exercise Unified Endeavor 95, the Commander III Corps (Fort Hood, TX) was JTF 780 Commander with supporting elements and personnel from throughout the United States. Unified Endeavor was a three-phase exercise which started in January 1995 with Phase I for training key individuals. Phase II occurred in February for the crisis action planning and operation order development. Plan execution was in Phase III during April. The JTF was given a mission in response to a crisis situation within the Southwest Asia scenario.
During Phase I, a three-day academic training portion, a series of academic seminars were led by a small team of USACOM trainers. The presentations dealt with a broad spectrum of topics relating to joint operations such as planning, logistics and movement coordination, and were designed to stimulate discussion among participants.
In an effort to continue upgrading and improving its joint training program, U.S. Atlantic Command (USACOM) underwent a detailed after action review of the Unified Endeavor exercise series. Unified Endeavor '95 (UE95) was the command's first effort to provide comprehensive joint training to officers and enlisted from each branch of the military. The goal of the after action review was to identify possible changes to the program which would be implemented prior to the exercise series' next iteration.
By 1996, the USACOM J7 had moved to JTASC, and was soon joined by the Joint Battle Center (JBC), a Joint Staff analysis center which identifies improvements in joint interoperability.
Military commanders and staffs representing each branch of the armed forces sharpened their joint warfighting skills in Exercise Unified Endeavor 96-2 during the months of June and July. The commander in chief, United States Atlantic Command, headquartered at Norfolk, Va., directed a three-phased, computer-aided/simulation-driven, command post exercise, designed to train a joint task force headquarters commander, his staff and the service component staffs to plan for a crisis and apply joint doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures. The exercise forces was led by Air Force Lieutenant General Phillip J. Ford, commander of the Barksdale AFB, Louisiana-based Eighth Air Force.
The significance of Unified Endeavor 96-2 is that it marked a new approach to providing trained forces for joint operations. Previous military exercises relied heavily on massive, expensive, field maneuvers. Unified Endeavor 96-2 used available interactive technology to focus training on commanders and staffs. Unified Endeavor allows U.S. Atlantic Command, which is responsible to the Secretary of Defense for all joint military training, to more effectively use its joint training dollars. In the past, the command sponsored one major joint field training exercise each year. The command is now able to run six smaller and more effective exercises for about the same overall cost.
Senior commanders and staff met at the Joint Training Analysis and Simulation Center (JTASC) in Suffolk, Va., for academic seminars during phase one of the exercise, which ended June 7. The principal Joint Task Force (JTF) staff and representatives of their Service component staffs employed crisis action planning procedures to formulate an operations order based on a realistic scenario during phase two of the exercise, June 17 to 24. This operations order was then executed during the final phase of Unified Endeavor July 22 to 29. During phase three, the various levels of the JTF and units involved participated in the exercise through interactive computer links with the JTASC.
Exercise Unified Endeavor (UE 01-3), a computer simulation-driven exercise, provided realistic crisis scenarios to train a joint task force commander and his staff for a contingency requiring forces from all services. About 300 military commanders from the four services took part in the initial, academic portion of the three-phase exercise at the command's Joint Warfighting Center in Suffolk, Va. Phase II immediately followed the initial phase next week and involves the joint task force receiving a simulated crisis scenario and then planning for a multi-service, military response. The final phase slated for March 11 - 16 was the main operational portion. During the final phase, the joint task force commander and his staff responded militarily to a variety of realistic, crisis situations via computer simulation.
US Joint Forces Command conducted the final phase of Unified Endeavor 01-4 Sept. 10-17, a computer-simulated exercise designed to sharpen military commanders' joint and multinational warfighting skills in crises like the Kosovo and Haiti campaigns. During the exercise, the training headquarters of over 500 military personnel from the four services, NATO and Partnership for Peace nations coordinated coalition military responses to a variety of simulated crisis situations. The first two initial stages of the three-phase exercise took place in June. Phase I was a classroom-intensive environment designed to give the training joint task force an academic review of past and present joint warfighting plans and operations. Phase II, or the crisis-planning portion of the exercise, immediately followed the initial phase. During Phase II, the training joint task force received the exercise's simulated crisis scenarios and then planned a multi-service, coalition military response.