Victory Scrimmage is a command post, command control exercise organized and led by V Corps that came to public knowledge following two stories in Stars and Stripes. The exercise is designed to bring together the command elements of the major Army units that are slated to participate in an upcoming war against Iraq. Not involving mass formations of troops actually deployed in the field, the exercise will focus on the leaders of the major units and their staffs. The idea is to provide an opportunity for the various commanders to operate together and to interact, reducing complications that may arise during the upcoming war.
The exercise will focus on long-distance deep strike operations.
Elements of 3rd Infantry Division, 4th Infantry Division, 1st Armored Division, 1st Cavalry Division and the 101st Airborne Division are all taking part in the exercise. The addition of the 4th Infantry Division is noteworthy as is that of the 3rd Infantry Division as previous press accounts neglected to mention these forces.
While the 1st Infantry Division was to play a role in the exercise, Army officials ultimately decided not to include the unit, though it is being emphasized that the 1st Infantry may still play a role in a war with Iraq. This decision could be based in part on difficulties arising from the peacekeeping operations that elements of the 1st Infantry are currently assigned to, or have just returned from. It is thought that the 1st Infantry's combat readiness has been significantly degraded preventing it from taking an active role.
The exercise was scheduled to begin in mid-January lasting until the end of that month but subsequent reports in the media indicate that the exercise was pushed back until 28 January 2003 and is supposed to last 10-14 days. This would tend to indicate that a delay in the overall timetable for a war for Iraq has been pushed back somewhat, possibly in light of difficulties in deciding on force packages and movements of equipment.
It will involve more than 2,000 personnel.
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