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Posted: February 23, 2018 3:25 p.m.
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‘Spartan Lance,’ backdrop to train brigade command post

Courtesy photo/

Capt Jessica Trammell, air defense officer, 2ABCT, 3rd ID, presents the air defense protection plan during Spartan Lance, the brigade’s command post exercise, at Fort Stewart, Feb. 11-15. The brigade along with subordinate staffs converged on Fort Stewart’s Mission Training Center to plan, rehearse, and execute a simulated tactical mission. The CPX was a venue to train the brigade and battalion staffs on the military’s deliberate and rapid decision making process.

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ilitary operations require commanders to consider three elements: terrain, opposing forces and friendly forces. These variables were meticulously analyzed during the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Command Post Exercise at Fort Stewart, from Feb. 11-15.

The brigade, along with subordinate staffs, converged on Fort Stewart’s Mission Training Center to plan, rehearse and execute a simulated tactical mission.

The CPX was a venue to train the brigade and battalion staffs on the military’s deliberate and rapid decision making process.

This was the first time since converting to an armored brigade combat team the Spartans exercised their tactical mission command capabilities.

“Carving out time to exercise mission command is essential to our growth as an ABCT,” said Maj. Jason Wingeart, brigade executive officer. “Although we are in the midst of fielding and training on our combat vehicles, we wanted to use the CPX to develop our leaders to fight and sustain an armored unit. It’s important that we build the understanding of the capabilities now in a simulated environment before doing it for real.”

Preparation for the CPX began this past September with workshops designed to gain understanding of the composition and function of a brigade combat team.

“Planning and MDMP can be intimidating and is a perishable skill,” said Sgt.1st Class Tony Linker, brigade communication section chief. “But we had the time to execute it through the crawl, walk and run methodology. Understanding the ‘how’ and ‘why’ a commander comes to a decision was incredibly beneficial.”

During the crawl phase, a series of scenario-driven exercises tested the staff’s ability to integrate specific warfighting functions into the larger planning process. This is also when the staff studied the terrain and the enemy the most.

Within the simulated tactical mission, coined “Spartan Lance,” the brigade deployed to the fictional country of Atropia to defend against the invading Donovians. Although the operation was fought inside a virtual world, the physical activity surrounding the exercise was complex.

The MTC offered a backbone for the exercise; however, the brigade still provided its own tents, tactical network equipment, generators and field feeding.

“We treated this as a mini deployment for the brigade staff,” said Capt. Matthew Gurniak, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd ABCT. “Trying to replicate our operations as closely as possible to that of a contested environment is necessary to prepare physically and mentally.”

The staffs became more comfortable during the exercise as they were exposed to a more complex tactical problem.

Wingeart admits, “The CPX was more of a brisk walk. The ‘run’ phase will come when the brigade trains with the division during their warfighter train-up.”

The division’s warfighting exercise is the collective training equivalent of a combat unit training at one of the Army’s combat training centers for a deployment rehearsal exercise. The warfighter is scheduled for later this fall, and the Spartans will again have the opportunity to analyze the terrain, the enemy and a new mission.


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