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National Guard leaders bring training to the table

CAMP RIPLEY — Leaders of the 1st Combined Arms Battalion — 194th Armor of Brainerd, joined in with staff of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team in conducting command and control training while on Camp Ripley May 8-14, 2014.

The purpose of the exercise was to develop the initial concepts for platoon level combat certificate training over the training period.

“Units are completing individual and collective tasks such as weapons qualification, gunnery and maneuver training so as to be ready for larger exercises in the future,” said Capt. Joseph Howe, XCTC Project Officer for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team.

The eXportable Combat Training Capability XCTC program is a training tool used by the Army National Guard since 2005 to train combat and support brigades throughout the U.S. Armed Forces. The XCTC was described by Guard officials as a cost-effective, time-efficient option for ensuring combat readiness training is available to soldiers at or near their home stations.

“Squad and platoon training at home station, allows commanders to build cohesive teams while conducting accurate assessment of the units’,” said Maj. Joseph Sanganoo, Camp Ripley Operations Officer. “Waiting to build cohesive and proficient teams once mobilized wastes time and impedes the focus that should be placed on theater specific training,” added Sanganoo.

“Each battalion in the Brigade was able to meet with the contractors from SRI and put together a day by day plan of action for their soldiers,” continued Howe.

SRI contractors manage all planning, execution, and recovery of training exercises and assist in the creation and development of unit level scenario execution. They provide exercise control, personnel and vehicle tracking devices, instrumented 3D after action review capabilities, administrative communication systems, battlefield immersion (including role players), battlefield effects (using simulated improvised explosive devices), portable village structures, video documentation, logistics support, and other related capabilities.

These scalable live-training programs prove effective for forces pre-mobilizing for deployment to a variety of theaters of operation. They are also effective in maintaining a sharp readiness level for units conducting state and community missions at home.

“This exercise is a great step on our track towards training at the National Training Center in California in 2016,” said Capt. Howe.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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