US soldiers

The US Army soldiers from 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team (1/25 SBCT), 25th Infantry Division, participated in the 2013 Warpath exercise in South Korea, to evaluate their mission command strategies.

Involving participation from over 80 staff members, the biennial exercise involved the defence of the Republic of Korea, and validated the brigade’s ability to deploy within the Pacific region and employ mission-command procedures to accomplish tactical objectives from a higher headquarters.

In addition, the drill served as a test bed for the army’s future construct of the Army 2020, which seeks implementation of the new Stryker Brigade Combat Team (BCT) structure, as well as the Reconnaissance and Security Brigade Combat Team (R&S BCT) concept.

Even though the exercise did not require defence against a real attack, the 1/25 SBCT personnel still demonstrated their ability to adapt to the proposed R&S BCT, including the complex challenges of conducting combined mission command with a foreign partner, and the nuances of executing both the high intensity conflict and counter insurgency missions.

Commenting on the exercise, 2nd Infantry Division maneuver, deputy commanding general brigadier general, Paul Laughlin, said: "[1/25 SBCT] challenged mission-command elements by distance, coordination with coalition forces, and operating as an Army 2020 concept unit for the first time."

"The training exercise allowed us to simulate and test our ability to conduct collection activities."

The participants then provided feedback, an after-action review and comments in measurements to the Army Capabilities and Integration Center (ARCIC) on both the shortfalls and benefits with the new conscript.

Concepts Development Branch Capabilities Development Integration directorate chief lieutenant, colonel John Brown, said: "The training exercise allowed us to simulate and test our ability to conduct collection activities, enhancing intelligence assets at the division and higher echelons while still having the ability to engage and win against an enemy force."

The army has announced its plans to prepare for the year 2020 and beyond by changing some of its formations starting in 2015 to help balance costs in equipment and manpower with the ability to bridge maneuver and mobility gaps in the formations.

Image: US Army personnel conduct mission command functions during exercise Warpath III at Camp Casey in Republic of Korea. Photo: courtesy of Maj. David Mattox.

Defence Technology