NEWS | May 5, 2017

75th TC Trainers Coach, Teach and Mentor During WAREX 86-17-02

By Lt. Col. Steven Johnston 75th Training Command

More than 100 members of the 75th Training Command are lending their time and subject matter expertise to help train commanders and their staffs participating in WAREX 86-17-02 on how to more effectively conduct mission command and use the military decision making process in a tactical environment. 1st Brigade, Great Lakes Training Division, 75th Training Command has provided experienced trainers to observe, guide and mentor the training audience units participating in the exercise.

The 86th Training Division is conducting WAREX 86-17-02 at Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin, during the first two weeks of the May. As an exercise partner to the 86th Training Division, the 75th Training Command provides observer controller/trainers – OC/Ts - to focus on training the commanders and staffs of units at the battalion level or higher. The role as OC/T in a WAREX is to observe and mentor and to train participants as they react to the training scenarios.

Observer controller/trainer teams of the 75th Training Command spent the first few days of the exercise teaching the military decision making process to training audience units. As part of the initial phase of training, OC/Ts guided and coached commanders and staffs as they use MDMP to produce an operations order, based on the order from their higher headquarters, to use during the exercise as they conduct their assigned mission.

Observer controller/trainer teams consist of five or six trainers. Each team is led by a chief observer controller/trainer, or “CHOT,” who reports to the brigade Senior CHOT. The CHOT is primarily responsible for an OC/T team as team members coach, mentor and teach the training audience. The CHOT must assure that his team is fully trained and prepared - and fully versed in current doctrine - to provide training and evaluation to the participating units’ commanders and staffs.

“We bring the competency and credibility of our OC/Ts,” said Col. Richard Hough, commander of 1st Brigade, Great Lakes Training Division, 75th Training Command. “We train them on the principles of mission command, as well as being experts in CP operations, and MDMP. And what we’ve done in 1st Brigade is, we’ve trained on those hard, and focused solely on those, so we bring that credibility to that instruction when we show up.“

In addition to the OC/Ts from Great Lakes Training Division, serving as subject matter experts to the 12 units that make up the training audience, other members of the 75th Training Command also serve on other exercise teams, such as the Higher, Adjacent, Lower, Supporting and Supported (HALSS) cell, the simulation cell, and information technology teams, which ensure that all participants in the exercise can communicate with one another.

“That’s an important mission, particularly in a WAREX, because while we are in a firewalled exercise, there are still mission command responsibilities for the proper conduct of an exercise,” said Hough. “Furthermore, we are providing them with the subject matter expertise on how to run the exercise, and how to build a response cell in the HALSS for the exercise. We are also providing signal support, in the form of network support and expertise on Command Post of the Future (CPOF) and mission command information systems.“

A warrior exercise, or WAREX, is designed to allow participating units in the training audience to exercise their standard operating procedures and their equipment systems in tactical conditions. Under the Crawl-Walk-Run construct of training, a WAREX is the crawl and walk phase allowing participating units to stop and evaluate their performance as needed.

A WAREX, for the training units, is designed to be the very first time a commander and staff team at the battalion and higher level go into the field and collaborate as a team, under the stressful conditions of a tactical environment. The exercise teaches members of the staff their roles and responsibilities and how to exercise the Military Decision Making Process to accomplish their mission. One of the units’ Command Training Objectives is to provide mission command.

Hough said, “All units need to practice the principles of mission command to be effective in combat. The coordination within the CP is instrumental to successful application of warfighting functions during the war. As we bring that, we coach them and mentor them on those principles, it makes for a better unit.

The mission of 75th Training Command is to provide subject matter experts and teams who can prepare Army Reserve units for deployments and missions by conducting training exercises, while mentoring and training the senior leaders of those units in mission command and the military decision making process. The 75th Training Command is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

1st Brigade, Great Lakes Training Division is headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.