April 19, 2017 –
U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers of the 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 9th Mission Support Command, put their skills to the test during a warfighter exercise (WFX) at Mission Training Complex (MTC) – Hawaii, Schofield Barracks, April 3-12.
This was the first time the 303rd MEB participated in a WFX since its activation just 4 years ago. As the only MEB in the Pacific region, the WFX enhances training to provide for proficiency in the Brigade’s full mission capabilities on protection and freedom of maneuver within a battle area of operation.
Hosted by the 25th Infantry Division (25th ID), the warfighter exercise provided invaluable practice for Soldiers of the 303rd MEB as well as an opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with 25th ID Soldiers.
“The unit (303rd MEB) was able to participate in a high-level readiness exercise, with an extremely well known military unit with a rich history of conflict and victory,” said Lt. Col. Gordon J. Knowles, senior plans officer and officer in charge, 303rd MEB, 9th MSC.
Though the exercise presented a fictional, computer-based theater of operation, the scenarios supported realistic, complex situations on a modern, simulated battlefield.
“This exercise allows the unit to see how other brigades, division and corps elements conduct mission command,” said CPT Thomas Hacker, plans officer, 303rd MEB, 9th MSC. “It allows our unit to add to our standard operating procedures and tactic techniques procedures that will be invaluable in future exercises.”
Knowles said it was key as a leader to have confidence in each Soldier as well as to work as a team to develop practical solutions that neutralized the simulated threats.
“This exercise helped me realize how great the Soldiers of the 303rd MEB are,” said Hacker. “I fill privileged to serve with professionals that are able to adapt and accomplish the mission despite the high tempo that a division and or corps warfighter demands.
Participation in additional command post exercises (CPXs) helps keep a unit and its Soldiers flexing the right muscles.
“Having Soldiers with previous experience in command post exercises such as Balikatan, Cobra Gold, Yama Sakura, Garuda Shield, Ulchi-Freedom Guardian and Keris Strike was critical to success at this warfighter exercise,” stated Knowles.
Two prior CPXs, referred to as ‘Imua Dawn’, played a significant role in preparing the 303rd MEB warfighters in executing operational management and decision making at a brigade staff level for this exercise.
“Having a team of highly motivated Army Reserve Soldiers with previous experience helped the 25th ID understand how the 303rd MEB would greatly assist a division level unit to maintain a high level of sustainment, reconstitution, and engagement with the enemy,” said Knowles.