FORT MCCOY, Wis. –
The U.S. Army Reserve is a globally responsive force. It covers more than 20 time zones across five continents, and it’s Soldiers are ready to deploy at a moment's notice.
In support of that globally aligned mission, Soldiers from across the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command participated in the Command Post Exercise-Functional (CPX-F) 2021 from April 16-21 at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
“The training was excellent because the Soldiers gave it their all,” said U.S. Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Michael M. Greer, the deputy commanding general of USACAPOC and the CPX-F exercise director. “The challenges we threw at them were difficult … even for those with experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, but our Soldiers did their homework, and addressed the new challenges and provided the information necessary for the command to move forward”
The purpose of the Fort McCoy based event was to build functional interoperability amongst the command and it’s subordinate units in the event of a large-scale, real world operation.
Civilian and military actors worked as dignitaries, enemy combatants, news reporters and even spies to constantly test the U.S. Army Reserve forces and to add authenticity to the scenario.
“The biggest benefit that we get out of this training is that we are able to bring together different skill sets from the Army Reserve and have them work together toward a common goal,” said Greer, a 31 year Army veteran of multiple deployments. “ All of the units participating in the CPX can be found within USACAPOC, but we don't often get to exercise all of these capabilities at the same time. It is a great training opportunity when we are able to come together and each of us apply our skills in a way that complements the other.”
Soldiers from civil affairs, psychological operations (PSYOP), and information operations (IO) units, each with their own individual specialties, all had to work together though a variety of scenarios in a fictional “nation” in the midst of an enemy invasion.
“Having systems and scenarios available really helps bring speed to the fight,” said U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Harold Price, a Junction City, Kansas native, and one of the Army Reserve leaders for the exercise. “Using different technology in a stressful situation like this helps show our Soldiers how to get access to information quickly, analyze it, and act on it.”
In addition to scenarios involving human actors, Soldiers participating in the event were given the opportunity to work with a variety of military vehicles, and communication systems.
Price, a civil liaison team leader for the 308th Civil Affairs Brigade Headquarters, is currently preparing his unit for an upcoming deployment, and said that the training done at the CPX-F is exactly what units need to perform in the real world.
“What we have today is the best opportunity to practice directly what we know our mission is going to be tomorrow,” said Price. “We love to see more civil affairs training. It is how we reflect on operating in the battle-space.”