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NEWS | Sept. 5, 2023

U.S. Army Reserve validates warfighting capabilities with WAREX 23

By Senior Airman Matt Porter 87th Air Base Wing

The U.S. Army Reserve's 78th Training Division recently conducted 'The Warrior Exercise' at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

The WAREX aims to serve as a platform for units to train and prepare capable, lethal, and combat-ready forces in collective tasks aligned with their respective Commander's training objectives. Throughout the year, each Commander identifies these training objectives for their units, which they then execute during the exercise.

"As we establish the training platform for these units, our Division strives to replicate an environment that is as realistic and demanding as what the units would encounter during deployment," explained U.S. Army Reserve Brigadier General Christopher Cook, U.S. Army Reserve 78th Training Division commander. "This year, we also synchronized three additional exercises with the WAREX, providing unique opportunities to optimize collective resources across Postal Warrior, Diamond Saber, and Region Medic."

The strategic framework for fielding the Army of 2030, known as "Accelerate, Centralize, and Transform" underscores the importance of communication modernization in advancing a force capable of Multi-Domain Operations against near-peer adversaries.

"One of the major training objectives I set for the WAREX was for each unit to establish secure communications,” Cook stated. “Additionally, many Soldiers had not used their camouflage equipment in years and were largely untrained in this regard. Secure communication could be a significant advantage against a near-peer adversary, and by the end of the exercise, everyone had achieved the ability to communicate securely, marking our success in this endeavor."

As part of the embedded exercises, approximately 4,000 Soldiers trained alongside members of other services at the Joint Base to enhance interoperability.

According to Cook, the Air Force and Marine Corps provided direct support to Soldiers during Diamond Saber and also secured Marine Air Support during a portion of their range training.

"This iteration of the WAREX presented a unique challenge as we shifted from Counterinsurgency doctrine to Large Scale Combat Operations," said Cook. "Some key elements we sought to incorporate into the exercise were the speed of engagement, variations in enemy capabilities, all while moving away from outdated mindsets. Many Soldiers currently serving are well-versed in COIN doctrine and environments, so this represented a significant shift for them."

Where Soldiers train is just as important as how they train. As one of nine Mobilization Force Generation Installations in the U.S. Army, Army Support Activity Fort Dix can validate Large Scale Mobilization Operations to rapidly generate, train, and deploy combat credible units worldwide.

"We received tremendous support from Army Support Activity Fort Dix, with their facilities ideally suited to our needs," added Cook. "We obtained the necessary training areas and access to all their ranges if required. Additionally, the 84th Training Command has a Mission Training Center at ASA Fort Dix, enabling us to create scenarios that trained our Battalion and Brigade-level staff."

While technology plays a crucial role, it alone does not determine victory. The U.S. Army places its trust in cohesive teams that are highly trained, disciplined, and physically fit to secure victory. This strategic advantage over near-peer adversaries forms the bedrock of successful future engagements.

"Army Reserve Soldiers have limited training time, so we must maximize every training opportunity available to them," Cook emphasized. "In a full-scale mobilization against a near-peer adversary, this WAREX could potentially be the final training opportunity for a Soldier, making it imperative that we deliver high-quality training. Soldiers love to train, and the more rigorous the better."