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NEWS | June 4, 2024

78th TD's OC/T Team sharpens skills of participating units during Guardian Response 2024

By Capt. Jonathan Ferrer and Staff Sgt. Phillip Scaringi 78th Training Division

The 78th Training Division's Observer Controller/Trainer (OC/T) team played a critical role in honing the skills of participating units during Guardian Response 2024 (GR 24). Held at Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (MUTC), Indiana, from April 18 to May 5, 2024, GR 24 is a multicomponent homeland emergency response exercise led by the 78th Training Division.

The 78th Training Division's OC/Ts are highly trained professionals responsible for evaluating and mentoring Soldiers during exercises like GR 24. These individuals, with diverse military backgrounds (MOS - Military Occupational Specialty), create a realistic training environment for participating units from Active Duty, Reserve, Marine Corps, and Air Force.

Master Sgt. Evan Landry, a seasoned Combat Medic (69W) and OC/T with 19 years of experience, exemplifies the dedication of the 78th's OC/T team. "We deploy alongside units, evaluating their performance against real-world scenarios," Sgt. Landry explained. "Soldiers train as if treating live patients, using mannequins to simulate casualties."

The OC/T mission goes beyond evaluation. They actively mentor Soldiers, assisting in refining standard operating procedures (SOPs) and ensuring units meet established benchmarks. "Consistency and repetition are key," Sgt. Landry emphasized. "Through regular training exercises, we identify unit strengths and weaknesses. This feedback facilitates seamless transitions between military and civilian medical operations."

The presence and engagement of the OC/T team have been instrumental in unit success throughout GR 24. They act as the eyes and ears of the exercise, observing and controlling every aspect of training missions. Detailed observations are then compiled into actionable feedback for unit leadership.

Incoming commander of the 2nd Brigade, 78th Training Division, Col. Louis Garcia, underscored the importance of the OC/Ts in creating a realistic training environment. "Our OC/Ts represent a wide range of specialties," Col. Garcia said. "They work directly with units to enhance and enrich their training experiences." He further emphasized how "the invaluable feedback provided by the OC/Ts will prepare units for future mission success."

The 78th Training Division's OC/Ts remained operational at GR 24 until May 4, ensuring all participating units received the critical training and feedback necessary to excel in real-world scenarios.