Brigade and battalion staffs of 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, conducted a command post exercise, or CPX, at the Mission Training Complex on Fort Stewart last week.
The purpose of the CPX is to prepare for regional accord-series exercises, annual joint peacekeeping training exercises in support of U.S. Army Africa, or USARAF, that bring together U.S. Army personnel, United Nations partner militaries and counterparts in Africa.
“It’s unique in that this is the first time that this has been done,” said Maj. Joshua Teitge, brigade aviation officer and officer in charge of 2nd IBCT’s regionally aligned forces, or RAF. “It’s a mini exercise teaching the brigade academics and teaching how to train and mentor partner nations.”
Staff members from the brigade and its subordinate battalions attended the training, which was developed by the brigade. Regional accord planners, civil-affairs soldiers, and members of USARAF were also present to mentor and participate in the exercise.
“It’s all the subject-matter experts for this, in one location, to build relationships and pass on knowledge,” said Teitge.
Capt. Scott Saunders, who performs scenario development and management for USARAF, said several aspects of what 2nd IBCT, or Spartan Brigade, did in this exercise will become a template for other regionally aligned brigades.
“They’re leaning forward, trying to improve the foxhole for the next brigade,” Saunders said. “I really think it was unique and of great training value.”
Teitge said that past RAF took a couple of days to “get into the groove” of the accords and that this training was designed to significantly reduce the adjustment time. One hurdle that needed to be overcome is that Army soldiers are accustomed to digital equipment to assist in many planning tasks.
“We’ve stripped all the personnel of those digital systems that they’re so used to and familiar with and have regressed them back to the analog systems, which is what they’ll use there,” Teitge said.
Teitge added that the planning process of the U.N. is different from the military decision-making process used by the Army. He also said this was crucial to the mission for the staffs to adapt as military partners would already be familiar with the U.N. process.
Saunders and Teitge both expressed happiness about what the training accomplished.
“We’re doing the right training with the right people early enough out that they can focus their professional development,” Saunders said.
“It’s bringing together diverse groups of people and getting them all on the same sheet of music,” Teitge said. “It’s a very unique situation that soldiers are learning from, and that makes them more diverse.”
Spartan Brigade is active in its role as the regionally aligned force for USARAF and is preparing to extend the brigade’s support of partner nations further in the coming months.