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    JECC-wide exercise validates joint task force forming capabilities

    JECC-wide exercise validates joint task force forming capabilities

    Photo By Richard Maupin | Joint planners and operators enhance their joint expertise during the Joint Enabling...... read more read more



    Story by Julianne Sympson 

    Joint Enabling Capabilities Command

    NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. - From Sept. 9-13, the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command (JECC) validated the readiness of its current Ready JECC Package (RJP), comprised of personnel from each of the command’s three subordinate joint commands – the Joint Planning Support Element (JPSE), the Joint Public Affairs Support Element (JPASE) and the Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE), during the first Mission Readiness Exercise (MRX) of FY14 at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

    One-hundred-and-five JECC personnel participated in the MRX to strengthen the support the RJP provides to joint force commanders (JFC) at a moment’s notice.

    In anticipation of Global Response Force (GRF) requirements, the JECC maintains RJPs, consisting of joint planners, public affairs and communication experts who assume an alert-posture on a three-month rotational cycle.

    The JECC conducts MRXs on a quarterly basis as a culminating event to validate the capabilities and expertise of the oncoming RJP.

    Although JECC personnel participate in various combatant command exercises year-round, the MRX program is designed to build on the collective expertise members of the RJP bring to a JFC as a whole. Following completion of an MRX, which is an annual requirement for all JECC deployable members, these highly-trained experts are placed in a fully ready state to fulfill GRF requirements worldwide.

    The most recent MRX included authentic training focused on enhancing the JECC’s understanding of the necessary requirements during the earliest planning stages of forming a joint task force (JTF).

    From exercising the ability to stand up and operate a JTF in a remote location, to exploring and understanding capabilities available through mission partners, this MRX aimed to validate the RJP’s ability to adapt to fluctuating mission requirements.

    “Every JTF we support is different and the MRX is a process-driven exercise that ensures our personnel can adapt and function effectively regardless of the situation,” said JPSE member, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Marc Fryman, the lead MRX coordinator. “This exercise provided an environment similar to what we would encounter if JECC were called to support a mission without the necessary infrastructure for headquarters operations.”

    For the first time during an MRX, JCSE employed the Deployable Joint Command and Control (DJC2) system, an equipment set that can support communication services for up to 1500 users, which allowed the RJP to realistically simulate how they would conduct operations in an austere environment.

    JCSE maintains detachment teams at four geographic combatant commands (GCC) – U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Pacific Command – to operate, maintain and provide life cycle support of their respective DJC2 systems. While not necessarily included as part of the RJP, these detachment teams can be requested for support to missions in the GCCs’ designated areas of responsibility, creating a timely response for JCSE capabilities.

    To support the MRX, JCSE transported USSOUTHCOM’s DJC2, which is regularly maintained by JCSE personnel at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., to the exercise location and established communication services including unclassified and classified network access, voice and video teleconferencing capabilities. In addition to validating JCSE’s capabilities within the RJP, this MRX provided a prime opportunity for JCSE to field test the latest upgrades to the USSOUTHCOM DJC2’s hardware and software.

    “The MRX allowed us to interact directly with JECC personnel for real-time support and provide quick solutions which created the most realistic training scenario possible,” said U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Edgar Cardé, JCSE’s noncommissioned officer in charge. “The JCSE team adapted to the needs of the JTF personnel and provided all communications services as requested.”

    Similar to the support provided during a real-world operation, the JPSE personnel quickly formed the JTF, filled significant staff positions and delivered unmatched joint operational command and control capabilities. The MRX fully exercised JPSE’s proficiency in planning and the ability to conduct mission analysis, course of action development and operate collaboratively as a JTF.

    In particular, JPSE member and MRX RJP lead, U.S. Navy Capt. Thomas Forrest, played a significant role in overseeing the products presented to the JTF commander. Unlike previous MRXs, the JPSE personnel needed to adapt to changing operational requirements and facilitate ad hoc boards, bureaus, cells, centers and working groups to ensure synchronization and situational awareness across the JTF staff, and enable cohesion among mission analysis products.

    “The MRX put us in a realistic situation of building a team, working together to meet the necessary planning milestones and adjusting to meet expectations from the JTF commander,” said Forrest. “Change happens and we have to dynamically plan for and adjust to operational changes.”

    JPASE members were also fully integrated within the JTF staff and exercised their ability to provide the JTF commander with the expertise and guidance to effectively shape his message. To meet MRX requirements, JPASE personnel ensured the JTF staff executed an effective communication strategy and provided media training to RJP personnel during simulated, live interviews via the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution system.

    In this digital age, it is crucial that the JTF commander has the ability to effectively communicate with the public ensuring understanding and awareness of the mission at hand. Therefore, for the first time, a member of Combat Camera (COMCAM) East detachment, headquartered at the Naval Expeditionary Combatant Command in Norfolk, Va., also participated to enhance the capabilities JPASE provides to a JFC in the initial stages of a joint operation. As another rapidly deployable capability, COMCAM provides flexible and adaptable teams of visual imagery experts to support missions for public affairs, intelligence and historical purposes.

    “Visual imagery transcends all languages and barriers, and is essential to immediately capture the attention of the intended audience,” said COMCAM member U.S. Navy Master Chief Brian Tallette. “By participating in the JECC’s MRX, I gained valuable insight on the JECC’s capabilities and how COMCAM can coordinate with the planners to best utilize the capabilities we bring and potentially deploy with JECC for future operational support.”

    “This was the first opportunity to deploy together and demonstrate the tremendous gain a JTF Commander has with the combined capabilities we bring to a mission,” added JPASE member U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Gregg Bottemiller. “JPASE continues to evolve its expertise from traditional public affairs guidance, written products, live-feed video interviews and now the addition of professional visual products to enhance the mission support we provide to better synchronize messaging.”

    The MRX validated the RJP’s ability to stand up a JTF employing the DJC2, adapt to operational changes and strengthen ties with a likely mission partner. Ultimately, the MRX improved the value-added skill sets the JECC can provide to a JFC. As a result, the current RJP, which assumed its three-month alert-posture on Oct. 1, is fully prepared to support missions across the broad spectrum of joint operational requirements and is ready to deploy wherever and whenever needed.



    Date Taken: 10.14.2013
    Date Posted: 10.17.2013 15:06
    Story ID: 115303

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