News: Answering the call: Reservists add realism through role playing
Story by Lt. Col. Adam Collett
FORT MCCOY, Wis. - In May of 2014, a group of facilitators from the Army Reserve's 75th Training Command helped simulate communications for units participating in a large training exercise in Wisconsin.
Real-time on-site coaching is only one factor helping millitary leaders become more proficient at what they do. A realistic environment during the exercise is also key. The 75th assists with this as well, by providing a team to simulate external communication within the fictional scenario.
When military leadership teams deploy for a simulation exercise such as this one, they establish a temporary working area - an array of tents complete with networked computers, phones and other supplies.
The idea is that the evaluated units practice operating as a team just as if they had been deployed to a combat zone, humanitarian crisis or other mission.
In such a real-world situation, the unit would have near-constant communication with multiple outside entities. It would send status updates to its higher headquarters, along with inquiries or requests for support. They would coordinate activities with other deployed units, and share information with relevant non-military organizations.
During this exercise, a team of trainers from the 75th – distinct from the observe-and-mentor group – provided role players to replicate that web of communications.
Tying into the temporary infrastructure the units set up for the exercise, 75th role players sent and received scenario-related emails, made and received calls, and provided other in-character interactions, all with the goal of enhancing the experience for those being trained.
(Companion/supplemental story to "In large exercise, Army Reserve trainers help military leaders prep for action.")