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    Desert Rogues TOC walks the walk

    Desert Rogues TOC walks the walk

    Photo By Pfc. Jessica Pauley | U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Hilario Dominguez, the information operations noncommissioned...... read more read more



    Story by Pfc. Jessica Pauley 

    116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team

    CINCU, Romania— Inside the tents, the atmosphere is professional and quiet. Soldiers move in and out, hover over computers and talk in low voices. The tactical operations center (TOC) for the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, “Desert Rogues,” 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division hides in the forests of the Romanian Land Force Combat Training Center in Cincu, Romania during Exercise Saber Guardian 2016.

    The battalion flags are displayed on a far wall in a make-shift conference room next to the Desert Rogues’ 5-feet-high ceramic mascot, an elephant named Stump. Stump may be the literal elephant in the room, however, the other elephant in the room is the fact that many people have no idea what a TOC even does and just how important it really is.

    Army Capt. Stephen W. Wiemers, the assistant operations officer with 1-64 Armor, describes the TOC and how it functions in an operational environment.

    “It’s a little bit like the heart and a little bit like the brain,” Wiemers said. “It’s vital for tactical operations and for the synchronization of forces.”

    The TOC is the core for information made up by the following military subcomponents: personnel, enemy intelligence gathering, mission data, logistics, communications, medical, and munitions statistics.

    On a typical mission day soldiers might spend more than 12 hours in the TOC, which is manned 24 hours a day. It must be accessible at all times to oversee operations and relay information when necessary to help the command make informed decisions. While most TOCs are planned around this principle, they are not all the same.

    From just fifteen feet away, the 1-64 Armor TOC is invisible behind a curtain of trees. A step into the forest reveals camouflaged tents with trees wrapping between them. There are armored track vehicles emerging from the tents providing structure and small spaces that act like offices.

    Sgt. 1st Class Hilario Dominguez, the operations noncommissioned officer in charge said the purpose of the stealth is to keep the highly essential TOC protected.

    “Concealment is part of security,” said Dominguez. “The terrain provides aerial and ground level coverage—the more hidden, the better.”

    The less concealed TOC for the Romanian Army’s 191st Infantry Battalion is setup adjacent to the Soldier’s tents. The open area provides space for easily accessible large terrain models to be built nearby.

    Romanian Soldiers use the TOC in the same way, though it is arranged differently, said Romanian Soldier Calin Todeci.

    “The TOC coordinates the mission in the field,” said Todeci. “The troops are the eyes and the TOC is the link between the troops and the command staff.”

    Todeci said the commander can make decisions based on the most accurate information available. That information is provided by many components, including some U.S. and Canadian elements that are partnering with the Romanian Army.

    “The information is twice as likely to be accurate coming from multiple sources,” said Todeci. “Interoperability between foreign elements allows us to help each other.”

    The TOC is tremendously important to military operations for Romania and the United States. The information comes directly from Soldiers and is analyzed in big tents by Soldiers. The outcomes could be hazardous if the TOC fails to function.

    “The mission will not get completed” Said Todeci. “A sadder outcome is that people could die.”



    Date Taken: 07.30.2016
    Date Posted: 08.01.2016 01:32
    Story ID: 205631
    Location: CINCU, RO
    Hometown: GLENNVILLE, GA, US

    Web Views: 226
    Downloads: 5