FORT HOOD, Texas – The 36th Engineer Brigade command staff conducted training at the Mission Command Training Team’s facility here Dec. 9-13.
“We [the 36th Eng. Bde] have a responsibility to maintain our sharp edge if called upon to employ forces in combat,” said Maj. Scott Swilley, the 36th Eng. Bde. operations officer. “These simulations give us the opportunity to go through drills associated with emplacing bridges and reducing obstacles so our forces can accomplish their mission.”
Swilley said the goal of the training was to familiarize the 36th Eng. Bde. with command and control systems for use should they deploy overseas, and he equated the exercise to training other military organizations go through on a regular basis.
“This is where headquarters and staff come to learn what we need to do,” Swilley said. “So while the tanks go out and shoot at targets on the range to practice their skills, we practice ours in here with the computers, screens and conversations between the different sections.”
Bill Salter, MCTT lead collective trainer, explained what the 36th Eng. Bde. hoped to take away from the training with the MCTT.
“Their goal here is become familiar with some of the army command systems and command and control tools,” said Salter. “This is a new team, so this is the first time they are working together, so they want to come together as a staff and refine some of their products that they use, such as their standing operating procedures, battle drills, and knowledge management skills.”
Swilley described the systems as a form of “tactical internet” because it is a vast network with a wide variety of information and tools which allow a staff of soldiers to accurately provide command and control for a large number of troops on the ground.
“This kind of training allows us perform efficiently when game time comes, so to speak,” said Swilley. “This facility is phenomenal, and it allows us to do necessary rehearsals.”
The MCTT played a key role in training by providing a constructive environment, or, in other words, a simulated setting with a large variety of scenarios for soldiers to test their skills.
“It allows us to practice important skills without physically deploying assets and spending a lot of money in the process,” said Swilley.