Pfcs. Marc Alverson and Mark Decker of 6th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, work on uninstalling a system from a vehicle during the unit’s latest command-post exercise that started July 27. Photo by Pfc. Alyse Cooke, 1st HBCT, 1st Armored Div.
Pfc. Alyse Cooke
1st HBCT, 1st Armored Div.
As part of the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team’s deployment preparations, a third command-post exercise began July 27 at East Fort Bliss.
Referred to as the “walk” phase by Soldiers involved, the “CPX3” is the brigade’s last tactical operations center training before heading to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.
Each section of the TOC had its own important mission that contributed to a successful operation. The exercise focused mainly on communication among sections and, even more so, across the systems they used.
“With every system, there’s always challenges because you never know what could happen,” said Sgt. Michelle Hogans, a 1st HBCT communications noncommissioned officer. “You never know if a system is going to fail or not.”
“Making the systems communicate was a huge challenge, but we overcame that quickly,” said Pfc. John Sandoval, from the brigade’s intelligence section.
Sandoval added that the mission is to get communication running smoothly between each system.
The CPX3 also included battle drills based on real-life scenarios, where each section learned more about their functions.
“This is the first time I’ve seen what everyone else puts into the fight,” said Sandoval. “It gives a better idea of what our input is and helps with awareness.”
“It’s important for each section to get their part right,” said Pfc. John Hamilton, an air defense airspace management Soldier. “Without working together, the mission cannot be done.”
There will be differences though, said Staff Sgt. Scott Coe, operations battle NCO and platoon sergeant. “Just as there were changes from the brigade’s first CPX, the ‘run’ stage at NTC will be slightly different, as well. There will be more equipment, more personnel and more continuous operations.”
“They know their systems, and it’s all coming together,” said Coe. “By the end … they should be able to run.”
“Because of training, we’ve improved within ourselves, which helps us process the mission faster,” said Cpl. Ty Pugh, a fires and effects coordination cell NCO. “I think we will have a great handle at NTC. We’re fully mission-capable and ready to go.”