Local

March 10, 2014

The NTC’s replicated enemy

An 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Trooper atop an Opposing Forces Surrogate Vehicle, (OSV) awaits battle with the approaching 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during training at the National Training Center, June 2013.

The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment has spent the last 18 months training and executing decisive action opposing force tactics, and as of February they have been called the measuring stick of the Army.

The 11th ACR has played the role of opposing force at the National Training Center since 1994. However, that role has evolved every time the current operational environment has changed. In the 1990’s, the unit portrayed a near-peer force specializing in mechanized infantry and tank battles in desert terrain. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, 11th ACR Soldiers replicated urban insurgencies, local national security forces, and civilians on the battlefield.  Recently, the Blackhorse has given United States Army units the challenge of facing asymmetric tactics in the mountains and small villages similar to what units face in Afghanistan. However, in the last two years, the 11th ACR has pursued the challenge of replicating a combination of every role it has portrayed in the last 20 years.

After more than a decade of portraying an insurgency, the 11th ACR returned to replicating foreign tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and tow missile trucks – a near-peer conventional force that was feared during the 1990s. The latest transition in roles for the regiment is required for decisive action (DA) rotations that prepare brigade-size elements (referred to as rotational units or RTU’s) for world-wide deployments against a near-peer enemy. Furthermore, DA rotations prepare units to not only face a mechanized force, but brigades also have to partner with local Army elements and face the challenge of counter insurgency operations against an asymmetric guerrilla element.

“As the opposing force at the National Training Center, 11th ACR serves as the measuring stick for the Army,” said Col. John Ward, commander of 11th ACR. “If we are not creating the most challenging battlefield conditions in the world for the rotational units, we are doing them a disservice.  It is our job to allow them to learn through their actions while adjusting their tactics, techniques, and procedures accordingly.  Their hardest days should be in the Mojave Desert, which will only better them should they go overseas to face a real enemy.”

During the first few modern-day DA rotations, the fights were not as one sided as they were supposed to be. In the spring of 2013, 1st Squadron, 11th ACR got the opportunity to train on a DA platform.  They received training from the observer/coach/trainers of Operations Group, who normally focus on RTU’s. Training began at the platoon level and eventually expanded up to the squadron level, focusing on planning, maneuver techniques, as well as perfecting use of the equipment.

Shortly after this training event, the 11th ACR replicated a near-peer opposing force during NTC rotation 13-08.  However, this time they won all four major battles in the most convincing manner in more than two decades.

Troopers assigned to I Battery, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment engage targets of opportunity while playing the role of enemy forces against 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, while training at the National Training Center, June 2013.

“We went from nearly no maneuver capability to fully utilizing U.S. doctrine in combined arms maneuver,” explained Capt. Sebastian Engels, commander of C Troop, 1/11ACR.

“The exercises allowed for fundamentals to be developed at the lowest levels in the sections and platoons, troop and squadron operations. Rotational performance enhanced exponentially following the repeated FTX’s and showed in our success during Rotation 13-08.”

It has been approximately 18 months since the 11th ACR set out to re-affirm itself as the nationally-feared opposing force, and in February, the 11th ACR ended another rotation with a series of convincing victories. Blackhorse Troopers walk with a swagger these days with the motto of, “This Is Our House” and an attitude of never being beat.  However, every Blackhorse Trooper will acknowledge the importance of their impact on brigade combat teams coming to Fort Irwin and the magnitude of being the best, so that they can legitimately improve the rest of the Army.

1/11 ACR, portrays the sentiment of the entire regiment by saying: “I am proud to be a part of the improvements that this unit has gone through. We have learned to technically master our systems that used to present a challenge for us, reach our potential and train the RTU to the fullest capacity. Our main goal is to indirectly prevent Soldiers from dying in combat.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Photo by Gustavo Bahena, Public Affairs Office

Thank You Vietnam Veterans

Photo by Gustavo Bahena, Public Affairs Office Alexander Primero, pictured with wife Delia, served two tours with the U.S. Army in Vietnam during 1968 to 1971. They both attended the 50th Vietnam Veterans Commemoration ceremony...
 
 
candles

Choosing to act, intervene for fellow humans

At the ceremony, a lighting of seven candles remembered the victims of the Holocaust. The Fort Irwin community honored the annual Days of Remembrance observance with a ceremony here, April 8. The national commemoration period t...
 
 
Officer_Camara

Texting, speeding, high beams – a reminder for all drivers

California Highway Patrol Officer Ryan Camara California Highway Patrol public information officer Ryan Camara was interviewed by the installation’s Public Affairs Office. His comments are supplemented with related highway sa...
 

 
Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC

Soldiers, community in Denim Day Walk support victims

Photo by Guy Volb, Public Affairs Office National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin, his spouse Lean Martin, and NTC staff led the procession through several streets on Fort Irwin. Leadership, So...
 
 

News Briefs May 2015

May 3-9 is Public Service Recognition Week By The Partnership for Public Service Celebrated the first full week in May since 1985, Public Service Recognition Week is a time set aside to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees. Our theme for PSRW 2015 is...
 
 
JesusAguilar

Bringing smiles to people’s faces

Jesus Aguilar (right), Burger King employee, serves a customer his breakfast. BEST Opportunities job coach Angelika Felix was coaching Aguilar on his second day of work after an accident resulted in the amputation of his right ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin