Exercise Unified Endeavor Climax

Landpower

Landpower

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U.S. Joint Forces Command will conduct the final phase of Unified Endeavor 09-01 Operation Iraqi Freedom from Oct. 21 – 31 at selected locations in the United States and United Kingdom to prepare units slated to deploy to Iraq early next year.

Exercise participants will be networked together from locations throughout the United States including Ft. Lewis, Wash., Ft. Hood, Texas, Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., Camp Lejeune, N.C., Hurlburt Field, Fla., and the Joint Warfighting Center (JWFC), Suffolk Va. Allied partners in the United Kingdom also will play a role in the exercise from locations there.

Army Lt. Col. Mike O’Neill, lead JWFC planner for UE-MRX 09-01, said the MRX focuses on training the future joint task force commander and staff and major subordinate commanders and staffs to meet the expected requirements during their deployment in Iraq.

“We try to replicate a two-week period in Iraq so when they actually deploy and arrive in theater, there’s not a learning curve for them,” O’Neill said. “We’ve pulled data from in theater so they can understand what are the boards, bureaus, cells and working groups. What is the battle rhythm that the current corps follows? What they are going to fall into when they replace the Multinational Corps Iraq?”

Participants for the exercise include I Corps Headquarters, Ft. Lewis, Wash., 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters, Ft. Hood, Texas and II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters, Camp Lejeune, N.C. This will be the final rehearsal exercise before these units deploy to theater.

O’Neill said USJFCOM’s objectives also will incorporate regional and cultural considerations to include integration and coordination with Iraqi Security Forces and their logistics and training requirements.

“The end state of the MRX is a cohesive team that at operational and strategic levels understands both the friendly and threatening environments in and around Iraq, and can collectively address and respond to issues or factors that will influence joint and multinational forces in Iraq,” O’Neill said.

The UE-MRX includes three complementary components. The first one is an academic seminar that is modified to focus on the combined joint task force (CJTF) headquarters mission. Subject matter experts from theater and JWFC’s observers and trainers provide presentations and relevant context for operating environment as well as lessons learned and best practices.

The second phase uses the JWFC’s Joint National Training Capability that provides a realistic environment using a mix of live events and modeling and simulation capabilities enabling the CJTF to train for their projected mission. During the exercise, CJTF headquarters use all of the battle rhythms, command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence systems, and joint tactics, techniques, and procedures used in theater.

In addition to replicating the CJTF operational level headquarters, numerous other role players from theater – to include local, national, regional organizations, the media, interagency, coalition and multinational partners – portray the complex political, economic, social, military, and informational environments in which the future CJTF will operate.

The final component of the UE MRX program is the staff assistance visit conducted in theater after I Corps assumes its new responsibilities.

Within several months of assuming responsibilities in theater, the CJTF commander uses the staff assistance visit as a tool for the continued development of his staff and commanders by identifying focus areas for observer-trainers to study according to O’Neill. Observer-trainers assist through “over the shoulder” non-intrusive observations, analysis and training.

The UE MRX concludes with a facilitated after action review and a written report of observer and trainer observations, analysis, and recommendations to the CJTF commander.

Nikki Carter

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