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Minnesota National Guard
1/34th ABCT refines mission command operability through communications exercise

1ABCT Comex CAMP RIPLEY, Minn-Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division (1/34th ABCT), conducted a communications exercise at Camp Ripley Training Center, Nov 22, 2014

More than 100 Soldiers participated in the exercise, which required setting up more than 75 mission command computer systems and devices in order to ensure operability

Integrating the battalions' communication systems with the brigade's systems is crucial when it comes to managing the flow of information on the battlefield

"This communications exercise allowed the brigade the opportunity to establish and test our various mission command systems so that we could validate that our systems were working correctly prior to our Brigade Warfighter Exercise in April," said Maj Ryan Rossman, 1/34th ABCT operations officer

Throughout the day brigade information technology specialists documented system shortcomings and remediated technical issues that were identified throughout the network

"The brigade commander needs to know all of the combat information so he can deploy his units efficiently," said Master Sgt Mike Couture, brigade communications non-commissioned officer in charge "When we know our battalions can talk to the brigade in real time, the commander can be assured that he has all of the command and control information he needs"

By fine tuning communication operations, the brigade will be more prepared to achieve success at future, large-scale training events such as the Warfighter exercise and Exportable Combat Training Capability exercise in 2015, both of which will lead up to a National Training Center rotation in 2016

Additionally, Soldiers used this opportunity to build relationships and share their technical expertise, Couture said The cross training that happens with Soldiers that hold a wide variety of IT jobs in their civilian careers creates a diverse drill weekend work climate benefiting all involved

"With technology constantly changing, the skill sets of our Soldiers are perishable if we let them sit idle," said Lt. Col. Jon Ostercamp, out-going brigade executive officer "This is why it is incredibly important to continuously train and fix any problems that occur so our Soldiers are updating their skills as well"

December 1, 2014
by Spc William Boecker
1st ABCT Public Affairs



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