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Minnesota National Guard
Preparation proves key when it comes to the Warfighter

1ABCT warfighter CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - Seemingly endless hours and meticulous planning become the norm after more than a week of exhaustive preparation by the Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team preparing for a brigade Warfighter exercise at Camp Ripley Training Center.

"This is a tempo that we typically don't operate at," said 1st Lt. Paul Modeen, the brigade assistant operations officer. "From day one, when our advance party arrived to begin setting up our mission command post, we have been going full speed."

After two days of constructing the elaborate tent structure, networking dozens of work stations and establishing a perimeter to simulate working in a tactical environment, brigade staff began the intensive planning that goes into major military operations. Even before the Warfighter exercise was set to begin, hundreds of brigade Soldiers began working through the Army's strategy for large-scale project management, the Military Decision Making Process.

"In the military the projects are different but the process is identical to what major corporations would use," said Sgt. 1st Class Richard Schulte, brigade civil affairs non-commissioned officer. "By utilizing MDMP, we are able to understand complex problems and organize our resources to solve those problems."

The Warfighter scenario, evaluated by a team of experts with the MCTP out of Fort Leavenworth, Kan., specializing in large-scale military operations, places the 1st ABCT in a fictional country that has been invaded by an aggressive neighbor. In addition to preparing the brigade's battalions for combat, the detail put into the scenario forces brigade leadership to plan for refugees fleeing violence, media and political engagements and the logistical needs to support thousands of Soldiers.

"We are planning a project that will coordinate more than 5,000 people and cost millions of dollars in just a few days," said Schulte. "And the consequences of poor planning are obviously dramatic."

This training will prepare the Soldiers of the 1st ABCT for an upcoming rotation at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif, which will provide a similar scenario in a desert environment.

"We are pushing ourselves right now because we recognize the training events in our future are an opportunity to show what our brigade is capable of," said Modeen. "It's exhausting, and even though we are all anxious to complete the training and return to our families, we rally together to accomplish these tasks as close to excellence as we can get - because we may be called on to use this training someday during combat, and the decisions we make matter."

April 18, 2015
by Staff Sgt Patrick Loch
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs



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