When it comes to saving lives in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere, determining which training approach emphasizes preventing the network from placing the improvised explosive device vs. reacting to the detonation of an IED is the key to addressing the “left of the boom” pre-deployment training.
The Counter-IED Branch of the Combined Arms Center-Training’s Collective Training Directorate conducted battle staff “attack the network” pre-deployment training for the 111th Engineer Battalion, 36th Infantry Division, Texas National Guard at Brownwood, Texas, in August and the Special Troops Battalion of the 4th Brigade, 1st Armor Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, in September. Lt. Col. Samuel E. Hales, commander of the 4-1 STB, said it was the best training his unit has received.
Both units, slated to deploy in support of Operation New Dawn (formerly Operation Iraqi Freedom), and Operation Enduring Freedom next year, requested assistance in fulfilling a new Central Command directed pre-deployment requirement: attack the network counter-IED training. CTD, the proponent for developing and maintaining a battle staff attack the network training support package, facilitated the training with a mobile training team with expertise and experience in intelligence, military police, weapons intelligence, targeting, engineers, sniper employment, and battle staff operations.
Francisco Melero, contract lead for the training, said that the main intent of the attack the network training is to enhance a staff’s knowledge and awareness of IED and sniper threats, while training them on how to integrate and synchronize their planning efforts to attack the network. Before the MTT operation, the C-IED Branch personnel, in coordination with the units, tailor the lessons to unit specific requirements, highlighting critical aspects of their specified theater. Each unit requested specifically tailored attack the network lessons directed at the brigade and battalion battle staff, company and platoon leaders, and enablers (augmentees), depending on the commander’s intent and training objections.
The battle staff attack the network training walks the battle staff through a planning process that consists of addressing six critical capabilities: understanding the campaign (commander’s intent/end state), understanding the environment, understanding the network, organizing for the fight, defeating the network and assessing.
To help battle staffs understand the campaign, the MTT uses an introductory lesson that captures the importance of understanding the commander’s intent and end state with respect to the overall mission and friendly forces capability and operations.
To facilitate understanding the environment and the significant characteristics of the human terrain and civil considerations, the MTT focuses on two lessons PMESII+PT — political, military, economic, social, infrastructure, information, physical environment and time — and ASCOPE — areas, structures, capabilities, organizations, people and events.
Today’s complex population-centric operational environment centers on urban areas, fighting against small radical groups in the midst of large populations of varying cultures. To separate and target the network participants from the surrounding population and to assist with building the concept of operations, the analytical tools help commanders and battle staffs focus on what to look for within the human terrain and how to respond accordingly.
The next four lessons — the IED, intelligence, forensics and biometrics — focus the battle staffs on understanding the network and its threat characteristics to ensure actions are attributed to a specific network.
In organizing for the fight, a battle staff must identify specific requirements to match appropriate enablers to the target, which are addressed during the ISR, site exploitation, and enablers lessons. In essence, these lessons highlight the multitude of enablers and their applicability available to a unit when conducting attack the network operations.
The battle staff must then select and prioritize lethal and non-lethal targets and match an appropriate response in order to mitigate, neutralize or defeat the network. The targeting lesson addresses the capability by walking the battle staff through the targeting process in relation to the network. The targeting lesson also captures new tactics, techniques and procedures by emphasizing the warrant/prosecution-based targeting or law enforcement-centric approach, employed in Iraq since the 2009 Security Agreement between the United States and the Government of Iraq.
To complete the training and address the critical capability step of assessment, MTT personnel present a measures of effectiveness class, which walks a battle staff through the assessment process. Practical exercises or functional intelligence, command and control battle staff mentor sessions are conducted either immediately after a lesson or at the end of platform training, depending on the commander’s training objectives and time. These practical exercises and mentor sessions are designed to reinforce the training objectives.
The battle staff attack the network training addresses battle staffs’ training gaps, as well as the fundamentals of mission planning as described in the military decision making process. The training, conducted during the train/ready phase of Army force generation, concentrates on mission essential tasks, combat readiness requirements, enhanced survivability in an operational environment, and enhanced overall mission success.
Lt. Col. Mark Martinez, C-IED Branch chief, said the initial target audience was active-duty units designated to deploy, but is now expanding to Reserve and National Guard units who have received orders to deploy.
IEDs continue to be the No. 1 killers of coalition forces in theater. Attack the network and counter-IED training has become an enduring requirement and CTD’s battle staff attack the network TSP and its MTT stand ready to assist units as they conduct their pre-deployment training.
For information or to schedule training, contact Cape Rust at (913) 684-7205 or e-mail email@example.com and for access to the Battle Staff Attack the Network Training Support Package use the following URL: https://cacnet2.army.mil/site/ctd/std/cied.
Editor’s note: Maj. Lee North is the staff training officer for C-IED Branch, CTD.