Greg Fontenot, director of the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies, said a seminar of Red Teaming students was able to look at the security plan for the All-Star events and provide recommendations using skills his organization teaches.
“It’s not enough to be agile and adaptive,” Fontenot said. “You have to be innovative.”
Red Team members put together planning and operations, critical review and analysis and intelligence to try and eliminate “group think.” Red Team instructors said that “group think” is what occurs when a group of intelligent individuals within a hierarchy pressure each other to make a decision they know is not within the best interest of the group. Red Team trains Soldiers to identify “group think” and how to negotiate with commanders on what he or she might be doing wrong.
“Any group of people can engage in group think,” said Steve Rotkoff, deputy director at the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies. “They’re bright people, but make bad decisions. Group think is most prevalent when a consensus matters and when there’s a hierarchy. And the more dangerous the work, the more likelihood of group think.”
The group met several months before the event and examined the KCPD’s plan to see if there were any security weaknesses.
Kansas City Police Maj. Rich Lockhart said the Fort Leavenworth Red Team helped give the law enforcement officers a perspective from outside their operating structure.
“They were able to confirm for us it was a really good plan and tactically sound, so for us it was worth it,” Lockhart said.
He said one potential weakness the Red Team found was a backup plan in case of a communications failure.
“In the Kansas City Police Department, that walkie-talkie is something we take for granted,” Lockhart said. “In a battle, in a combat situation, you can’t take that for granted.”
To plan ahead in case of a communications failure, the KCPD used ham radio operators in all of their forward operating centers and their centralized emergency operating center, Lockhart said. Although their communications did not fail, they had a plan in place if the worst-case scenario were to happen.
“All the military minds at Fort Leavenworth are such a great resource for leadership training, and it’s such a great resource to have it so close to home,” Lockhart said.
Bill Greenberg, Red Team seminar leader at the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, said his students — Soldiers and a Department Intelligence Agency civilian — developed six security plans for all the MLB All-Star Week events, including the Home Run Derby and All-Star game.
“Our purpose was to exercise techniques and tools we’ve taught the students using a real plan,” Greenberg said.
Another aspect the Red Team considered was how to identify people who are authorized to carry weapons, such as off-duty police officers or federal agents who are required to carry a weapon at all times. The Red Team was able to suggest a policy change to the KCPD to mitigate this situation.
The team conducted the planning as a training exercise, which means that no Department of Defense resources were expended in assisting the KCPD, Fontenot said. They are restricted as a military organization from assisting the KCPD directly, but were able to do a concept review as part of a class. The All-Star game is not a typical scenario for Red Teams, which usually examine military plans.
Red Team seminars are available to U.S. and international students at the Command and General Staff College as an elective block. Fontenot said combatant commands and other government agencies can take Red Team courses. The University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies is under Training and Doctrine Command. More information can be found at http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/UFMCS.