• Battle lab looks to future with experiment

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  • Maj. Randy Brooks and Maj. Frank Messina Mission Command Battle Lab
    The Mission Command Battle Lab at Fort Leavenworth provided a collaborative environment supporting the Unified Challenge 18.1 experiment for nearly 200 senior leaders and subject matter experts from Forces Command, Pacific Command, U.S. Army Europe, Special Operations Command, the Air Force and other governmental agencies.
    As the premiere venue to lead the Army Capabilities Integration Center’s exercise, MCBL hosted the event Jan. 29 through Feb. 7.
    Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy, commanding general of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, kicked off the event by emphasizing the significance of participants’ work at hand and how their diverse experiences provided the tacit knowledge needed for future land Army concepts.
    Unlike an exercise, the UC 18.1 experiment was designed to energize and catapult the participants’ minds into the year 2030 to conceptually address future force possibilities against a peer threat throughout air, land, sea, cyber and space domains.
    Experiment objectives included the identification of the proper mix of forward-stationed, rotational, expeditionary, and active and Reserve forces and explore maneuvering from strategic and operational distances.
    The experiment also determined capabilities required at echelons above brigade and refined the future EAB headquarters and formations roles, responsibilities, tasks, functions and relationships in the competition period. These efforts further facilitated informing the multi-domain battle concept, the echelons above brigade concept, and other CAC centers of excellence operational and organizational concepts to create doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facilities solutions for future combined arms operations.
    Ultimately, the academic, intellectual and analytical small group discussions over the eight-day period allowed participants the ability to conceptualize a future capability that will lead to a ready and relevant land force, providing options to a geographical combatant commander’s and Department of State’s whole-of-government approach. The seminar stimulated deep discussion addressing the long-term security challenges associated with postured forces for an enhanced forward presence, flexible deterrent options, prepositioned equipment, combat basing and accessibility, and network security within the competition period.
    This event is just one of many in ensuring that the Army is forward looking to stay competitive and postured to win in an increasingly complex environment.
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