Story by SGT William Brown on 10/10/2018JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. From The American Revolutionary War to the current fight on the battlefield, tactics, techniques and procedures have changed and evolved rapidly. With each battle fought, new lessons are learned, and the need to stay current and ready is critical to our Army's mission success. For America's First Corps, maintaining the consistent edge to stay ready to deploy, fight, and win decisively is not just a philosophy, but also a way of life.
To ensure that the Soldiers of America's First Corps are ready for any contingency, training is paramount. During their recent two-week Warfighter Exercise (WFX), WFX 19-1, I Corps Headquarters served as higher command to their subordinate unit training audiences from October 2-11. The goal was to ensure all units achieved approved training objectives while seizing the opportunity to integrate new staff and personnel, while certifying key Mission Essential Task Lists (METL).
Warfighter Exercises are the culminating training event for units to assess readiness and the ability to deploy. 25th Infantry Division, 38th Infantry Division, 29th Infantry Division, 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, and subordinate units trained together across multiple locations including Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Camp Atterbury, Indiana, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
"Training exercises like Warfighter 19-1 are important in bringing all of our sections and combined elements together," said I Corps Senior Enlisted Advisor, Command Sgt. Maj. Walter Tagalicud. "It's one thing to synchronize operations in a garrison environment. But when you mesh multiple assets, from a number of Divisions, we all merge and learn each other's capabilities. The sheer size of all these elements involves a lot of moving pieces, and by consistently exercising our processes, we are training how we will fight, and developing a mutual understanding and trust, it's truly a team effort."
The ability to synchronize systems and processes across several echelons on the battlefield is essential. During WFX 19-1, this was also necessary between Army components. For National Guard units, who have limited training time throughout the year, this training exercise offered an opportunity proficiency in their jobs.
"Being National Guard, we do not train every day like active duty Soldiers, but we are still required to meet the same training objectives," said LTC Marquette Rubin,
38th Infantry Division's, WFX 19-1, Liaison Officer. "Warfighter and exercises like this allows us to meet those requirements because these training events are longer than our normal two week annual trainings, which gives us more time to focus on readiness and integrate systems and processes across our war fighting functions."
For all units involved in WFX 19-1, readiness is paramount. It's not only the building block of ensuring systems and personnel are prepared for combat, it instills confidence in Soldiers from all echelons and components, who will rely on each other in the heat of battle. For the medics of America's First Corps, their readiness was tested on their ability to react to a mass casualty incident.
"A mass casualty incident is when the number of patients exceeds the capacity that medical faculty can support," said Sgt. Jeremiah Berry a medic in I Corps' Battalion Aid Station. "It's important to practice these types of scenarios because it involves more then just the aid station responders," Berry said. "It's a team effort, letting everyone know that planning ahead of time can avoid confusion later on. By informing everyone of the plan it lets the different sections and teams know their responsibilities in case of a mass casualty incident."
For America's First Corps Commander, Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky, maintaining Soldier readiness and mastering both fundamental and advanced skills is a complex task that doesn't happen over night. This takes time and effort to build the cohesive teams required to meet the complexities of combat and non-combat operations.
"Exercises like this are critical in maintaining readiness across our formations," said Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky, I Corps Commander. " Maintaining readiness for combat or any operation involves planning, execution and repetition of our fundamental skills across the war fighting functions. Warfighter exercises are important in building the teams we go to battle with, exercising mission command and fighting as one cohesive formation. My number one priority is to maintain our readiness to deploy, fight, and win decisively."
As the Army continues to evolve and adapt in order to operate in increasingly complex environments, the Soldiers of America's First Corps ensure the highest levels of training. This consistent, and cohesive approach, builds the readiness needed to face the ever-changing conditions on today's, and future battlefields, with confidence.