Division 'ramps up' for Warfighter
by Spc. Greg Fuhs
29th Infantry Division (Light) Public Affairs
FORT DIX, NJ, June 19, 1999 -- Soldiers from the 29th Infantry
Division (Light) completed training at Fort Dix this week in
preparation for a major battlefield simulation exercise.
This was the first increment of a two-part annual training cycle
for members of the division, which is headquartered at Fort Belvoir,
Va., and includes units from five states.
"This annual training mission is part of a multi-step buildup
process to get the division to an exercise called Warfighter,"
said Maj. Gen. Carroll D. Childers, the division commander. Warfighter,
which will take place at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in July, is
a computer-based combat simulation which allows division and
brigade-level staff to practice tactics and battlefield coordination
using realistic wartime scenarios.
Through the simulation, commanders in the field are given battlefield
objectives and must decide on courses of action. As they direct
their troops, represented by graphical control measures on military
maps, these movements and actions are called in to an off-site
control center which houses the Corps Battlefield Simulation
(CBS) system. As operators and technicians in the CBS center
update the commanders' actions through computer terminals, the
CBS calculates the results of their moves, which are then called
back to the commanders.
"It's about as real as you can get without actually being
on a battlefield," said Childers.
While the training was geared towards instructing officers and
senior staff in battlefield tactics, many enlisted personnel
were involved in the 29th's mission as well, working on everything
from establishing communications links to setting up field medical
Sgt. William Walsh, an intelligence analyst with 1st Battalion,
116th Infantry, Roanoke, Va., was one of numerous enlisted soldiers
involved in the operation of the CBS. According to Walsh, the
soldiers learned from classes and hands-on training provided
by civilian contractors and personnel from the Fort Dix-based
78th Battle Projection Group. The work helped to "increase
our ability to work in a tactical operations center and reinforces
prior training," Walsh said.
Childers said the 29th selected Fort Dix as their preparation
site for several reasons. First of all, many of the required
support elements for rehearsing Warfighter scenarios, such as
the CBS system, already were in place here. Secondly, it served
as a good central meeting point for the division, which has units
in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia.
The post also is well-equipped with facilities and services which
enhance the soldier's quality of life.
Click HERE to view photos
from the exercise.
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This page was last updated June 21, 1999.