MARCH 14, 2016, GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Regiment Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2d Cavalry Regiment set up a Tactical Operation Center and Tactical Command Post March 8 -10, 2016 in the Grafenwoehr training area near Rose Barracks in order to conduct a two-week staff exercise.
The practical training exercise, which will run March 14 – 23, will prepare the Troop for the multinational training exercise, Saber Strike 2016 in Estonia this summer. It will test the functionality of the tent layout and how well the staff sections are organized within the two structures.
The TOC, basically the main command center, includes the majority of the staff and their teams who assist the regiment commander in maintaining situational awareness over the whole battle space and guides subordinate units in completing their missions.
The TAC, a smaller more mobile system with fewer members, moves closer to a specific mission so the regiment commander can keep command and control on a localized event.
During the STAFFEX, the TAC will jump away from the TOC to another location in the training area.
“We will increase the distance between the TOC and TAC to allow those two command and control nodes to work independently at two different locations, but work together to maintain the base of the common operation,” said Sgt. Maj. Anthony Valdez, the operations sergeant major for 2CR.
Maintaining both systems will enhance the commander’s ability to lead from anywhere on the battlefield.
How the TOC and TAC are physically laid out can have a significant impact on how well the staff sections are able to efficiently and effectively communicate with each other and run their battle drills.
This exercise will help the staff sections see the configuration, verify floor plan and make sure the layout is functional so collaborative sections are in the same tent area.
“If you do not have the sections working together or in the same tent, such as fires and S2 (intelligence), who historically work hand-in-hand together for the targeting process. If those sections are on opposite ends of the TOC, it make coordination a lot harder,” explained Valdez.
Another important aspect to the training exercise is to test the ability for each section to properly plan and pack their vehicles and conex for movement to the training area. Accurate load plans and packing lists will minimize issues when preparing to load out for future training exercises or missions in different countries.
The regiment is also going back to the woodland camouflage vehicles and netting to maintain concealment in areas of green vegetation and forested areas.
“We are in Europe. (The green camouflage) puts us into the natural concealment that is already here,” Valdez said. “It shows our allies we are not prepared for the desert, we are in Europe to support our allies here.”