Welcome to the

Big League

by Sergeant First Class Nicholas Rozumny

In football, it is the preseason, for a Warfighter Exercise it is the Warfighter Seminar. No matter what the activity, putting together a winning team requires a focused training effort prior to actual competition. During training, coaches, managers, and leaders--
With this information in hand, they then set out on the path that will lead to success in their respective endeavors. In warfighting, the Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) Warfighter Seminar provides division and corps commanders the opportunity to develop their plans for success that they and their staffs will execute during a Warfighter Exercise. Prior to executing a BCTP Warfighter Exercise, commanders and their staffs participate in the Warfighter Seminar at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The purpose of the seminar is to prepare for the rigors and scrutiny of the BCTP Warfighter Exercise by--

Team Trainers

The BCTP staff has developed specific training objectives for each unit that participates in a seminar. The objectives focus on allowing a commander and his staff to enhance their understanding of the decisionmaking process and associated command and control procedures. The BCTP staff also wants to help units--

Team Goals

As expected, player units have their own goals to achieve by the seminar's end. It is critical for units to identify and make all seminar attendees aware of the specific goals prior to beginning the seminar. One of the 2d Armored Division's goals during its Warfighter Seminar in March 1995, was for the division and the BCTP staff to lay the ground work for the introduction of Force XXI initiatives into the division's Warfighter Exercise in January 1996. The division will begin to incorporate aspects of the digitized battle staff into its operations during that exercise the division's first since its designation as the Experimental Force XXI. As the Army's Experimental Force XXI, the 2d Armored Division will conduct the Brigade Advanced Warfighting Experiment in February 1997.

Playing Field

BCTP provides a playing field that gives units maximum leeway in meeting their goals. The training facilities include classrooms that the unit can subdivide further into four smaller classrooms. With these accommodations, division and corps staffs can gather in small groups or into larger groups as necessary. The classrooms have mapboards, closed-circuit televisions, and all the tables and chairs necessary.
Although participating units must take their own supplies to Fort Leavenworth, the BCTP staff does provide a limited amount of expendables. The BCTP staff can also provide units with a limited number of computers and printers if coordination is made well in advance. The 2d Armored Division staff was able to use a BCTP computer to access home station E-mail while deployed to the seminar. Telephone communications with the home team will not be a problem as phones are installed throughout the classroom. With prior coordination, BCTP can also provide a facsimile machine.
The BCTP facilities also provide ample support for presentations of any kind. The facilities can accommodate any range of technology from simple butcher block briefings through graphic presentations taken directly from laptop computers. The BCTP staff can even provide its audiovisual support personnel to tape and televise briefings (coaches like nothing better than to review practice films after a scrimmage). As with any deployment, however, BCTP advises units to bring what they will need to succeed: laptop computers, laser printers, acetate, markers, transparencies, paper, and other office supplies.

Game Plan

Planning training regimens that develop and exercise the right skills is a skill itself. Proper planning for seminars requires the unit staff to focus on certain key points while at the home station that will help them make efficient use of their time while participating in the seminar.
Early identification of the area of operations and the enemy will lead to successful planning. Corps and division commanders normally make recommendations to the BCTP staff concerning their preference for both the area of operations (e.g., Korea, Southwest Asia, Central Europe) and opposing force (e.g., Central Front, Southern Front). The BCTP staff will announce the general area of operations prior to the beginning of the seminar, but units will not know their exact areas of operation until receipt of their first operations order after arrival at Fort Leavenworth. Identification of the exercise area of operations will allow G2 personnel to order the proper map coverage. Units can save time if they bring assembled maps of the general area of operations to the seminar.
Knowing the general area of operations will also allow the division terrain team to create quality terrain products that familiarize the entire staff with the details of the terrain on which they will fight. Prior to the 2d Armored Division's seminar, the terrain technician produced the standard terrain analysis products (zones of entry, lines of communication, combined obstacles, elevation with aerial obstacles, and water resource overlays). He developed these overlays using standard database products, supplemented with information gained from hard copy LANDSAT satellite imagery received from Headquarters, U.S. Central Command. He also provided automated terrain support in the form of three dimensional (3-D) terrain visualization fly-through scenes made possible with the aid of a Silicon graphics computer and the U.S. Army Topographic Engineer Center's Battlefield Terrain Visualization Software. The 3-D terrain fly-through is a valuable tool that commanders and planners can use to visit the terrain without ever going there. In addition, the terrain technician assembled a book of 1:50,000 scale map sheets which identified key terrain and other critical details. These books assisted not only the G2 staff but all division staff members as well.
Prior to the seminar, the BCTP staff will provide units with general information pertaining to the opposing force they will face. The BCTP staff will identify the opposing force and provide order of battle information. They will not provide the enemy situation or disposition until they brief the operations order to the participating unit.
Armed with general information about the terrain and the enemy, the G2 team can begin some critical preparation. In order to prepare for the division's seminar, the order of battle (OB) technician requested several copies of the Southern Front OB from the BCTP opposing force representative and assembled enemy equipment handbooks and manuals. The division staff could not begin preparing an intelligence estimate nor could they conduct any mission analysis at their home station because they had no opposing force data. From the OB data, the technicians developed enemy artillery spreadsheets, prepared basic briefing charts and formulated automated synchronization sheets prior to deploying to the seminar. Although the technicians could not finalize these products prior to the receipt of an operations order, their existence served to streamline mission analysis during the seminar.
Editor's Note: See "The Intelligence Synchronization Sheet" by Major Greene and Captain Hood in the January-March 1995 issue of the Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin.

Special Teams

Units will be ahead of the game in the Warfighter Seminar if they know which staff members to bring along to support the team at Fort Leavenworth. One key individual on the division staff who must go to the seminar is the electronic warfare (EW) officer. The seminar scenarios focus heavily on EW and units will suffer unless someone is present to coordinate EW. The EW officer must become very familiar with the opposing force EW assets as listed in the Warfighter Seminar enemy OB. The division EW officer discovered, over the course of the seminar, that he had to work closely with the division collection manager so that the two could coordinate the Blue Force's EW activities with available friendly assets.

Playbook Tips

In order to maximize time spent on mission analysis and wargaming during the seminar, G2 and G3 planners can do several things at the home station. The first is to establish definitive rules of engagement for the wargaming process. Units unprepared for the time constraints of the Warfighter Seminar may waste valuable time arguing over attrition criteria during wargaming. One way to avoid lengthy wargaming sessions is to identify, prior to the seminar and in writing, criteria for the attrition and destruction of both friendly and enemy forces. For example, this can be done by determining the exact effect a certain obstacle will have on friendly and enemy forces or the attrition assessed to a motorized rifle battalion when attacked by a 155-mm howitzer battalion. Many products of this type have been developed. Be certain that yours corresponds to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Pamphlet 350-series on opposing forces. A precise matrix will help G3 and G2 planners avoid lengthy discussions over "how many of my guys killed how many of your guys."
Planners can also streamline mission coordination by developing an electronic database for the dissemination of requests for information (RFI). The 2d Armored Division staff found that by using one database on a laptop computer to post and receive answers for RFIs, no one staff member needed to be burdened with the responsibility to coordinate RFIs.

Play Ball

Soon after the unit arrives for the seminar, the BCTP team briefs the participating unit staff on the scenarios that will be the focus of their mission planning during the seminar. As with the terrain and enemy, division and corps commanders request the number and type of scenarios they want their staffs to work. Our division requested two scenarios, one offensive and one defensive scenario. Before the arrival of the division commander, the BCTP staff briefs the operations order for the first scenario to the division battle staff. The battle staff immediately begins mission analysis. While many staff members are finalizing mission analysis, the division commander attends workshops with his primary and special staff officers. These workshops provide a forum for discussion of warfighting issues.
If units decide to undertake two scenarios, they have to conduct mission analysis and planning for one current and one future mission simultaneously. The staff must complete the staff estimate process and brief the mission analysis to the commander who then issues his guidance to the staff. In this way the staff develops wargames, briefs courses of action, and turns the commander's decision into an operations order.
Developing enemy courses of action is the basis for planning. The G2's analysis and control element (ACE) needs to develop sketches of the enemy's playbook. Three personnel from the division's ACE developed these sketches for our seminar: the all-source intelligence section chief, his assistant, and an OB technician. It is important to remember that you are playing an away game. Prioritizing your time is important. The OB technician found it very useful to decide first what constitutes a score by the enemy (objectives and goals for strategic, operational, and tactical levels). Second, he quickly developed the enemy's game plan. This was done by drawing 8" x 11" sketches of the enemy's plays (courses of action) and options (branches and sequels) within each play. Being thorough and decisive yet not wasting time, he developed a thumbnail sketch, fully developing each play later. These sketches, marked "most likely" and "most dangerous", are the springboard for staff elements to conduct parallel planning. Other sketches are numbered in order of adoption. The OB technician posts the sketches on butcher block with the enemy's objectives and goals for strategic, operational, and tactical levels (scoring criteria) above. In addition, these sketches are a guide for the ACE to develop overlays and event analysis matrices. At the same time, the entire staff can become familiar with them. This should ensure overall focus.
As the developmental process continues, a playbook begins to emerge. This playbook can be divided by each battlefield operating system. It can include the enemy OB but not all the "X" and "O" information. Rather the playbook is an overview of the opposing force (fronts and divisions) that the division must face. Selected plays from the mission analysis briefing, course of action development briefing, and decision briefing can be invaluable references. The commander and the G2 should consider using this playbook.
The ACE must produce a number of labor intensive products such as avenues of approach, situational templates, courses of action, etc., for each scenario. Attempting to create the perfect graphic slide is the worst enemy of good enough. Simple stick figure sketches are worth a thousand words, but they must be clear and concise. Remember to label everything and save it. The entire package will make an invaluable training tool when you return to your own home field. Make your own playbook similar to the one you prepared for the division commander, only much more comprehensive. Tab everything and hold on to it; it will become a well-worn friend.

End Zone

No matter what the activity, putting together a winning team requires a focused training effort. The BCTP Warfighter Seminar provides the perfect venue for coaches and players to work out the bugs, define strategies, to learn, grow and function as a team. This experience along with continued practices back home will forge a team capable of focusing on tactical operations and understanding current doctrine and tactics. Perhaps the greatest benefit will be the unity established between the commander and his team his primary staff and subordinate commanders.
Sergeant First Class Nicholas Rozumny is the noncommissioned officer in charge of the G2 Plans Section, 2d Armored Division, at Fort Hood, Texas. His previous assignments include First Sergeant, Company A, 163d MI Battalion, and First Sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 504th MI Brigade. Sergeant First Class Rozumny has one year of college and is continuing his education at Central Texas College.