Arctic Wolves Validate New Army Training Concept

U.S. Army Alaska's 1st Stryker Brigade Combat, or 1st SBCT, Team, "Arctic Wolves" from Fort Wainwright, Alaska, is assisting the National Training Center, or NTC, in validating a new 18-day training cycle that will provide units with 22 percent more time to hone their warfighting skills.

The new 18-day decisive action training cycle is in its validation phase, with U.S. Army Alaska's 1st SBCT, being the first unit to participate in the four extra days of intense, real-world training.

The goal of the new 18-day training initiative is to enhance the National Training Center's mission to prepare adaptive and agile leaders, who can prevail in conditions of ambiguity: leaders who think fast, make sound decisions and exercise disciplined initiative. The four extra days of rotational training will allow units from across the Army to further refine those skills.

The National Training Center, located in the Mohave Desert, conducts tough, realistic, unified land operations with unified action partners to prepare brigade combat teams and other units for combat, said Lt. Col. Steven J. Adams, the G3 operations officer for NTC.

"While NTC and the other Combat Training Centers are similar in many ways, there are some differences," Adams said. "NTC is the largest training center, spanning over 1,200 square miles. The terrain is rugged and well suited for large combat formations."

Though there is plenty of land for training in Alaska, Fort Irwin is uniquely resourced to mass training and evaluation support at one location to support a brigade-sized full spectrum validation.

"It's nearly impossible for the [S]BCT to train at home station like we do at the NTC," Adams said. "NTC is resourced to provide an observer-coach-mentor to support, guide and train every commander and staff section.'

Every unit that trains at the NTC improves throughout the rotation. Additional repetitions afforded by the 18-day training model will provide additional time for the unit to depart the NTC at a much higher level than when they arrived."

"We're going to be able [to] seriously stress our systems and capabilities as a brigade," said Lt. Col. Mick Braun.

The extended training will also allow the brigade more time with integrated enablers.

"For example, the aviation battalion assigned with us has Apaches, Black Hawks and Chinook helicopters; the armor company has M1A1 Abrams tanks," Abrams said. "We also have different signal assets assigned, military information support operations and civil affairs elements from not only regular Army, but also from Reserve and National Guard units not available to us in Alaska. ... It's really going to allow the Stryker Brigade to put all the hard work done in Alaska and get the best training out of it."

With the drawdown of our armed forces being what it is, the Arctic Wolves are also training on a total force concept, where Army National Guard units and Army Reserve are integrated with their active-duty counterparts.

Col. Shawn Reed, said the rotation is designed for one brigade combat team, but the fact of the matter is, this training is on a much larger concept of total Army integration.

Source: US Army
Date: Jan 27, 2015