Welcome to the
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,
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--
- Define their strategies.
- Synchronize their offense and defense.
- Learn the strengths and weaknesses of their teams and
those of the competition.
- Uniting the commander with his primary staff and major
- Conducting workshops and exercises that focus on
decisionmaking and synchronizing tactical operations.
- Enhancing team-building.
- Improving the commander's understanding of current
doctrine and tactics.
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--
- Gain insights into the application of Army doctrine, as
it applies to operations.
- Achieve a common understanding of the commander's
leadership style and intent.
- Develop an understanding of the commander's critical
- Enhance staff coordination.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.