KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – The morning fog is just beginning to settle over the parade field at Daenner Kaserne, and U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade are already working quickly to set up communications for a Civil-Military Operations Center as part of an expeditionary deployment operations exercise Nov. 18 here.
The focus of the exercise, led by Headquarters and Headquarters Company, is to set up and validate a communications center for a CMOC, allowing civil affairs operations to continue seamlessly despite austere environments far from civilization and resources.
Tasks to be completed for the exercise include erecting and securing the portable stand-alone tent, supplying power and heat, establishing radio and internet communications and providing physical security.
“This type of [communications exercise] is a crucial piece of a CMOC,” said Capt. Anthony Smith, operations officer, HHC, 361st Civil Affairs Brigade. “It’s tactical, it’s expeditionary, and it’s the best way to validate a communications center.”
“Hard buildings and resources won’t always be available,” Smith added, “We must be able to set up mission command in every type of environment,”
Achieving full capability requires civil affairs, signal, information technology, and supply Soldiers to work quickly and cohesively.
It takes 10 to 15 Soldiers roughly one hour to set up communications and two hours to commence full operability.
“We’re always looking for ways to set everything up more quickly and efficiently,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marcos Martinez, motor sergeant, HHC, 361st Civil Affairs Brigade.
It is crucial to develop best practices now to prepare the brigade for annual training and deployed scenarios, he added.
This expeditionary training serves to grow the brigade’s capabilities towards annual training slated for this June, which will be a brigade field training exercise.