Interagency participation key element in Decisive Action Training Environment

Oct. 30, 2012

By Sgt. Michael Reinsch, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

  • IDS International Senior Trainer Holly Barnes, role-playing as a representative of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, discuses how the commission will interact with 2nd Cavaly Regiment once they enter the fictional town of Kibirly on Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, as part of exercise Saber Junction 2012, Oct. 29. Barnes is one of several role-players representing government entities such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Agency; Department of Homeland Security; Department of State; and the U.S. Agency for International Development, to add the realism of interagency participation in missions to the exercise. (Photo by Sgt. Michael Reinsch)
  • HOHENFELS, Germany --Today's Army doctrine notes that strategic success in current and future operations requires fully integrating the efforts of interagency and multinational partners with the U.S. military in “Unified Land Operations.”

    Exercises such as Saber Junction, the ongoing Decisive Action Training Environment event for U.S. Army Europe's 2nd Cavalry Regiment, have become the platform for spreading this doctrine and building the skills that come with it. To get there requires bringing together U.S. and multinational partner military forces and an array of government agencies to prepare troops to execute missions as a part of a joint and combined force conducting operations across the full spectrum of conflict.

    With America's Iraq redeployment complete and the number of U.S. boots on the ground in Afghanistan decreasing, Combat Training Centers are moving away from preparing units to conduct counterinsurgency operations to training units to conduct ULO, said Dr. James W. Derleth, Senior Interagency Training Advisor at USAREUR's Joint Multinational Readiness Center here.

    Saber Junction is the largest joint and multinational exercise of its kind conducted by USAREUR since 1989. It involves approximately 6,000 military personnel and equipment from 19 nations, as well as representatives of eight government entities, including the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Agency; Department of Homeland Security; Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

    Agencies such as USAID interact with coalition military units as they work with countries on a variety of issues, from fostering good governance to responding to humanitarian disasters.

    “2CR, at the regimental level, has key staff members that have coordinated with [agencies in the training environment] to share their planning for how they are dealing with situations,” said Gary C. Barrett, deputy director and senior program atdvisor for USAID. “It gets the units used to dealing with civilian actors that are not under their direct protection or control.”

    Realistic interaction with interagency and intergovernmental organizations during exercises such as Saber Junction plays a key role in building cohesion and interoperability among these military and government players and ensures they have experience dealing with one another prior to deployment.

    Derleth said the willingness of several agencies and countries to participate in these types of training events proves that they find the training valuable.

    “If we don’t take a 'whole-government approach,' which effectively integrates all the instruments of national power, we won’t be able to mitigate the threats facing our country,” Derleth said.

    About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned to advance American strategic interests across Eurasia and has unparalleled capability to prevent conflict, shape the environment and, if necessary, win decisively. The relationships we build during more than 1000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships, and enhance global security.