Two-week exercise streamlines U.S. Army Europe deployable Contingency Command Post

Sep. 1, 2011


By
Master Sgt. Tammy Jarrett, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs Office

U.S. Army Europe

Photo credit U.S. Army Europe

SCHWETZINGEN, Germany – Members of the U.S. Army Europe Contingency Command Post team erect a tent during the setup phase of the two-week exercise Saber Foundation Aug. 23 at Tompkins Barracks in Schwetzingen, Germany.


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SCHWETZINGEN, Germany -- The U.S. Army Europe Contingency Command Post wrapped up two weeks integrating new personnel during exercise Saber Foundation at Tompkins Barracks here, Sept. 1.

“Saber Foundation familiarizes new personnel with their war fighting functions role in contingency operations, as well as the battle rhythm of the CCP,” said Sgt. Maj. Brian Rauschuber, the CCP operations sergeant major.

The exercise is the first since the 127-member command post experienced a large turnover of personnel as part of the normal Army high-traffic summer transition season.

The CCP is a forward-deployable command post designed to provide command and control for small-scale contingency operations on short notice. Its functions are focused on initial-entry capabilities supporting humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and noncombatant evacuation operations.

Rauschuber said it takes exercises like this to coordinate the command post’s many boards, bureaus, cells and working groups. Later exercises will expand this to working with USAREUR’s partner and allied forces.

“The CCP is a new concept to USAREUR that has focused on staff integration between the different war fighting functions,” said Rauschuber. “The future focus will be deployment and interoperability with coalition and joint forces.”

“By design, it’s the best way to efficiently get at mission command within the combatant commander’s area of responsibility right now, globally,” said Lt. Col. Michael D. Hebert, the CCP operations officer.

During the first week of the 10-day exercise, all members participated in setting up equipment, conducting communication checks and reviewing and refining working group procedures. This week, personnel are receiving contingency plan briefings, reviewing standard operating procedures and battle drills, and going through a Soldier Readiness Processing routine to ensure their military personal affairs are in place and they are ready to deploy if called upon.

While the SRP makes sure the command post’s people are ready, it’s also important to keep its equipment in running order.

“Part of Saber Foundation is to dust off some of this equipment that we don’t use too regularly and to make sure it is ready to go and we know how to use it right,” said Hebert. “The last part of the exercise is to capture and incorporate any lessons learned we have regarding review of our SOPs and battle drills.”

The next training event planned for the CCP is in October when it will be deployed with its personnel and equipment to Hohenfels, Germany to support the the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team’s Full-Spectrum Training Exercise at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center. For that mission the CCP will replicate a division headquarters by creating and monitoring scenarios to test the command post’s capabilities and acting as the various role-playing organization that make up those scenarios.

“This exercise is a stepping stone for the CCP to prepare for future training exercises and real-world missions,” said Rauschuber.

After that, the next step for the CCP is the capstone exercise Austere Challenge 12 in the spring.

“We are well on the way. We are capable to get out and support the USAREUR and EUCOM commanders’ mission requirements,” said Hebert. “[But] we are always trying to refine CCP capability through our training plan to meet emergent requirements within the AOR.”

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