Local News

Fort Bragg Fighting Force Gets Fine Tuning

Posted March 25, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Corps is already an elite fighting force; the Army believes a new training evaluation system will better prepare soldiers for the real thing.

The soldiers are defending their battalion's tactical operations center while fending off enemy fire. The eight day exercise in war involves several missions, on which the battalion will be graded by their peers.

Lieut. Col. Tony Tata, 1st-505th PIR Commander, says the exercise will improve future training. "By doing them more frequently we are much better able to plan training at the end of them. So we know what we need to work on for the next several months," Tata says.

At the end of the training, Tata will receive "a written product that says these areas you did well in, these are the areas in which you need to improve."

The new external evaluation better prepares the battalion for national testing as well, and for real war.

The brigade tactical operations center designs specific missions that will challenge the abilities of the battalion.

"For this battalion in particular, for the 1st of the 505th, a parachute infantry regimen, we're trying to set them up for success," says Brigade Battle Capt. Wilson Rutherford.

The training exercise gives soldiers in the division tactical operations center an opportunity to brush up on their skills as well.

"We don't get to train together that often due to the constraints necessary to run the division in garrison and this was just a great opportunity for us to work on the mission essential task that we need to do as a staff to control and command this division," says Lieut. Col. Gary Keck, division PAO.

Officials believe this type of teamwork will make the division a much better fighting machine in the event they are called to duty.

The battalion evaluated this week will be tested on a national scope in June.