Tennessee’s largest National Guard unit is in Central Texas to hone its skills using the eXportable Combat Training Capability program developed by the Army National Guard.
More than 4,000 Tennessee Guard men and women are currently in the midst of the complex field training exercise simulating their warfighting mission to certify their skills in platoon level tasks. The training is all part of a new program designed for brigade combat teams, like the 278th, to become more proficient and prepared for potential deployments as part of the Army’s Sustainable Readiness Model. The SRM is more adaptable, agile and flexible than previous force generation concepts and provides a higher level of readiness across the Army.
The intense training is a prelude to the Regiment’s deployment next summer to the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, Calif. Fort Irwin is a major training area for the United States military and is located in the Mojave Desert in northern San Bernardino County, Calif.
The National Training Center’s focus is on a high intensity conflict environment and continuous counterinsurgency operations that reflect an ongoing and rapidly changing battlefield, especially in a desert environment.
The 278th ACR stretches across the entire state with units from Kingsport to Memphis, as well as the 3rd Squadron combined arms battalion headquartered in Danville, Pa. and an Unmanned Aerial Surveillance platoon in Maryland. The 278th ACR, also known as the “Tennessee Cavalry” is the only ACR in the Army National Guard and is headquartered in Knoxville.
“The training being conducted here at Fort Hood, Texas is exceptional,” said Col. Jimmie Cole, regimental commander. “It has provided us the opportunity to test our troops and equipment. The skills being developed and applied here such as leadership, planning, communication, logistics, decision making, adaptability and resiliency translates to success for any environment; state emergency or national defense. Whether that environment be the battlefield or the boardroom our citizen-soldiers are well prepared to accomplish the challenges at hand.”
“I think the training has been a culture shock to many of the Regiment’s troopers and also to our enabling [support] units,” said Maj. Gen. Max Haston, Tennessee’s Adjutant General. “Quite frankly, the total regiment has not been together in 10 years because we haven’t had a place this big to go and train.
“The training has gone very well. I think the learning curve has been very steep… I think the troopers of the Regiment and the enablers will leave here with an idea of what they need to work on and improve on, and also things they need to sustain.”