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Blackjack Brigade strengthen combat skills during exercise in Germany

Posted by Dylan Malyasov on


The BlackJack brigade’s Soldiers from 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (2ABCT) participated in a 20-day multinational training exercise Combined Resolve XIII at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) in Hohenfels, Germany on Jan. 24-29, 2020.

Combined Resolve is a training exercise that includes leadership training, live fire, and force-on-force with more than 5,000 service members participating, including allies and partners from 16 other nations. During the force-on-force training exercise they conduct simulated battlefield operations from both defensive and offensive fighting positions, to include civilians, mock cities, challenging terrains and a relentless opposing force.

Blackjack Brigade held strong to their unfamiliar forward lines, warding off the opposing forces who are well-practiced, frequently training and refining their battlefield capabilities on Hohenfels terrain. They have a distinct battlefield advantage, as they are typically Soldiers that participate in each rotation of Combined Resolve.”

The Blackjack Brigade still found a way to win.

“They were able to halt one of our exploitation forces. It was a hard fight and a good job on defense,” said OPFOR, Capt. Matt Mccrary, fire support officer of 1st Battalion 4th Infantry Division.

The Blackjack Brigade is evaluated on overall performance by their Observer, Coach/Trainers (OC/T’s) after the mid-rotation assessment of the defensive portion of the force-on-force training exercise for CBR.

“We’ve been really impressed with the Brigade Main Command Post’s ability to receive reporting and coordinate amongst their battalions. They have also been doing a fantastic job predicting the enemy’s movements and finding them.” said Maj. William Deen, Brigade Senior Intelligence Trainer.

Although the training exercise has many challenges, starting with defensives offers many key tactical advantages.

“In a defense position we are able to communicate more effectively, because we are not moving, and generally are located closer together than we would be in an offensive operation,” said Maj. Brendon Baker, Brigade Operations Officer, of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. “We can use maneuver and fire to gain a position of relative advantage. Our challenge was tying together our obstacle belts across ten kilometers of difficult terrain.”

While a strong defense is crucial, the 2ABCT will now be looking to seek and destroy the OPFOR as they convert to an offensive posture moving forward.

Combined Resolve XIII will continue actively through Feb. 5

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