Members of the media were invited to witness two live battalions, and a third virtual battalion face off against a “near-peer” enemy.
Unlike the live fire exercise a few weeks ago, this training exercise employed the use of a multiple integrated laser engagement system, or MILES.
CPT Brian Kossler, Battle Captain for Division Operations Center, described the event as a sophisticated game of laser tag.
“The simulation is pretty refined, for instance, the tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles use a complex laser system to determine who’s in and who’s out; if [your] vehicle gets hit, there will be a voice in your radio that goes right into your ear that will tell you the status of your vehicle” said Kossler.
The various statuses range from catastrophic kill – which means the vehicle is completely out of the fight, mobility kill – which means that you can’t move but you can still shoot, or firepower kill – which means you can move but you can’t shoot.
“That’s how the game is adjudicated and refereed, and whoever seizes and takes their objectives wins,” said Kossler.
The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team conducted the training exercise in “towns” complete with a hotel, church and bank to simulate potential combat zones.
Brigadier General Patrick Frank, Acting Senior Commander 1st Infantry Division, said they leverage technology at Fort Riley. “Our Department of the Army Civilians that work here at Fort Riley help us to do [that]; they’re the experts on these systems, they help us to put them on our Bradleys, our tanks, all of our vehicles out here so that when we are in a force on force engagement [like this], we can provide realistic feedback to the soldiers and to their leadership.”
As of part of Danger Focus II, which prepares soldiers for the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, CA, the Brigade is being evaluated in phases.
“We had three different phases here – a preparation phase, that we’ve templated exactly after the National Training Center so what those Commanders will experience when they go to NTC, they’ve already done it here at Fort Riley; then we moved into situational training exercises in our combined arms live fires…we did over 20 rotations of those combined arms live fires,” said Frank. “Now [you’re seeing] phase three – the maneuver phase.”
Fort Riley is known for its training capabilities with 77,000 acres of usable training space.
“We’ve had several senior Army leaders come in and watch Danger Focus, they’re impressed by our ability to get an entire Brigade Combat Team in the field, but not only that, but then bring our Sustainment Brigade – they’re all in the field; so all of our combat operations that we would expect to see a Division doing if they were to employ it in theater, we’re actually doing [it] out here in the Fort Riley training area,” said Frank.
More than 3500 soldiers have been trained as a result of Danger Focus II.
Videos shot by JC Post are for our use only. (playlist below)