By Gerald Williams, Bayonet & Saber /
FORT BENNING, Ga., (Oct. 19, 2016) — Students in the Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course and the Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course collaborated in a Combined Competitive Maneuver Exercise Oct. 13 at the Good Hope Training Area.
“A lot of ABOLC and IBOLC students will go all over the place; 82nd Airborne, 101st Airborne, 1st Infantry Division and so forth,” said Capt. Nathan Shaffner, Delta troop, 2nd Squadron, 16th Cavalry, drill sergeant.
“There are a lot of platforms that students in IBOLC may not get to experience and vice-versa. The chance to come out and do training on the ground in conjunction with ABOLC is a great experience for IBOLC students.
“ABOLC students generally just focus on reconnaissance and tanks. When they go into the forest, they’re not just focusing on those elements anymore,” said Shaffner. “They will be working hand in hand with infantry Soldiers. This gives them the first look at what the capabilities and struggles for each group of students.”
“There is a defensive team and an offensive team,” said Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Hale, Darkhorse troop, 2nd Squadron, 16th Cavalry. “Each team has 24 hours to come up with a strategy for defending themselves or attacking, based on what team they’re on.”
“Each team has a scout platoon, tank platoon and a combination of infantry platoons,” added Hale. “For the offense, they have Bradleys with dismounts and the defense has dismounted infantry. It’s all planned together.”
Hale explained that the CCME has grown to include Soldiers from the Maneuver Senior Leaders Course to act as platoon sergeants. The exercise has also included people from the Unmanned Aircraft System School that brought out Ravens for reconnaissance.
“All of these elements show students that working together cannot only be difficult, but also the importance of exchanging information and operational graphics,” said Hale. “There is a tank fight and an infantry fight, but they’re both fighting for the same purpose.”
“If the Infantry is the decisive operation for the offense, the tank platoon can better understand how to support that role,” said Hale. “Scout platoons also need to know how to support the tanks if they are the decisive role in the operation. The whole purpose is to learn how to work with each other.”