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This week marked the first time ever that the Maneuver Center of Excellence and the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation participated jointly in a Command and General Staff Officers Course training exercise.
Training was conducted at MCoE's state-of- the-art Maneuver Battle Lab, which is part of the Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate.
This year was the crawl phase for an ongoing endeavor that leverages emerging technology and promotes international cooperation and integration between the two institutions.
Successful integration efforts will set favorable conditions with partner nations and MCoE foreign service LNOs for future streamlined execution of the following WHINSEC CGSOC Advanced Operations Course exercises: Combined Forces Land Component Command Planning, Planning Major Combat Operations at the Division level, Executing Major Combat Operations at the Division level, and Planning for Stabilization Operations.
Col. Glenn R. Huber Jr., commandant of WHINSEC, said he is pleased to see part of his command vision come to fruition with the integration of external resources and personnel into the training and exercise scheme of CGSOC academic curriculum as he nears the end of his tenure at the Army's only accredited graduate degree awarding bilingual institute for specialized military education. He said the exercise was able to achieve one of his primary objectives of maximizing the personal operational experiences of the MCoE LNOs, thus facilitating a better and broader understanding for the 62 students attending the course this year and enriching the value of this part of the course for all involved.
The student body consists of 45 field grade officers from all branches of service and 17 partner nation field grade officers from nine partner countries (Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic and Colombia).
"Lt. Col. Guy Wallis (United Kingdom) and Lt. Col. José Robles-Rodríguez (Spain) played key roles as 'mentors' and 'evaluators' in the different warfighting functions in the Current Operations Integration Cell of the division Mission Command Post and BLUEFORCE Brigades," Lt. Col. Guillermo A. Ventura, director of the School of Professional Military Education, said. "They provided SPME with invaluable courseware feedback that will allow us to reinforce the quality of education we are providing for the Advanced Operations Courses blocks of instruction."
The fledgling process will serve as a base for developing a MCoE LNO staff integration program into the training and exercise scheme for future academic years. It will also foster strategic long-term interoperability and capabilities of coalition forces with partner nations in today's operational asymmetric joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment.