Red Bulls conduct Brigade Warfighter at Camp Ripley

May 18, 2019 (CAMP RIPLEY, Minnesota) — Tactical tan tents covered in netting are arranged in an irregular circle to form the brigade headquarters of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 34th Infantry Division for a Warfighter Exercise at Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on May 9-19, 2019.

Each tent houses a section critical to the success of the mission: sustainment, intelligence, planning, fires and information technology. The brigade commander, Col. Tim Kemp, relies on his staff sections to each do their part and to bring it all together into one battle plan. And that plan ends with defeating the enemy.

“What I’m trying to accomplish here is to put that upper echelon staff proficiency in place,” said Col. Timothy Kemp, commander of the 1st ABCT.
This brigade, cyber-based Warfighter Exercise is focused on the brigade and battalion staff, said Kemp. It’s an incredibly complex integration of resources and decisions that have to be made.

The 1st ABCT was joined by the 146th Air Support Operations Squadron (146th ASOS) of the Oklahoma Air National Guard, the third time working together physically side-by-side. This joint-service partnership creates a more realistic training scenario for both the 1st ABCT and the 146th ASOS.

“They bring an unbelievable amount of capability to us that without having them here now with a couple different repetitions, we would not be as successful as we are,” said Kemp. “We’re able to give very clear task and purpose to the Air Force knowing their capabilities.”

In August, the 1st ABCT will travel to Fort Hood, Texas, to focus their training on the company level and below at an eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) brigade field training exercise. At XCTC, platoons are certified by First Army. All of this training will prepare the brigade for the Fort Irwin National Training Center in California, more commonly known as NTC.

“I really look forward to the end state at NTC to see how it all integrates together,” said Kemp.

While this training is valuable to soldiers, it is time-consuming. It takes soldiers away from their home lives, to include their civilian occupations.

“We work hard to communicate with our employers, and we try and explain the need of why these soldiers are so vital to our mission,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Erickson, command sergeant major of the 1st ABCT.