Early entry command post conducts communication capability exercise



By Maj. Jeremy Passut Feb 02, 2018
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VICENZA, Italy -- Approximately 20 U.S. Army Africa Soldiers participated in an early entry command post exercise (EECP) Jan. 22-Feb. 2 as part of the U.S. Africa Command directive requiring USARAF to maintain a certified joint task force headquarters capability.

The two-week exercise combined a command post and field training exercise and was led by EECP commander Lt. Col. Matthew Brown. The exercise also included Soldiers from the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade as well as medical and Air Force meteorology personnel.

USARAF Soldiers set up the EECP at Caserma Ederle to exercise the communication capabilities of the EECP in response to a natural disaster. When called upon, the command post must be capable to deploy within 96 hours.

“We form the backbone of the joint task force headquarters that could grow upwards of 300 personnel, depending on the mission,” Brown said. “This training event is (a milestone) on the road for U.S. Army Africa’s certification as a joint task force headquarters.”

Capt. Michael Martinez, the EECP communications chief, said that the exercise was a good opportunity to give his Soldiers experience working and establishing communications with logistical, medical and intelligence personnel who are a part of the EECP but utilize different communication equipment.

“At the end of the day, I want to see where our shortfalls are in this process and then work on a way forward to close those gaps in the end,” Martinez said.

The culminating event for USARAF joint task force validation will occur later this year during exercise Judicious Response. Judicious Response is a U.S. Africa Command exercise executed by USARAF and designed to test and build the capacity for contingency response in the AFRICOM area of operations. Once validated, USARAF will have the ability to quickly deploy a small element in support of foreign humanitarian and disaster relief missions.
 

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