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News | May 15, 2024

Independence Brigade Prepares for JMTG


Col. Stuart James, the First Army Senior Regular Army Advisor to the Pennsylvania National Guard, instructed the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, on Engagement-Area Development [EA Dev] here May 14.

The independence Brigade [56SBCT] is currently preparing for a mobilization to the Joint Multinational Training Center to train the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Like several other brigades before, the Independence Brigade will continue to work with allies and partners to support Ukraine in their fight for sovereignty and freedom.

Within Army doctrine, EA Dev is one of the fundamental principles that guide military operations and provides the framework for how military forces conduct defensive operations in support of national objectives. Col. James discussed the seven key points of EA Dev.

“It’s about synchronization, the reason EA Dev. is so important is we’re synchronizing multiple elements to engage in one common fight. If everyone understands this process, we can effectively synchronize those effects, which are multiple forms of contact on the enemy,” said Col. James.

The engagement area is where the Infantry leader intends to engage and destroy an enemy force using the massed fires of all available weapons. Leaders combine natural and man-made obstacles to canalize the attacking force into an engagement area. The successful execution of the defense depends on how the leader integrates the obstacle plan, indirect fire plan, and direct fire plan within the engagement area to achieve the Infantry platoon’s and squads’ tactical purpose.

“This instruction is foundational, we need to become the subject matter experts so that we can deliver this training to the Ukrainians”, said Col. Christopher Costello, Independence Brigade Commander.

The independence Brigade has been vigorously training throughout the past year for their upcoming mobilization. Their training has consisted of basic Soldier skills, tactics, techniques, and procedures, driven by Army doctrine, which provides the common frame of reference including intellectual tools that Army leaders use to solve military problems.

“Knowing the process and the steps reduces fear and stress in Soldiers ensuring they are confident in what they are doing. That’s why process is so important because we are all on the same page. If we all have a situational understanding then we’re going to win,” concluded Col. James.