PLANNING AND PREPARATION CONSIDERATIONS for Radio Free Ukraine Jedburgh’s involved in battalion and brigade force protection training for UA Territorial Defense and Irregular Forces during Mobile Training Team MTTs.
Our team of retired US Army senior Special Forces veterans will support force protection train the trainer MTTs with leadership and organizational “how-to” sessions for battalion and brigade command and staff. The Jedburgh’s are an all volunteer A Team of US Army Special Forces retired officers and NCOs with decades of experience leading mobile training teams in combat zones around the world in conflicts from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Panama, Bolivia, Honduras, Guatemala, Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Our senior Jedburgh, a retired Army Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Perry Blackburn, developed the training program of instruction for Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces in 2022 after the TDF Chief of Staff requested his assistance to help implement Fort Leavenworth and TRADOC caliber training inside Ukraine to help with non ITAR Force Protection.
That foundation provided the framework for establishing training programs across Territorial Defense and in Irregular Warfare units of Ukraine. Teaching Irregular Forces such as Territorial Defense Forces “how-to” recruit, organize, equip, train and work “by, with, and through” the indigenous host nation forces who are often civilian noncombatants turned citizen soldier during time of war as is the case in Ukraine.
In 2022, retired US Army Four Star General and former CIA Director David Petraeus supported Radio Free Ukraine as an “Honorary VIP Jedburgh” on several occasions by sharing his insights and “straight talk” about the war in Ukraine, and to provide suggestions and insights on how Ukrainian civilian noncombatants can become a force multiplier by using irregular warfare tactics, techniques and procedures. Ukrainian national media UKRINFORM ran the full feature story by Radio Free Ukraine, as well as another feature about LTC Blackburn and his work in Ukraine with his 501c3, AFGFREE.org.
One example of the Jedburgh’s teaching “how-to” at the company, battalion and brigade staff level is how to develop the unit’s long-range training plans, and helping commanders and planners account for several key planning considerations.
Higher headquarters training guidance and training requirements. Commanders need to account for higher headquarters training directives and time management system to ensure that they nest their training to meet the higher commander’s intent.
Time management system.
Commanders prioritize training time by utilizing a time management system. A time management system is a method of protecting allocated training time and resources for subordinate units while accounting for necessary Army requirements that detract from training. Higher commanders account for all organizations within their command and utilize an equitable time management system based on unit training priorities and missions.
The most common time management system used within the US Army is the Green-Amber-Red cycle:
Green cycle. Units in the green cycle have training resource priority and focus predominately on unit collective training. Higher commanders protect these units from taskings and training distracters. Green cycle is also referred to as prime time training.
Amber cycle. Amber cycle units have training resource priority behind green cycle units. Commanders normally focus training in the amber cycle on small unit, individual, leader, and battle task proficiency. Higher commanders only assign amber cycle units taskings that exceed red cycle units’ ability to support.
Red cycle. Units in red cycle are the primary organizations that execute higher headquarters directed support taskings.
Units in this cycle still conduct training, but training focuses primarily on individual tasks, weapon proficiency and self-development opportunities.
Ukrainian commanders should be able to design and schedule training events focused on achieving the desired proficiency levels in their prioritized tasks.
Good commanders define training objectives for each training event by clearly identifying the tasks, conditions, and standards as well as the expected outcome. They develop unit training proficiencies following a systematic process starting with supporting individual tasks and progressing through the unit’s prioritized mission essential tasks.
Utilize the crawl-walk-run method.
Jedburgh’s teach Ukrainian Commander’s and staff how to sequence training events from relatively simple to increasingly more complex. This methodology known as crawl-walk-run develops unit training proficiencies in a progressive sequence and ensures that task proficiencies build on each other, laying a solid foundation before moving on to more complex tasks and increasingly complex conditions.
Allocate the necessary training time and resources to enable subordinate organizations to train to standard. Most non-staff training is executed at the platoon and below. For example, in a typical brigade, 70–80 percent of training should occur at platoon level and below, 10–15 percent at company, and 5–10 percent at battalion and brigade. However, all training should seek Mult echelon training opportunities and battalions and brigades should leverage command post exercises to command and control lower echelon training to build and sustain proficiency. For example, battalions should establish a command and control element during platoon exercises.
Mult echelon training. Mult echelon training is a training technique that allows for the simultaneous training of one or more echelons on different or complementary tasks. As each echelon conducts its analysis to determine tasks to train, individual Soldier tasks to brigade-level mission-essential tasks are nested where possible.
Training environments. Conducting all training events in a live environment is impractical and not always possible; hence, whenever possible leverage all of the three training environments—live, virtual, and constructive. Training live most closely replicates combat conditions and is the most effective and valuable option. Virtual enablers add significant value by helping in the preparation phase to set conditions for live, during execution by complementing live, and in the retraining phase by enabling maximum “repetitions” to sustain proficiency over time.
Live training is executed in field conditions using tactical equipment. It involves real people operating real systems. Units execute virtual training using computer-generated simulators (gaming is a subset of the virtual training environment). They execute constructive training using computer models and simulations to exercise command and staff functions.
Risk management. Training, especially in a live environment, carries an inherent risk to Soldiers, equipment, and the physical environment. Commanders and leaders effectively manage risk by putting in place a system to continuously monitor risk mitigation. The Army uses risk management to help maintain combat power while ensuring mission accomplishment. Ukrainian Commanders and leaders should utilize the five steps of risk management:
Step 1–identify the hazards,
Step 2–assess the hazards,
Step 3–develop controls and make risk decisions,
Step 4–implement controls,
Step 5–supervise and evaluate.
Other long-range preparations include identifying training resources requiring long-lead times for coordination. These resources can include the following:
- Class V ammunition forecasting.
- Training area identification and coordination.
- Field feeding.
- Medical support.
- Opposing forces.
- External evaluators.
- Training facilities, like unit conduct of fire trainer and aviation simulators. Coordinating training support not on the installation.
- Locking-in school slots and training opportunities.
- Integration and coordination of low-density military occupational specialty (known as MOS) training.
- Based on US Army certification such as Expert Infantryman Badge, Expert Soldier Badge, and Expert Field Medical Badge.