DVIDS – News – Military Intelligence BOLC Students Complete Operation Crucible Sandstorm


FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – Basic Military Intelligence Officer Course students from Charlie Company, 304th Military Intelligence Battalion completed Operation Crucible Sandstorm Sept. 21 at Urban Ops Site-South.

The operation executed a Situational Training Exercise (STX) during field operations with the intent that students combine intelligence gathering and maneuver.

“Operation Crucible Sandstorm was developed to provide future intelligence leaders with the opportunity to execute a well-planned, tactical and rigorous training exercise that exemplifies mission command,” said Capt. Neil Hiegel, commanding officer. of the C Co., 304th MI BN. “The operation also provides intelligence reporting elements that drive the infantry maneuver element toward the overall objective.”

Hiegel said the students were given an operation order and expected to complete the mission on time and with little or no guidance.

“It allows students from diverse backgrounds and experiences to help their classmates accomplish the mission,” he said.

Second Lt. Mary Arnold, a student at MIBOLC, has not participated in an STX since she was at the United States Military Academy at West Point three years ago.
Arnold and his classmates had only been in class for a month, and the best thing to come out of STX was the camaraderie of completing a practice drill together outside of the classroom, she said.

“The hardest part is that we didn’t cover classroom training,” she said. “So trying to work through army doctrine and the right way to do this type of exercise when as an MI officer we are not usually expected to lead them… it was really nice to work on our basic soldier skills outside of military intelligence. Classroom.”

This marks the first time in recent history that MI BOLC students have participated in an STX in a tactical environment that tests their ability to perform troop lead procedures by planning and directing platoon movement.

“We are always looking for opportunities within MI BOLC to inspire and develop the future leaders of our MI Corps,” said Lt. Col. Robby Haugh, 304th MI BN Commander. “While the training of our new lieutenants largely focuses on our basic intelligence skills, we will take every opportunity to familiarize students with the impact intelligence has on maneuvering in a field environment. “

The exercise was a great opportunity to take students into the field to lead their classmates in performing platoon maneuver operations and to briefly experience what an infantry platoon goes through as its operations of maneuver are driven by intelligence, Haugh said.

During the exercise, the students conducted a foot patrol in a field adjacent to the village under simulated fire, then maneuvered into the smoke-cloaked village to create a realistic scenario.

Haugh said that in the future, MIBOLC will combine this iteration of STX operations with the Night Ground Confidence course.

“The added benefit of these types of tactical maneuver exercises is that they familiarize our students with the experiences of our combat arms brethren as they put our intelligence to a tactical advantage on the battlefield,” said he declared. “Our challenge as a school is to find more opportunities in our established curriculum to provide those opportunities and experiences for our students.”

Date taken: 26.09.2022
Date posted: 26.09.2022 16:54
Story ID: 430125
Location: FORT HUACHUCA, Arizona, USA

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