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                   Opportunities and Challenges of a Geographically Split Basic Combat
Training Battalion
 In late 2019, near what used to be called “Tank Hill” on Fort Jackson, the 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment headquarters, along with
A and B Companies quietly moved into new, state of the art facilities. The new buildings provide platoon classrooms, TRADOC multimedia suites, platoon offices, TA-50 storage, arms rooms, supply rooms and four platoon bays. Despite
the clear advantages of this new footprint, the Battalion faced a challenge: How will our Battalion operations change with two companies remaining in relocatable barracks 1.5 miles away? After months of course of action development, preparing our cadre and contingency planning, it was time to execute. We expected to call some audibles along the way, we definitely had to revise the Battalion’s SOP, but we were surprised to learn that executing split Battalion ops, actually has many advantages. The move allowed us to be creative, take a team approach to developing solutions and forced an increased understanding and trust within the Battalion. This article will detail the leadership challenges, procedural changes and solutions
that were implemented after 4-39 IN executed
LTC Patrick Collins
their move and began command and control of a geographically split Basic Combat Training Battalion.
Executing Command and Control (C2) of geographically separated subordinate elements is not a new challenge for Army leaders. One need look no further than recent operations in theaters of conflict where companies occupied combat outposts in far-flung corners of operations areas, while Battalion HQ’s located themselves in a central location or near their main effort. The hub and spoke organizational model is a common concept that is implemented across deployed formations. Modern technology enables the implementation
of this concept by allowing for real time communications between commanders. Detailed guidance coupled with disciplined initiative allows subordinate commanders freedom of maneuver and the ability to execute mission specific tasks in a way that is tailored to their operational environment. In short, time and distance are mitigated by the use of technology and Mission Command philosophy.1
1) ADP 6-0 defines Mission Command Philosophy as the “The Army’s approach to command and control that empowers subordinate decision making and decentralized execution appropriate to the situation.” “Exercise of authority and direction by the commander using mission orders to enable disciplined initiative within the commander’s intent to empower agile and adaptive leaders in the conduct of unified land operations.”
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