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NEWS | June 18, 2024

38th Infantry Division Soldiers Conduct Warfighter Exercise

By Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry, 38th Infantry Division

EDINBURGH, Ind. - Approximately 600 National Guard Soldiers with the 38th Infantry Division trained in simulated battlefield scenarios during Warfighter Exercise 24-4.

Guard members with the division’s headquarters battalion refined their tactics, techniques and procedures during the nine-day exercise at Camp Atterbury in June.

“This exercise prepares you like nothing else can,” said Maj. Gen. Dan Degelow, the division’s commanding general. “This is a learning laboratory. Don’t stop learning, and make your organization better.”

For the division’s Soldiers, this year’s warfighter exercise represents the next step, a waypoint, as they gear up for their deployment later this year in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

“It’s been a long journey, but it’s far from over. We have a mission ahead of us,” Degelow said during the unit’s after-action review. “And I’m proud of you and your willingness to volunteer your time to the needs of the nation.”

That mission, supporting Spartan Shield, returns many of the unit’s Soldiers, who deployed for the same mission in 2019, to the Middle East hotbed with tensions rising throughout the region.

In January, an enemy drone attack struck the U.S. base known as Tower 22. In December, Houthi rebels stepped up their attacks on ships sailing in the Red Sea.

Soldiers of the 38th ID, aka the Cyclone Division, saw parallels to the exercise and their upcoming mission.

“It is my job to shape, synchronize, and coordinate all the division’s fighting force and bring it decisively against the enemy,” said Lt. Col. Adam Barlow, the division’s chief of operations. “However, it would be impossible to do without the incredible team of officers and enlisted Soldiers that enables that fight. Their motivation and willingness to learn and achieve success has been an absolute pleasure to watch over the course of this exercise. We have the best people ready to bring the nation’s premier warfighting force to bear on the modern battlefield.”

More than 2,000 troops from Indiana and surrounding states contributed to the division’s exercise and helped its Soldiers learn. Those tasks included acting as response cells in the game as higher, adjacent or subordinate units or, in the real world, helping sustain the troops with fuel, water and food.

All Cyclone Soldiers seemed to grasp the importance of the learning experience.

“For it to be a training exercise, there was a lot of action going on,” said Staff Sgt. Rachel Hoke, a 38th Infantry Division paralegal. “A lot of people communicating really, really well. A lot of learning, a lot of integration and even for myself, being able to see the inside of the exercise, I was able to learn a lot about battle-staff duties.”

The learning process extended to Soldiers who experienced a warfighter exercise for the first time.

Warfighter exercises train the command and staff teams in six areas: command and control, movement and maneuver, intelligence, targeting processes, sustainment and protection.
Sgt. 1st Class Erin Bossen and Staff Sgt. Aaron Edwards contributed to this story.



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