Brazilian Service Members Train for Unprecedented Exercise in the US

Exercise Culminating is scheduled for 2020 at the Joint Readiness Training Center, one of three combat training centers of the U.S. Army.
Andréa Barretto/Diálogo | 12 August 2019

Capacity Building

Service members from the Brazilian Army’s 25th Airborne Infantry Battalion train to participate in combined Exercise Culminating that will take place in the United States, in 2020. (Photo: Brazilian Army)

Brazilian service members will have a busy second half of 2019, as they prepare for Exercise Culminating, which seeks to train an airborne company of the Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese). The exercise scheduled for 2020 represents the culmination of a series of activities EB and U.S. Army South (ARSOUTH) developed. The activities are part of a five-year plan to strengthen relations between the armed forces of Brazil and the United States, and increase their capacity to operate jointly. The plan kicked off in 2016 and will conclude in 2021, with an analysis of the exercise’s results.

Brazilian and U.S. delegations met in Brasília during the sixth training planning meeting for Exercise Culminating, in May 2019. (Photo: Brazilian Army)

Service members taking part in Culminating began preparations for the execution phase in the first half of 2019 with Operation Stream I, May 6-15, followed by Operation Stream II, June 3-14. Units will carry out two additional and similar trainings in 2019, and two more in 2020, before the exercise.

In May, officials conducted the sixth training planning meeting for Exercise Culminating, bringing a delegation of five U.S. service members to Brasília. The team met with the EB delegation to discuss details of the operation, and to define operational requirements, objectives, and deadlines for the preparation cycle.

About 200 units from EB’s 25th Airborne Infantry Battalion will travel to the United States. Sixteen EB service members from other units will also participate as training observers and controllers (OCA, in Portuguese).

The team will train alongside service members from the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) during Exercise Culminating. Located in Fort Polk, Louisiana, JRTC is one of three combat training centers of the U.S. Army. Each year, thousands of units from U.S. combat brigades and the National Guard train at JRTC, which is known for its rigorous activities to prepare for real-life conflicts. 

Operation Stream II split service members’ training into two phases, a virtual simulation and a ground simulation. (Photo: Brazilian Army)

First semester

Four JRTC instructors and an ARSOUTH representative led Operation Stream I. “The U.S. team presented JRTC’s methodology in this type of exercise [troop simulation and training] and exchanged experiences and practices that the center currently uses,” EB Social Communication Center (CCOMSEx, in Portuguese) said. 

Seventy members from the 25th Airborne Infantry Battalion and 27 OCA service members took part in the first training. “OCAs observe all activities and record any incidents to identify, in the end, best practices and opportunities for improvement,” EB said.

The airborne platoon and OCAs had separate training sessions followed by a joint simulated ground exercise. This included paratrooper jumps and ground assault, combat marches, contact with another troop traveling in armored vehicles, and an attack by enemy forces, within a simulated urban environment.

Operation Stream II reinforced those activities, presenting similar challenges to service members. Before the ground simulation, units participated in a virtual simulation, based on a Virtual Battlespace 3 software scenario. The training tool, which the U.S. military also uses, allows for the creation of different environments, taking users through planning, communication, and decision-making in a wide-range of situations.

“We hope that as a result of these activities, the EB personnel who will participate in combined Exercise Culminating 2020 will acquire the knowledge that will help the Brazilian land force make progress in its preparation for multinational exercises,” CCOMSEx concluded.

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