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CAMP CASEY, South Korea — If all goes according to plan, the 2nd Infantry Division’s staff will know a lot more about its wartime command capabilities after this week.

More than 1,200 soldiers will participate in a division-level war simulation at Camp Casey to prepare for a December “Warfighter” exercise to be run here by a simulations team from the Battle Command Training Program at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

To not practice for it would be something like not studying before a final exam. Simply put, soldiers with career aspirations want to do well on this one, said one officer involved in the exercise set-up.

Once the simulated war begins, division staff soldiers will be inundated with audio and video information from multiple sources. They will have to prioritize quickly and communicate their orders to lower levels.

“It’s like looking at an ant hill, and all of the ants are running in [different] directions,” said Master Sgt. Karl Boldman, operations non-commissioned officer in charge. “But they know where they’re going and where they need to be.”

The December exercise will be similar to the Warfighter exercise that the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team completed in October, but on a greater scale.

Soldiers needed a dozen two-and-a-half-ton trucks and three flatbed trailers to haul the equipment needed to set up the field command post, said operations Sgt. Maj. James Addie III.

The web of oversized tents, equipment and cables crisscrossing throughout the post reflect the advancing technological nature of the simulation. When the Warfighter exercise begins, soldiers will actually see the enemy attacking on video screens.

“Ten years ago, we were using acetate and grease pencils,” said division operations chief Maj. John Petracca. “But it all comes down to the same basic concepts. You’re giving [a soldier] a problem with half the information, and they have to … find the correct tactical answer.”

South Korea’s 60th Mechanized Brigade will add another wrinkle by participating in the simulation, Petracca said.

They are an important component, he says. If a war occurred in South Korea, at some point Americans could either be commanding or be commanded by South Koreans.

When this week’s exercise concludes, the division will review its performance internally and make suggestions before the simulation staff from Fort Leavenworth arrives in December.

“If this goes the way we want it, there will be very few or no surprises,” Petracca said.

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