Training Goal: Combat Readiness

To give you an idea of the training you can expect while stationed in Berlin and the purpose of these exercises, the following story, from the files of the Berlin Observer, will show the importance of these training tests. This combat readiness test occurred in the Grunewald. The problem was based on the invasion of the mythical city of West Hauptstadt by an aggressor land army. The battalion, part of friendly allied forces, went to the defense of the country in answer to a plea from the West Hauptstadt government. The battalion was tested on every aspect of the operation from its initial action to the actual combat and conflict with the aggressor forces, as well as routine procedures and activities after the mission had been accomplished. The purpose of these semi-annual tests is not only to determine the capability of the battalion in performing its assigned mission, but also to provide the commander with the means for determining the tactical and technical proficiency of his unit.

These tests provide realistic training which is essential for combat readiness and they serve to identify areas in which individuals and the units need additional training. Problems given to the men were designed to provide an evaluation of their performance in the preparation and conduct of defense, night withdrawals, day and night attacks, Berlin-oriented missions and maintenance inspections. The unit was also tested on activities such as camouflage and concealment, casualty treatment, anti-infiltration measures, reporting and evaluation, handling prisoners-of-war, communications security and equipment serviceability.

The different phases of the problems were planned for specific test areas. During the initial phase the unit was graded on deployment, alert procedures and the establishment of defenses when required to move to field positions and set up a communications outpost. The attacking phase by aggressors tested the ability of the unit to conduct a defense, organize a night withdrawal, defend against any kind of aggressor ambush, as well as patrolling and reaction to gas attacks. Another important part of the testing involved maintenance inspections, consolidation of objectives and occupation of reserve positions. These and other aspects of the entire operation were among the activities tested and graded during the five-day exercise.

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