Dragoon Ready 20: LTC Jason Vincent Interview

LTC Vincent discusses the benefits of Joint Multinational Readiness Center and what the Soldiers of the British Army’s 77th Brigade (77X) are doing during Dragoon Ready 20. The 77th Brigade is a unit specializing in information warfare with multiple capabilities such as psychological operations, civil affairs and public affairs.

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We’re in the town set of Kenzie and JMRC, Hohenfels Training Area. And I was just observing a meeting with a Deputy Commanding Officer 2CR, meeting with role players that represent the local civil government. I think JMRC is unique in that this training venue represents a European-based scenario. We have five town sets usually active during every rotation. We’ve got seven towns total. Five will have role players, civilians on the battlefield, or COBs as we call them. Approximately 300, but we’ve had as many as 450. And it makes military units deal with the friction that would be caused by civilians. There’s nowhere we’re gonna fight in the world that we’re not gonna have to interact with and deal with the civil populace. They’ve got 77X supporting them, and it is an information warfare team. It’s kind of a experimental team, and this is their third rotation they’ve been out here. So they do information operations, information warfare, psychological operations, and also civil-military integration. Their mission for this exercise is to interface with the civil populace, whether it’s residents, whether it’s refugees fleeing Czechia and Poland, and also to integrate, like I said, with the civil leadership here, police, the mayor, and non-governmental organizations or intergovernmental organizations. We’ve got BRK. We’ve got UNHCR, United Nations Commission for Refugees, High Commission for Refugees. And so they will interact with those people, and they want to mitigate the impact of military operations on the civil populace. And they want to keep civilians from interfering with military operations as well. I think 77X is—

They’re living up to their reputation. They’ve set the bar really high. They always perform very well here, and they’re continuing to do so this time. My past experience has been positive. I mean, they are the shining example of what we expect from influence operations or civil-military integration. And I think that’s because they come from combat arms. They’re outsiders. They don’t ask for permission. They don’t wait to be told what to do. They hit the ground running, absolutely. Well, I think it’s really similar to past rotations. We have them split where they’ve got representation at the division level and then of course here on the ground with the brigade, in the box at the tactical level. So it’s very similar. But they’re also, at division level, whether it be cyber, they’re competing in the information space, the cognitive space. And so while they don’t necessarily need to be down at the tactical level to do that, with the Internet—

the reach of the Internet is global. They do need to interact one-on-one with the people and understand what they’re experiencing so that they can propose solutions to that. Well, I think the benefit, why I really enjoy working with 77X, is because, once again, we’re not gonna fight a war where we’re not surrounded by people having to deal with the strife and hardship, and they are the best example we’ve worked with out here in influencing behavior and really shaping the environment. And the benefit of having them here is they get to show American commanders, brigade commanders, or in this case, a regimental commander, the value of having that integrator to interact with civil populace and influence behaviors and really help the commander fight his tactical fight.

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