The Home Station Training Line at Fort Riley is developing into the active-duty Army’s first Cross-Domain Maneuver Lane over the next six months.
A CDML is a site where training incorporates various approaches in each “domain” of the battlefield — land, air, sea, space and cyberspace. Soldiers have the opportunity to assemble in one location and learn to utilize the Army’s primary domain of tactical fighting, land, to overtake multiple platforms of battle.
“The 21st century calls for ready ground combat forces capable of outmaneuvering adversaries physically and cognitively through extension of combined arms across all domains,” according to U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Army Capabilities Integration Center.
The U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group is partnering with the “Big Red One” schoolhouse and Physical Sciences Incorporated Tactical Robotics to teach Soldiers to operate the Raven, Puma, Instant Eye and Black Hornet Nano unmanned aerial systems.
“Our schoolhouse teaches the Raven operator, Puma operator, advanced training and we are integrating the CDML into that. We have an on-site schoolhouse right on top of dedicated airspace,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Sarah Good, air defense airspace management/brigade aviation element officer in charge, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
Presently, Fort Benning, Georgia, is the hub for the Small Unmanned Master Trainers Course, which certifies students as group one UAS Master Trainers, who move on to conduct Initial Qualifications Training. With the addition of Fort Riley’s CDML, units across the country now have the opportunity become certified masters and train for unit missions at the same location, which is something not yet done in the Army — until now.
“The purpose of having accessible CDMLs is to allow company commanders and platoon leaders to regularly bring their Soldiers out here and train them with the newest kit that the rapid equipping force is fielding,” said Kevin Spooner, operational adviser with the Asymmetric Warfare Group.
The future goal for the course is to have it incorporated into the Army’s Mission Essential Task List, as the operation of and benefit of utilizing UASs is battle-focused training, based on wartime requirements.
Staff Sgt. Spencer McCall, 2nd Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment, 2nd ABCT, 1st Inf. Div., cavalry scout and a UAS master trainer, has been working with UASs at Fort Riley since 2011. The cutting-edge UAS technology delivers fast reconnaissance from the air, he said. Accurate information, rapidly delivered, can greatly enhance troop operations and mission success.
“The goal is to have a master trainer at each battalion who can train the company and produce a UAS air crew in each company,” McCall said. “The crew then will carry out any reconnaissance mission that the commander needs to complete.”
Currently the schoolhouse development is at phase two of a three phase initial operational capability. By June, their equipment will be fielded and the schoolhouse will have four new InstantEye kits.