29th ID Soldiers train on Command Post of the Future

Staff Sgt. Dustin Seidler(left) and Sgt. 1st Class Brian Taylor participate in Command Post of the Future Training June 21 at Fort A.P. Hill as part of their annual training. This training enables Soldiers to stay connected and informed with the most up-to-date, secure information available across multiple interfaces.

FORT A.P. HILL, Va. — Virginia and Maryland National Guard Soldiers from the 29th Infantry Division participated in valuable training this week to stay on top of the latest and greatest in military technology.

Command Post of the Future, part of the Military Command System, enables Soldiers to stay connected and informed with the most up-to-date, secure information available across multiple interfaces.

“It’s basically the heart of the Tactical Operations Center,” said Staff Sgt. Dustin Seidler of the 29th Infantry Division’s B. Company, Detachment 2. “Everything runs through the CPOF. Staff can brief commanders, commanders out in the field can brief division commanders. It links nearly every military computer system together and talks to one another. It gives you high-quality map information in a digital format.”

CPOF is compatible with several other types of military systems, such as Battle Command Sustainment Support System, making it a powerful tool for linking components outside the wire and across military service branches.

“You can do almost anything you want with maps in a tactical manner. Track units in the field, set up boundaries, lines, routes,” explained Seidler.

Sgt. 1st Class Brian Taylor, a  Systems Operations NCO with the 329th Regional Support Group noted the value of being able to link troops on a mission to a Tactical Operations Center as well as use real-time information to keep the mission running smoothly.

“If a unit that’s moving 45 minutes ahead of you on the same route finds an IED, we can populate an IED symbol on here and we can also communicate to the unit moving not to go that way, and to go an alternate route,” explained Taylor. “We can even plug in their alternate route for them.”

This real-time input provides leadership with the knowledge required to quickly mitigate unexpected situations, but it also enable best possible planning.

A Soldier receives instruction on Command Post of the Future Training June 21 at Fort A.P. Hill. This program enables Soldiers to stay connected and informed with the most up-to-date, secure information available across multiple interfaces.

“You get a snap-shot of that moment,” said Seidler. “You can see the troops out there, you can see where his supplies are.You get the details that you need and it gives the commander the most information for the decisions he needs to make.”

Although it’s a versatile tool, CPOF’s interface is relatively user friendly, although a knowledgable instructor is key to training Soldiers at different levels.

“You’ve got people from all different backgrounds in this training. Some with a lot of computer experience and Army experience, but also new Soldiers who are very fresh out of AIT,” he said. “Everybody is getting the same level of training to where everyone should be proficient.”

Seidler, the 29th’s Mortuary Affairs NCOIC, might not end up manning the TOC, but he believes that CPOF is a good tool for anyone.

“It is useful for me,” said Seidler. “I can see the usefulness for somebody in logistics, all the way to someone who is commanding a combat unit in the field, beyond just briefing. I think it will be helpful in any operation.”