By Eric Franklin
Fort Cavazos Public Affairs
FORT CAVAZOS, Texas — The Installation Deployment Support Plan Rehearsal of Concept Drill, otherwise known as IDSP ROC, is aimed at bolstering Fort Cavazos’ readiness for large-scale deployment and mobilization operations.
Conducted Aug. 17 in a classified setting at the Mission Training Complex here, participants in the ROC Drill did a deep dive into identifying potential challenges such as capability gaps, resource constraints and friction points that might emerge during these critical operations. The drill also encompasses the Fort Cavazos Mobilization Support Plan, geared toward supporting thousands of Soldiers in their post-mobilization and demobilization stages.
Christopher Zimmer, chief of the Plans and Operations Division for the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, placed significant emphasis on the value of collaboration between agencies after the ROC Drill. Highlighting the sentiments of Maj. Gen. Ben Cattermole, III Armored Corps deputy commanding general for support (U.K.), Zimmer took away a vital piece of advice that encapsulated the spirit of the gathering, “Don’t leave today without making a new friend.” This resonating message underscored the significance of forging new connections and strengthening existing partnerships for the success of their collective missions.
“Inter-agency relationship building within the installation is crucial to Fort Cavazos,” Zimmer said. “We rely on these cooperative and collaborative relationships for our mission success.”
Zimmer emphasized the unparalleled participation from external agencies. Representatives from U.S. Army Forces Command, U.S. Army Reserve Command and many other organizations were actively involved. This collaboration marked a significant milestone for the event.
“Having all these teams in the same room in a collaborative effort at the IDSP ROC Drill went a long way in building standing relationships,” Zimmer explained.
The collective expertise, from subject matter experts from both on and off the installation, allowed for an in-depth examination of the challenges faced. As a result, a more sophisticated operational framework was developed for the installation.
“Our ROC Drill this year was a resounding success,” Zimmer stated. “We had the largest turnout and participation involving every major command on post and many partners off the installation.”
After the extensive exercise at the MTC, Cattermole reflected on the experience and the drill itself.
“So, the main purpose of that ROC Drill was to validate the plan that already exists,” Cattermole said. “To stress test the plan by pulling a few levers like changing the operational context, for this scenario, we deliberately made it more challenging than it has been before.”
Cattermole underscored the vital role of cooperative problem-solving within the military framework, pointing out the necessity for a shared vision and open dialogue.
“Enabling us all to see the same problem, at the same time, hear each other’s perspectives,” Cattermole articulated when reflecting on the need to conduct this drill with others. “The purpose is to validate; the benefit of that is awesome. In a bustling Army setting, gathering all stakeholders in one place is a seldom-found opportunity.
“The questions were focused, and all the people contributing briefed well, they had the right stakeholders in the room,” Cattermole continued. “I think I’ve now seen what good looks like. The bad side of that is it means I’m now going to have high expectations going forward.”
Zimmer emphasized the value of harnessing collective expertise.
“While we regularly manage deployments at Fort Cavazos,” he shared, “the ROC Drill allowed us to tap into a wealth of knowledge, ensuring we are well-equipped to support America’s Hammer.”