Junior leaders are the backbone of any military organization. Well trained and groomed junior leaders play a major role in the overall accomplishment of a mission in any outfit. The role and responsibilities of junior leaders have increased in outfits fighting sub-conventional warfare, which requires quick decision-making and initiative. To enhance the decision-making capability and confidence of junior leaders, situation-based realistic training acts as a catalyst. To achieve the desired objectives, Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan (North) has incorporated various training courses in the junior leadership training regime to train the troops as per their rank and service, which are run at FC Battle School, Baleli and include Basic Combat Course, Junior Leadership Course, Advance Leadership Course and Company Commander Course.
Objectives of Company Commander Course. Company Commander Course is of utmost importance as it trains Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and grooms them to become effective Company Commanders. The objectives of Company Commander Course are as under:
▪ Polish leadership and decision-making skills.
▪ Enhance reactive ability during sub-conventional warfare with focus on situation-based practical training.
▪ Improve firing and physical efficiency standards.
▪ Improvement in the breadth of outlook (confidence and turnout).
▪ Enhancement of practical knowledge regarding the employment of heavy weapons.
▪ Understanding of threat dynamics and operational requirements of Area of Responsibility.
Training Package. FC Battle School (North) has developed a detailed training mechanism to impart situation-based training to enhance combat leadership skills, decision-making, initiative, command & control and knowledge regarding different operations of sub-conventional warfare. The training package includes:
▪ Weapon Training. Weapon training is an integral part of any military training institute and sufficient knowledge of weapon handling is a basic military trait. However, as efficient commanders, junior leaders ought to know about the employment of weapons. Effective employment of heavy weapons at sub-tactical level increases the probability of success in any operation or war, may it be conventional or sub-conventional warfare. Therefore, more focus is laid upon this aspect in Company Commander Course along with practical handling and fire of small arms.
▪ Situation-Based Training. Situation-based tactical training helps JCOs exercise their mind and enhance decision-making ability in a realistic environment. Students are given different appointments and scenarios in which they have to make decisions as well as exercise their command and control in a time-constrained environment. Before undergoing outdoor exercises, students go through a series of lectures, tutorial discussions, exercises and model discussions. Students are also made to rehearse drills and procedures involved in different operations.
▪ Leadership. Leadership package is included in the course to build confidence and knowledge to be able to command a company in all types of situations. Motivational lectures, public speaking and guest speakers’ lectures are organized to boost their understanding and exposure. Officers serving on different appointments are invited to deliver lectures on various topics related to their domains. General discussion on routine national and international issues is also carried out in the lecture halls to develop knowledge and analytical skills. According to Sun Tzu, those who know themselves and their enemies need not to worry about the results of the battle, therefore, basic understanding of the threat with special emphasis on the latest trends being followed in Balochistan is imparted through a series of lectures.
▪ Study Tour. Study tour to Lahore has also been included in Company Commander Course which helps improve the exposure and confidence of JCOs. The visit is planned in a manner that provides an opportunity to visit maximum places dovetailing study tour and recreational trip. Visit to Army units, Punjab Rangers and other civilian setups increases the understanding of JCOs regarding the functioning and roles of different organizations. The following places were visited during the previous study tour of Company Commander Course:
▪ Border outpost ex Rangers Wing.
▪ Bambawali-Ravi-Bedian Canal and martyrdom place of Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed.
▪ Wagah joint checkpost.
▪ Army units (Armour Regiment, Infantry Battalion and Engineers unit).
▪ Army Museum Lahore.
▪ Lahore city/historical places (Minar-e-Pakistan, Badshahi Mosque, Tomb of Allama Iqbal, Lahore Fort, and Gurdwara Dera Sahib).
▪ Punjab Safe City Authority.
▪ Rescue 1122 Operations and Training Center.
▪ Kartarpur Corridor and Gurdwara Sri Darbar Sahib.
Incentives and Awards. At the termination of the course, position holders are awarded with Umrah package, cash prizes and appreciation certificates to motivate prospective students. Students, after undergoing Company Commander Course, are returned to units and are appointed on various appointments at unit/sub-unit level. Feedback proformas are also given to the respective Wing Commanders, who after evaluating the performance of a JCO, submit it with suggestions for improvement.
It is rightly said that the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in battle. Exhaustive training of troops increases the chances of success in any operation. Frontier Corps Balochistan (North) is trying its level best to train troops in a realistic environment while incorporating the latest technology. Trained students of Company Commander Course will definitely contribute towards a peaceful Balochistan and subsequently peaceful Pakistan.
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