The JMRC (Joint Multinational Readiness Center) Hohenfels is a terrific little chunk of land in the gorgeous rolling hills of Bavaria, Germany. Nearby Grafenwoehr is the live fire range complex. Hohenfels is the force on force maneuver box.
I made about half a dozen 3-4 week trips to Hohenfels in my short tour in Germany. I never saw such nice weather there. It was either cold and wet (or snowy) in the winter, or hot and dusty in the summer.
Back in the day, right toward the end of the Cold War, the usual use of Hohenfels, then known as CMTC, was to put a heavy brigade through its paces. The opposing force was normally supplied by a reinforced battalion from one of the division’s other brigades. Toward the end of my time in Germany, CMTC gained its own full time OPFOR, 1/4 Infantry (who are still there).
In addition to the Blue Force and the OPFOR, there is also the O/C Team. What used to be called umpires, the Observer/Controller Teams advise, assist, and critique the actions of the unit being trained. Much like a coach walks a player through his performance after a game, so the O/C’s help show the units under training their strengths (usually few!) and weaknesses (usually many!).
O/C’s are usually assigned to just about every echelon throughout the unit being trained. For instance, a mechanized Infantry platoon would typically have a senior Infantry NCO who has successfully served as a Platoon Sergeant. And the battalion commander would have as an O/C a fellow Lieutenant Colonel, one who has successfully completed his battalion command tour.
I *think* this exercise was just before our friend Esli assumed duties at JMRC.