FORT KNOX, KY. – The Tactical Operations Center Staff for Cadet Summer Training explains the importance of the TOC on Fort Knox, KY., June 7, 2024.  During CST, there are many events and training exercises composed for the Cadets to develop their insight, problem-solving skills and leadership attributes.

Behind the actions of the missions and day to day events, there is the Tactical Operations Center. The TOC is a highly technical room full of advanced computers systems, maps and personnel equipped to maintain communications with operators and closely monitor progress during CST.

“The main role of the TOC is that we are the cell where everything flows and comes in and out.” said Maj. Daniel Gaitan, the Professor of Military Science for Lock Haven University working as the Officer in Charge for the TOC during CST, “We also serve as an information filter point between the task forces and committee up to the command group.”

The TOC works closely with higher headquarters to receive, distribute and analyze information dealing with CST. This information ranges from the operations of administration, intelligence, supply, medical and communications.

Out of the many positions in a TOC, a Radio Telephone Operator is essential for the operation. Spc. Rafael Vasquez, from 1-41st Infantry Regiment on Fort Carson, CO., describes his role and contribution as a part-time RTO during CST, “I am responsible for monitoring the radios, making sure our weather bulb temperatures are where they need to be.”

Vasquez highlights the significance of being an RTO and assisting with Cadets in CST from medical assists, movements and ensuring that the environment is safe to train.

Master Sgt. Joseph Miller, from Virginia State University working as the G3 Operations Sgt. Maj. for CST has had many experiences operating in TOCs within his Army Career as a Field Artillery Senior Non-Commissioned Officer.

Miller explains, “Without the TOC, it is hard to know who’s where, what’s going on, as changes happen, as weather comes in and out, someone has to control and disseminate information and that’s what we do here at the TOC.”

The different roles in a Tactical Operations Center collaborate to create a structure that guides members during a mission. The TOC plays a vital role in the planning, preparation and execution of all elements pertaining to CST’s Basic and Advanced Camp.

About the Author: Jordan Chism