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NEWS | Dec. 21, 2017

Army Reserve supports Military History Detachment training

By Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris 99th Readiness Division

The U.S. Army Center of Military History recently conducted Military History Detachment training here with support from the 83rd U.S. Army Reserve Readiness Training Center.

“What a MHD does is go downrange once they get mobilized to collect operational data and conduct interviews,” explained Col. Craig Mix, head of Military Programs for the Center of Military History. “We try to get the students into the operational scenario of what they’ll be doing – collecting the operational record.

“That sort of operational data helps the Army historians write the history of the Army and tell the American public what their Army is doing from the historical perspective,” he continued. “The primary source information that the MHDs are collecting is key for those historians.”

The week-long course is held three times a year and uses real-world scenarios to train the MHD Soldiers in their craft. Currently, the course’s Field Training Exercise draws upon Operation Anaconda, a March 2002 battle in Afghanistan that pitted U.S. troops and their allies against al-Qaeda and Taliban forces.

“We pulled from our own history; the CMH had a great deal of information on Operation Anaconda, and part of the reason was that there were three MHDs involved in that theater of operation,” Mix said. “Now, were letting the students decide how they would execute that mission and who they would interview. The key is being able to use our own history and learn from it.”

Of the three-dozen Army MHDs, approximately 80 percent reside in the Army Reserve with the remainder in the active-component and the Army National Guard.

“Our unit is going to be mobilizing, so I really wanted us to have the doctrinal training that we needed to make sure we were the best-possible MHD in the region,” said Capt. Ingrid Weissenfluh, commander of the Army Reserve’s 54th MHD stationed in New Orleans. “We wanted to have a good foundation to go forward with into the mission.”

Supporting the training was the 83rd ARRTC’s U.S. Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy located here.

“The NCO Academy has been outstanding in their support,” Mix said. “The four key-leader interviewees from Anaconda had academy NCOs playing those roles.”

“The NCO Academy provides the best support, the best classrooms, the best lodging – we have it all here,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Kimberly Kemper, NCO Academy commandant.

The next iteration of this course is scheduled for July 2018 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Courses like this help ensure America’s Army Reserve remains the most capable, combat-ready and lethal federal reserve force in the nation’s history.