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NEWS | Aug. 21, 2018

Total Force Partners arrive at Fort McCoy

By Staff Sgt. Robert Larson 181st Infantry Brigade

The 181st Multifunctional Training Brigade, First Army Division West, is testing a pilot program that is aimed at overcoming the barriers between U.S. Army active component and reserve component training relationships, and enhancing the Army Total Force approach by adding active component partner brigades to the reserve component training exercises. 

This year, the 181st MFTB is hosting, for the first time, active duty Soldiers from the Total Force Partner pool to participate in the annual Combat Support Training Exercise at Fort McCoy, Wis. 

According to Maj. Tony Oliveras, Partnership Plans officer for 181st MFTB, the goal of this program is two-fold: To develop active component Junior noncommissioned officers into leaders who can teach, coach and mentor units during training exercises, and to assist First Army trainers and reserve component training units with mentorship and feedback throughout training exercises, which is seen as a force multiplier. 

This approach is in line with U.S. Army Forces Command’s goals of the Army Total Force Policy, and fully supports Training and Doctrine Command’s NCO 2020 strategy. 

The 89th Military Police Brigade from Fort Hood, Texas, and the 10th Sustainment Brigade from Fort Drum, N.Y., have sent Soldiers to Fort McCoy to support First Army Observer-Coach/Trainers, expand their multicomponent training experiences, build training relationships with their aligned RC partner units, and develop their leadership skills in a complex training environment. 

At Fort McCoy, Staff Sgt. Sheannah Beale, 89th MP BDE, actively coached partner reserve component units from the 300th MP BDE, while the 10th Sustainment Brigade active duty Soldiers, Staff Sgt. Kodjo Parou and Sgt. Bryant L. Johnson, were mentoring reserve component Soldiers from the 77th Sustainment Brigade, building a positive training relationship and professional trust. 

“This program is linking partners today to build the ready force of tomorrow,” said Oliveras.

The 181 MFTB intends to expand this opportunity to the rest of the active component brigades within the FORSCOM alignment for fiscal year 2019 training exercises at Fort McCoy.