FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, CA –
When people first hear that they are going to California they think of celebrities and beaches. When Soldiers hear that they are going to California it’s less about the allure of the big cities and more about good Army training.
The 91st Training Division, 84th Training Command, United States Army Reserve, partnered with the 4th Cavalry Multi-Functional Training Brigade, United States 1st Army, who along with their other training partners converged on Fort Hunter Liggett for their annual Combat Support Training Exercise 91-19-01. The three week long exercise is intended to assist their support units to plan, prepare, supervise and execute their pre-mobilization training.
“When our partner units go out on missions, we will go with them, track their movements, watch them for safety and make sure they're being safe and that they're doing the mission according to field manuals and army regulations and provide the units with feedback at the end of the mission,” said 3-409th Brigade Support Battalion, senior OC/T, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Chad Bartlett. “This allows there leadership to know what they did well, what to sustain and what they need to improve on after the mission is over.”
The OC/Ts were not only there to observe, coach and mentor. They are also uniquely qualified to conduct formal after action reviews that are critical to the unit’s current and future mission success.
“The AAR helps the units see what they did wrong, what they did right and how they can improve for future training,” said 3rd Battalion, 363rd Regiment, 91st Division OC/T, Sgt. Nickolas Arbiso. “Training in the field is where units can work out the kinks and where they can improve.”
The AAR isn’t the only tool that the Army has at its disposal. A key to bringing practical realism to the training environment is through the use of “injects”. Injects or what-if scenarios provides another layer of training that the Soldiers within the partner units aren’t necessarily prepared for if something were to happen.
“Unplanned obstacles give the units an opportunity to learn how they react as a unit, injects give units an opportunity to learn how they would react when things do not go as planned. They also allow units to test the effectiveness of their standard operating procedures and lessons learned from prior training,” said Arbiso. “It teaches them how to handle themselves under stress and what they can do to better themselves when they recognize their flaws.”
“The underlining benefit of this training is we can pause if there is a real world emergency.”