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NEWS | May 18, 2023

2023 Army Reserve Mission Resilience and Sustainability Training

By Staff Sgt. Bob Yarbrough 88th Readiness Division

More than 200 U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers, civilian employees, and contractors gathered at Fort Snelling, Minn. from May 9-11 to discuss and improve the Army Reserve’s resilience and sustainability. Directorate of Public Works personnel from across the force attended Army Reserve Mission Resilience and Sustainability (ARMRS) Training hosted by the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate, Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve, at the 88th Readiness Division’s facilities on Fort Snelling.

The purpose of the training was to improve communication and cooperation between different elements of the Army Reserve’s Engineer Corps: energy, water, solid waste, environmental, and real estate programs, in order to better serve units through facility construction and maintenance.

“We started ARMRS in 2017 after a year of planning because we recognized the criticality of our infrastructure and our facilities in the army reserve needing to be both resilient and sustainable so that we can do the army reserve mission and support our citizen soldiers not only now in the present, but also that we were making the right decisions to support them into the future,” said Paul Wirt, Chief of the Sustainment and Resilience Division, Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate. “That’s where that sustainability aspect comes in, is making sure we have the ability to do both.”

The training consisted of multiple tracks where personnel from different parts of the field came together to learn the newest processes, share information, and learn from not only leading subject matter experts in the Army Reserve ranks, but also each other.

During the closing remarks for the event, Mr. Paul Farnan, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment addressed the staff and participants, and took questions from the field. He talked about his experiences in installation management and told the participants that they are some of the most important people in the Army when it comes to what they do. “That’s why I’m here. That’s why I go visit installations as much as I can. I can sit in the Pentagon and write policy and dictate it down to you guys,” said Farnan. “But I’ve been there before. I’ve been a junior officer on the receiving end and sometimes you just have to laugh because it’s not physically possible to do this.” Farnan noted the significance of ARMRS training as a way to help standardize the way departments interface with each other and solve problems, minimize spending, and keep facilities and training areas usable and available for training and completing the Army Reserve mission. “Where the rubber meets the road, where the Soldiers are living, working, training… where the money is being spent, that’s where the problems are in the Army Reserve. That’s why I want your feedback.”

The event culminated with several individuals and teams being recognized for their contributions to the field by Mr. Stephen Sullivan, the Director for Resources, Installations, and Materiel for the Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve. “The Army Reserve is leading the way for the Army and the Joint Force, because we’re constantly being asked ‘Can you do this, or Can you share what you’re doing?’ because it’s something that they want to spread across the Army. So we are setting the standard, and it’s really you and all the teams you’re working with at your installations and back at the [Readiness Divisions.]”

This is the third iteration of training since it started. The first session was in conjunction with Arizona State University, and the second was held at Fort Carson, Colorado in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic halted the 2021 session, so participants and organizers were excited to get together once again. With the success of this year’s ARMRS training, it is expected that there will be another session in about two years.