News: Arctic Wolves get back to business
Story by Sgt. Michael Blalack
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - – Now that the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division is back from Afghanistan and post-deployment leave, the soldiers are back to work on the process of getting the Brigade back into a state of deployment readiness.
This process, called ‘reset’ is a part of the larger Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) process and involves “reconstituting, resetting equipment, receiving new equipment, assigning new personnel, and training to achieve the required capabilities necessary to enter the Ready Force Pool.” (army.mil)
When units began to rotate back from Afghanistan and Iraq at the beginning of the U.S.’s involvement in those countries, the Army realized that combat and stability operations were wearing out equipment faster than expected.
The Army developed a streamlined process of getting combat brigades back to a state of combat readiness within 180 days to meet the new demands of frequent deployments in harsh desert environments.
Everything in the brigade, from tanks to telephones, will go through the process to make sure it is ready for whatever mission the brigade may eventually be called on to accomplish.
It’s not just the Arctic Wolves of the 1-25th who are doing all the work. They’re getting a lot of help, according to Maj. Thomas Chandler, the Support Operations Officer for the 25th Brigade Support Battalion, 1/25 SBCT.
“There are agencies from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, all the way back to depots on the east coast involved in getting the brigade back into tip top condition,” said Chandler.
And the 1/25th now has to do more with less.
“We’re moving into a new period where the bottomless pockets of the war period are no longer bottomless,” says Chandler. “Now we have to achieve reset and mission preparedness with a much more fiscally determined strategy, focusing on property accountability and using our funds as wisely as possible.”
With all of the focus on the equipment, one part of the reset process that sometime doesn’t get a lot of attention is the soldiers themselves. Many will be leaving for new assignments, going to schools, or changing jobs. There will also be an inflow of new and potentially inexperienced soldiers to replace the ones leaving.
This means that training new soldiers, and veteran soldiers in new jobs, is just as essential to mission preparation as the equipment they’ll be using.
To achieve this, the brigade has instituted a “back to basics” training plan, with a strong focus on small unit and individual training.
Even though the 1/25th isn’t scheduled to deploy, by late October 2012 they will once again be ready to take on any mission.