News: First Army soldiers develop relationships to be Army’s most cost effective solution to train others
Story by Capt. Olivia Cobiskey
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – First Army took the fight to Fort Bragg, N.C., in February to help prepare the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade to assume the Kosovo Forces [KFOR] mission of conducting peace sustaining operations in support of civilian authorities. This contributes to the maintenance of a secure environment in Kosovo by enforcing the provisions of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244.
“As an Army, we share in the sacrifice of all Americans during this period of fiscal uncertainty and must shape the Army of 2020 with an understanding of both our national security obligations and the fiscal constrains we all share,” said Col. John F. Dunleavy, commander of the 205th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East. “We will continue to be good stewards of the resources we’re provided by developing the capabilities the Nation needs through prudent investment, modernization, and transformation.
“I believe there will be an increased demand for what we provide to the training environment.”
Trainer mentors are First Army’s most important asset, added Dunleavy. As a composite brigade, the 205th Infantry Brigade, made up of Active Duty and Reserve Component Soldiers, has trainers whose unique experience provides a tailored mix of skills to support a variety of training exercises.
Capt. Micah J. Turner, a mobilization training officer with the 205th Infantry Brigade, agreed First Army trainer mentors will participate in more exercises like the KFOR 17 Command Post Exercise at the Mission Training Complex, Fort Bragg, N.C., recently.
“The 205th takes great pride in its proven ability to provide relevant and realistic training to both Active Army and Reserve Component forces; however, training is not limited to Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center,” Turner said. “It also includes locations like JRTC at Fort Polk, La., and the first exercise conducted at the new Mobilization Force Generation Installation Fort Bragg, N.C.”
All of the training is essential; however, it comes at a significant cost. In the current fiscal climate the brigade has found some creative ways to reducing costs by nurturing relationships with the Indiana National Guard at Camp Atterbury and with other units the brigade has trained at CAJMTC, Turner said.
While mobilizing Operational Support Airlift Agency (OSAA) Fixed Wing Detachments the brigade discovered an under used aviation support asset. OSAA pilots and aircraft require a set number of flight hours each month. By partnering with the OSAA allows pilots to meet their flight time and aircraft utilization needs while reducing transportation costs the 205th Infantry Brigade incurred during the planning and execution of training.
“The partnership is still in its infancy; however, since the beginning of the year, the brigade has saved the Army nearly $12,788 on six flights,” Turner said. “It is a win-win for all parties.”
Sgt. Alfonzo Leathers, fixed-wing flight coordinator with Detachment 10, Operations Support Airlift, in Indiana agreed the relationship is beneficial.
The OSAA, based at Davison Army Airfield on Fort Belvoir, Va., has been providing fixed-wing pilots and crews to fly reconnaissance and surveillance missions in direct support and contact with troops on the ground in Afghanistan, the Sinai, and the Horn of Africa many mobilized at Camp Atterbury, said Leathers. The units also fly mission to support movement of equipment, cargo, and passengers.
Leathers said that every state as an aviation coordinator and requests can be made through the OSAA’s official website http://188.8.131.52
“The fixed-wing is a vital tool for soldiers to travel throughout the continental U.S.,” Leathers said. “It also alleviates the hassle of commercial air travel.”
This work, First Army soldiers develop relationships to be Army’s most cost effective solution to train others, by CPT Olivia Cobiskey, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.