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    Chaplains Summit for Associated Units Pilot program

    Chaplains Summit for Associated Units Pilot program

    Photo By Sgt. Keegan Costello | Active, National Guard and Reserve chaplains and chaplain assistance posed for a group...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Keegan Costello 

    27th Public Affairs Detachment

    The Army initiated the AUP program for generating Reserve Force combat power in support of Army Total Force Policy. Selected units from the Active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard formed Associated Unit formations to train and build readiness together, enabling the Army to provide more combat ready formations to combatant commanders.
    “We were here today to build a bridge between the National Guard and the Active component,” said Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) Kenneth Brandt, the Senior Army National Guard Chaplain and US Army Deputy Chief of Chaplains for the National Guard. “We are here to see how the UMT’s are being trained to get an idea of where our deficiencies might be, and where we are doing things well.”
    Brandt highlighted the participation of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Vermont National Guard, 10th Mountain Divisions partner unit, as well as chaplains from the New York National Guard.
    “I think the big thing is communication,” said Brandt. “We are proposing to the Chief of Chaplains that next year’s event is multi-compo training. So, it would be Active, Guard and Reserve. I encourage state chaplains that if you have an Army post in your state, to call the chaplain in that post and get to know them.”
    Due to reductions in the Active Components budget, sustaining the current operations tempo and planning for future contingencies would mean integrating some Reserve Components into the operational deployment structure.
    The AUP program tests a new model for sustaining readiness in the Army components through increased training days and frequency of Combat Training Center rotations. It is meant to increase the readiness and responsiveness of a select number of units.

    “We have our 3rd brigade out in Fort Polk, they are associated with the 36th ID and they actually wear their patch and everything,” said Chaplain (Maj.) John. P. Smith, Deputy Division Chaplain for 10th Mountain Division, and the operational planner for the division chaplain’s office. “As soon as we found out we were going to be associated with these units, the first thing we did as a ministry team was to make contact with the state chaplain in Vermont. And we made contact with the 36th out of Texas, and we started collaborating and looking at ways that we could partner.”
    According to Master Sgt. Edward Baptist, the Master Chaplain Assistant Non-Commissioned Officer for the 10th Mountain Division, the ministry team thought from a technical perspective as chaplains and chaplain’s assistants that incorporating the program would be easy for them. The chaplain corps is small and they already had a personal relationship with the Vermont state chaplain.
    “Vermont is right over the mountains, we can get this going,” said Baptist. “Through a series of conferences within the chaplain corps that gave us the opportunity to meet with some of our other counter parts to include the National Guard Bureau Chaplain and the Chief Chaplain Assistant of the National Guard Bureau. Then we reached out to the Texas National Guard unit ministry team.”
    Baptist and the ministry team put together joint echelon training to present to the National Guard Chaplains. It gave an opportunity to showcase what the 10th Mountain Division was trying to do to “make this AUP thing happen,”
    The second day found the senior chaplains meeting with the 10th Mountain Division Deputy Commanding General of Operations, Brig. Gen. Xavier Brunson, to discuss the operational effectiveness of the AUP within the chaplain corps.
    Brunson pointed out the fact that Fort Drum was the center for training in the northeast and that made pairing the 10th Mountain Division with its Vermont National Guard counterparts simple based on their locations.
    With the 86th on Fort Drum for their two week annual training, the division is heavily involved.

    “We’ve got 1BCT guys over with the 86th right now working on the ground,” said Brunson. “Providing fire supporters and logisticians, helping them at their exercise.”
    All elements of the division have a reserve counterpart here at Fort Drum. While 10th Mountain units are deployed or training, their 10th Mountain sister units step in to pick up the slack.
    Brunson believes in the mission of the AUP program and knows it takes individuals like those in the unit ministry team to make a change.
    “The partnerships exist, but it’s also about the willingness to reach out yourself and talk. That’s the way it gets started,” said Brunson.



    Date Taken: 06.13.2017
    Date Posted: 06.14.2017 19:07
    Story ID: 237922
    Location: FORT DRUM, NY, US 
    Hometown: JERICHO, VT, US

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    Chaplains Summit for Associated Units Pilot program