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    Back to Basic: Full-time Soldiers brush up on warrior training skills

    Back to Basic: Full-time Soldiers brush up on warrior training skills

    Photo By Sgt. Rob Cooper | Spc. Richard Codd teaches a group of Camp Atterbury's Installation Support Unit...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Rob Cooper 

    Camp Atterbury Public Affairs

    CAMP ATTERBURY JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ind. — For most Hoosiers, summer signals a time for rest and relaxation and a chance to get away from it all. For most Indiana National Guardsmen, however, only the latter applies; while the getaway is guaranteed, often it's in the form of two weeks training with their subordinate units.

    Some of these units converge at Camp Atterbury, where the training is handled by a full-time cadre known as the Installation Support Unit and supported by Soldiers from Fort Knox, Ky. Through these full-time Soldiers, many of the traditional National Guard Soldiers who attend drill only once a month can fulfill their mandatory training obligations set forth by Army doctrine.

    But what about the trainers? Where is their opportunity to receive that same instruction? For the past three weeks, Camp Atterbury's Directorate of Plans, Training and Mobilization have answered that call by providing the installation's full-time Soldiers with a day-long training event designed to refresh their basic battle skills, known as Warrior Task Training. As a result, more than 400 Soldiers here have fulfilled their basic, annual requirements without taking time away from their jobs.

    "Garrison Soldiers don't go to the field; they are here in a support capacity for those going to combat," said Sgt. 1st Class Chris Van Selow, the senior noncommissioned officer with Camp Atterbury's Joint Simulation Training and Exercise Center.

    "Inadvertently, they really don't get the hands-on warrior skills like traditional Soldiers do. Most of them are in offices, turning wrenches or delivering fuel here, so they don't have opportunity to train until now."

    The training, which has been offered to Camp Atterbury's full-time staff annually since 2004, focuses on multiple levels of WTT and is tailored to Soldiers here who can't take days or weeks out of their schedule to receive it.

    "The Warrior skills and tasks are basic soldiering skills," Van Selow said. "If you reflect back on basic, you — as a Soldier — learned basic training such as clearing a room or learning land navigation. The training we've provided is a combination of all skills levels compiled into 13 tasks."

    The tasks included first aid and medical evacuation procedures, crew-served weapons familiarization, land navigation and terrain association. Even a few rope bridges that stretched across Camp Atterbury's many creeks were thrown into the training for good measure.

    "This training that's going on is ideal for every Soldier on post, since we have such a diversity of (military careers fields) that don't have opportunity to go out and use this training," Van Selow said.

    The training even included the chance to throw live grenades, an opportunity that Staff Sgt. Noah Long, the non-commissioned officer in charge of aviation fueling here, hasn't had since his Basic Training six years ago.

    "As a support Soldier, I don't get to do all the fun things that combat arms Soldiers get to do, so I think it was wonderful training," Long said. "It was a good refresher for Soldiers that haven't been overseas or don't have the comprehensive training that mobilizing Soldiers receive."

    Although some days presented nasty weather complete with humid conditions, wet training environments and a multitude of mosquitoes, Van Selow said he was pleased with the high levels of motivation among those that received the training.

    "I was really tickled to see the two groups that came up from Fort Knox," Van Selow said. "It rained for about five hours straight, but didn't slow them down and they marched through the entire training," he said. "A common denominator was that some Soldiers didn't want to partake in it, but by the end of the day, their motivational levels were high. Their muscles were strained, they exerted themselves, but they learned something."

    Long echoed those sentiments.

    "I feel better equipped to be able to direct my Soldiers now," he said. "I'm not only a better Soldier for knowing it, but a better leader because I've upheld the standard."

    Van Selow said that the training couldn't have been accomplished if not for Camp Atterbury DPTM's Sgt. Maj. Kevin Bateman, who spearheaded the training with the help of volunteers from various post directorates who trained their full-time brethren.

    "I have to acknowledge the support from the directorates for helping provide us with trainers," he said. "I couldn't have asked for a better group. The trainers that were out there were some of the best; they were punctual, professional and very motivated. I'm extremely proud to have worked with them."



    Date Taken: 07.17.2009
    Date Posted: 07.17.2009 17:56
    Story ID: 36508
    Location: CAMP ATTERBURY, IN, US 

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