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    Transformation: growing 86th Training Division capabilities



    Story by Debralee Best 

    86th Training Division

    FORT MCCOY, Wis. – Almost two years ago, the 86th Training Division, along with the other six training divisions of the Army Reserve, began the largest restructure the Army Reserve has seen in over two decades.

    This massive change in structure is nearing completion with the anticipated publication of permanent orders in spring 2021.

    “Transformation is really taking all the units under the 84th Training Command and making them look alike so essentially standardizing the structure,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kelsey Koestler, full-time transformation officer-in-charge, 86th Training Division.

    According to Maj. Gen. Ainsworth, commanding general, 84th Training Command, this is the largest restructuring in the Army Reserve since 1993 but will not hinder the mission of the training divisions.

    “We will continue to provide realistic and relevant training to Army Reserve units nationwide,” he said.

    The training divisions provide collective training and evaluation for units throughout the Army Reserve and partner with active duty, joint and international counterparts with multiple, annual Combat Support Training Exercises (CSTX) and command post exercise-functional (CPX-F).

    This restructure creates more independence for the divisions and increases flexibility of training. The restructure for the 86th TD includes merging with the Great Lakes Training Division in Arlington Heights, Illinois. This allows for two subordinate brigades under the 86th TD, each comprised of two subordinate Observe/Controller Trainer (OC/T) battalions and two Mission Command Training Detachments (MCTD). Currently, the divisions partner with one providing OC/T units and the other providing MCTDs.

    “The goal of the transformation is to standardize the structure so each of the divisions will have the same training capabilities,” said Koestler.

    By merging these divisions, the resulting unit will ideally be self-sufficient to support exercises.

    “We’ll increase capabilities to support these exercises,” said Ainsworth. “Divisions will be able to conduct Combat Support Training Exercises independently without request for forces.”

    A transformation team was established to assist in this transition in the 86th TD. Currently, this team works through manpower and force structure to build the restructured division. In addition, they share changes with those effected through transformation virtual roadshows.

    “We are virtually setting up roadshows on MS Teams for every single unit and giving them a briefing specific to their location as far as what our new footprint looks like and how they fall into that footprint,” said Koestler. “Also, it’s a great time for us to receive any feedback, questions or concerns that Soldiers at the lowest level have.”

    While almost two years of working this transition has yielded progress, projected completion is still almost another year away. The transformation team is diligently working and trying to share real-time information.

    When asked what the biggest take-away should be for Soldiers, Koestler said, “They obviously heard that a transformation is going to happen, but we’re probably, in their minds, no further along than we were a year ago ... know that we understand that it’s frustrating not knowing what the future holds and just keep remaining flexible … know that the 86th Training Division is trying to give everyone the most up-to-date information as soon as we get it.”



    Date Taken: 08.15.2020
    Date Posted: 08.15.2020 12:39
    Story ID: 376077
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 

    Web Views: 53
    Downloads: 1