Institutional Training under Centers of Excellence
What is it?
Institutional Training primarily includes initial training and subsequent professional military education (PME) for Soldiers, military leaders, and Department of the Army (DA) civilians. It is conducted at schools and centers on various military installations across the United States and through a number of distant learning / digital venues. It insures Soldiers, leaders, and DA civilians can perform critical tasks to prescribed standard and helps instill key competencies, values, and Warrior Ethos needed by individuals to succeed in any circumstance.
A Center of Excellence, as defined in Change 5 to the Army Campaign Plan, is designated by HQDA and is an organization that creates the highest standards of achievement in an assigned sphere of expertise by generating synergy through effective and efficient combination and integration of functions while reinforcing unique requirements and capabilities.
The Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) currently has thirteen Schools and Centers located on fourteen installations that provide specific institutional training. TRADOC is transitioning these Schools and Centers to be located within eight Centers of Excellence (CoE) on eight installations.
What has the Army done?
The approved recommendations of the 2005 Defense Base Closure And Realignment (BRAC 05) Commission Report directs collocation and/or consolidation of related single Schools and Centers conducting institutional training, to a lesser number of institutional training organizations with the intent of improving capabilities while eliminating excess capacity and providing the same or better level of service at a reduced cost. BRAC 05 uses varying descriptive terms in identifying these collocated/consolidated schools as “Centers”. BRAC 05 law directs the Armor Center and School to relocate from Fort Knox, KY to Fort Benning, GA to along with the Infantry Center and School create a Maneuver Center of Excellence. This relocation likewise consolidates both Infantry and Armor One Station Unit Training (OSUT), which allows the Army to reduce the total number of Basic Combat Training locations from five to four. BRAC 05 Law directs the consolidation of the Transportation Center and School and the Ordnance Center and School with the Quartermaster Center & School, the Army Logistic Management College, and Combined Arms Support Command to establish a Combat Service Support Center at Fort Lee, VA. It directs relocating the Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Center & School to Fort Sill, OK to be consolidated with the Field Artillery Center & School to establish a Net Fires Center. Also, it directs the relocation of Drill Sergeant’s training at Forts Benning and Leonard Wood to Fort Jackson to consolidate all Drill Sergeant’s Training at Fort Jackson.
To fully support BRAC 05 Law and meet the Army’s current and future institutional training needs, TRADOC has plans to transition to the eight Centers of Excellence by September 15, 2011. There will be five multi-branch CoEs; Maneuver CoE (MCoE) at Fort Benning, Fires CoE (FCoE) at Fort Sill, Sustainment CoE (SCoE) at Fort Lee, Maneuver Support CoE (MSCoE) at Fort Leonard Wood, and Basic Combat Training CoE (BCT CoE) at Fort Jackson. There are already three single-branch CoEs: Intelligence CoE at Fort Huachuca, AZ, Signal CoE at Fort Gordon, GA, and Aviation CoE at Fort Rucker, AL. TRADOC has also created models for similar staff organizations at all CoEs to achieve improved efficiencies and effectiveness as determined appropriate at each CoE.
All CoEs submitted their Concept Plans for Organization under the CoE structure and costs estimates for moving necessary courses from current Center and Schools locations to the designated CoE location. All concept plans have been approved by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. Based upon programmed funding streams, the Army has identified projects and developed appropriate levels of designs for needed classroom, maintenance, operations, and barracks facilities, and range and training areas necessary to be constructed or upgraded at installations to host CoEs to meet BRAC 05 law and the Army’s required training loads. Projects scheduled for initiation in FY 08 have had contracts awarded. Environmental Assessments and Impact Statements are complete and approved with some necessary supplemental studies ongoing.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The MCoE will be fully operationally capable (FOC) by 4th quarter FY11. The SCoE will be FOC in late FY11. The FCoE will be FOC in 3rd quarter FY11. The MSCoE will be FOC in FY 08. The BCT CoE will be FOC in 1st quarter FY 11.
Why is this important to the Army?
The CoE structure increases collaboration across CoEs, other organizations, programs, and the Operating Force to improve support to the Operating Force. It embraces best business practices and initiatives that improve efficiency and effectiveness of TRADOC overall. Its common structure across all CoEs improves the ability of external agencies to communicate with CoE subordinate elements. Where integrated staffs are realized and common instruction shared, manpower requirements are decreased and greater synergy is gained between staffs and schools. Fleet Management implemented across all CoEs reduces resource requirements and improves maintenance support across TRADOC by strengthening linkage with Army Materiel Command. The number of Battle Labs across TRADOC is reduced. It refocuses the TRADOC System Manager program from systems to capabilities.