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Institutional Training Under Centers of Excellence (CoE)

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 distance learning / digital venues. It insures Soldiers, leaders, and Civilians can perform critical tasks to prescribed standards and helps instill key competencies, values, and a Warrior Ethos needed by individuals to succeed in any circumstance.

A CoE, as defined in change-3 to the 2004 Army Campaign Plan, is designated by Headquarters, DA 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 Armys Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) currently has 13 schools and centers located on 14 installations that provide specific institutional training. The TRADOC is transitioning these schools and centers to be located within 8 CoEs on 8 installations.

What has the Army done?
The approved recommendations of the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) 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. The BRAC uses varying descriptive terms in identifying these collocated/consolidated schools as Centers. The BRAC directs the Armor Center and School to move from Fort Knox, Kentucky to Fort Benning, Georgia, and collocate with the Infantry Center and School, and create a Maneuver CoE. This relocation likewise consolidates both Infantry and Armor One Station Unit Training, which allows the Army to reduce the total number of basic combat training (BCT) locations from five to four. The BRAC directs the consolidation of the Transportation Center and School (currently at Fort Eustis, Virginia) and the Ordnance Center and School (currently at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, and the Redstone Arsenal, Alabama) with the Quartermaster Center and School, the Army Logistic Management College, and the Combined Arms Support Command to establish a Combat Service Support Center (now referred to as the Sustainment CoE) at Fort Lee, Virginia. It also directs relocating the Air Defense Artillery Center and School (currently at Fort Bliss, Texas) to Fort Sill, Oklahoma to be consolidated with the Field Artillery Center and School to establish a Net Fires Center (now referred to as the Fires CoE). Also, it directs the relocation of drill sergeant training from Fort Benning, Georgia and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The BCT CoE will be formed at Fort Jackson and will include the consolidated Drill Sergeant School.

To fully support BRAC, and meet the Armys current and future institutional training needs, TRADOC has plans to transition to the eight CoEs by September 15, 2011. There will be five multi-branch CoEs: Maneuver (MCoE), Fires (FCoE), Sustainment (SCoE), Maneuver Support (MSCoE), and Basic Combat Training (BCTCoE). Currently the Army already has three single-branch CoEs: Intelligence (at Fort Huachuca, Arizona), Signal (at Fort Gordon, Georgia), and Aviation (at Fort Rucker, Alabama). 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, barracks facilities, and range and training areas necessary for new construction or upgrades at installations that host CoEs to meet BRAC and the Armys required training loads. Projects scheduled for initiation in FY09 have had contracts awarded or have contract awards pending receipt of funding. Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for Forts Sill, Lee, and Benning are complete and approved with a necessary supplemental study ongoing at Fort Lee. The MCoE EIS for FY09 and FY10 projects at Fort Benning is on schedule.

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 4th quarter FY10. The MSCoE is currently FOC. 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, and programs to improve support to the operating force. It embraces best business practices and initiatives that improve efficiency and effectiveness of TRADOC overall. Staffs and schools, gaining greater synergy and manpower requirements, are decreased by having integrated staffs and common instruction. The common structure across all CoEs improves the ability of external agencies to communicate with CoE subordinate elements. Fleet management implemented across all CoEs reduces resource requirements and improves maintenance support across TRADOC by strengthening linkage with Army Materiel Command. Additionally, the number of battle labs across TRADOC is reduced. It refocuses the TRADOC system manager program from systems to capabilities.

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