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Unit Combined Arms Training Strategies (CATS)

What is it?
The CATS provide standard unit training strategies to support Department of the Army (DA) unit operations tempo resource projections and to assist unit commanders in developing unit training plans that integrate standards in weapons training, core mission essential task list (CMETL), and the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) process. The program is governed by Army Regulation (AR) 350-1, Army Training and Leader Development; implemented by U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Regulation 350-70, Systems Approach to Training Management, Processes, and Products; and supports AR 220-1, Commanders Unit Status Report. Field Manual 7-0, Training for Full Spectrum Operations, doctrinally documents CATS as the foundation of the commander's training plan. It is a DA-funded, TRADOC executed and managed program that provides suggested/non-prescriptive collective training strategies for unit leaders to establish readiness in their units' doctrinal capabilities/mission.

What has the Army done?
A total of 650 Active Component (AC) and Reserve Components (RC) CATS for platoon through Brigade Combat Team have been developed. In October 2008, the final drafts for seven AC and RC CMETL-based CATS were completed. In addition, six functional CATS have been revised for use by any unit needing training plans in the following areas: stability operations, urban operations, deployment, command and control, force protection, and air assault operations. The CATS developers work closely with both the TRADOC proponent schools and U.S. Forces Command G-3, Training to ensure validation of the units' CATS. Unit CATS are available through Army Knowledge On-line and delivered to the Army via the Digital Training Management System (DTMS).

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army G3/5/7 provided $9.2 Million in 2007 end-of-year funds to support a 30-month CATS development effort which included developing ARFORGEN/CMETL-based CATS-training aids, devices, simulations, and simulator database for use by training developers; and a DTMS CATS development module to improve delivery of the CATS. Refinement of the DTMS tool will continue thru FY09 and will cost approximately $180,000 annually for maintenance and improvements. All but one Future Combat Systems CATS is delivered. Development for CATS for AC and RC functional brigades continues, including air defense artillery, military police, Army Medical Command, civil affairs brigade, sustainment units, and a theater sustainment command.

Why is this important to the Army?
The Army is fighting Overseas Contingency Operations while also transforming units returning from United States Central Command area of responsibility immediately enter the ARFORGEN process to transform from its previous configuration to its future configuration— both in personnel and equipment. Unit commanders and leaders must adroitly absorb new personnel and equipment and rapidly establish unit cohesion and readiness through training programs. Unit CATS provide leaders a menu of training options, which they can rapidly adapt to fit the unit's training needs to establish new capabilities.

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