Belvoir prepares Soldiers, civilians for GWOT
September 17, 2006
In 2001 Sgt. 1st Class Robert Ormsbee retired from the Army after 20 years of service. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks helped him decide he wanted to come back and contribute to the Global War on Terror, so he volunteered and returned to the military through the Retired Reserves.<br/><br/>But before he could contribute to the GWOT he had to update his paperwork and participate in the Soldier Readiness Program conducted by Fort Belvoir's Directorate of Plans, Training and Mobilization.<br/><br/>"We try to make the mobilization and deployment process as smooth as possible," said Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Barrett, Mobilization noncommissioned officer in charge. "We help avoid the hiccups."<br/><br/>"[The Mobilization Office] reviewed my physical, helped with my [identification] cards and the record of emergency data form, which is the people to contact if something happens," Ormsbee said. "I needed shots because I had been retired for three years."<br/>The mobilization office for Reserve Affairs and the National Guard at Fort Belvoir helps approximately 450 Soldiers deploy every year. The office also processes paperwork for approximately 140 extensions for volunteers, like Ormsbee who now directly affects the GWOT through his job at Human Resources Command's Mortuary Affairs at the Pentagon.<br/><br/>Recently, Ormsbee came back to the Fort Belvoir mobilization office to extend his term for another year.<br/><br/>Once a year every Soldier must participate in a SRP. The program, which is offered four times yearly, helps Soldiers update paperwork like medical and dental records.<br/><br/>"We are the first stage in the process," said Staff Sgt. Anthony Stewart, who is working in the mobilization office while on medical hold. "We do physicals, statements of non-availability, which provides housing, meals ... extra money for apartments or hotel rooms if and when [the Soldier] goes into theater ... to get [Soldiers] acclimated back into the Army. We update medical, dental [records] and their wills. We also set them up with the Continental United States Readiness Center; it's like a basic training refresher."<br/><br/>Aviators from the Army National Guard's Operational Support Airlift Command based at Fort Belvoir's Davison Army Airfield deployed in August to provide command and control for all Army fixed-wing passenger and cargo planes in Iraq.<br/><br/>Before their deployment they participated in the SRP at Fort Belvoir to updated all of their paperwork before going to Fort Sill, Okla.<br/>Beyond SRPs, Fort Belvoir provides uniforms and equipment for Soldiers and National Guardsmen at the Central Issues Facility.<br/><br/>"We do everything here, from sleeping bags to flight gear for aviators," said facility manager Ron White. "You name it, we've got it. We even do maternity uniforms."<br/><br/>Soldiers pick up gear from the facility based on their particular unit's mission, White explained.<br/><br/>Fort Belvoir also provides paperwork for government civilians that mobilize and deploy to obtain their identification cards. This includes civilian workers from tenant organizations located on this military base.<br/><br/>"We process Common Access Cards," said Timothy Dotson, technical director at the Federal Deployment Center at Fort Belvoir. Civilians and Soldier require CAC cards while deployed in foreign countries.<br/><br/>Frank Porter, internal revue evaluator at Army Materiel Command, recently returned from deployment in the International Zone in Baghdad where he worked with an assistance team and Iraqi defense forces.<br/><br/>Before his deployment, Porter received his required health check from DeWitt Army Community Hospital.<br/><br/>"If I had arrived without those things it would have been bad," Porter said.<br/><br/>Following his exams and shots Porter reported to the CRC for a follow-up on his medical papers and administrative paperwork. He also participated in several courses including first aid and hostage recovery.<br/><br/>During his deployment Porter helped Iraqi forces purchase spare engines and parts for their trucks and oil for their trucks and equipment.<br/><br/>Previously, Fort Belvoir also provided SRP services to civilians, but beginning in June all individual tenants became responsible for their own updates and paperwork.<br/><br/>The next SRP will take place on Sept. 26 at Army Materiel Command and Sept. 27 at Graves Fitness Center at 8 a.m.