<b> FORT STEWART, GA </b> -- With constant deployments and constant changes to the battlefield, commanders throughout the Army are always looking for ways to better prepare their Soldiers.

Top leaders throughout the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, came together to conduct an internal After Action Review, beginning Feb. 10, to discuss the brigade's most recent deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

An AAR is a review process that enables Soldiers and leaders to discover what happened during the deployment, why it happened, and how it can be improved upon in the future.

"The AAR shows us where we are as an organization, and it helps us look back at what all we have done during the deployment," said Maj. Kimberly Peeples, 4th BCT brigade engineer. "It will allow the unit (in the future) to start off at a jogging phase and skip over the crawl phase."

During the AAR, key issues on pre-deployment, deployment and redeployment were brought up and ways to improve in the future were also discussed.

"We tried to pull out key issues that are in a more difficult area to handle," Peeples said. "(The AAR) will help provide (the installation with) ideas on where friction points are and focus their attention on them prior to deploying."

AAR facilitators provided a task overview and led discussions on a multitude of issues that were brought up. With the vast wealth of knowledge offered, leaders came together to share lessons learned and comment upon valuable experiences.

The AAR process itself, and even some of the information discussed is not anything new, Peeples said, adding that the purpose of the AAR is to bring all of that information together to capture it and learn from it for the benefit of future operations.

Senior leaders and small group leaders come together to find ways to change programs or techniques that aren't working and to improve upon techniques and procedures that do work.

"So much experience is captured during the AAR," Peeples said. "Commanders have a wealth of knowledge that will provide information for future units to come."
With the Vanguard Brigade's upcoming transformation from a Heavy Brigade Combat Team to an Infantry Brigade Combat Team, lessons learned from the most recent deployment will better help the Brigade prepare for future deployments as it adjusts to a new battlefield composition.

The AAR will not only help the 3rd Infantry Division to expand its knowledge from past experiences, but it also will help prepare the Army for future deployments, Peeples said.

Page last updated Thu February 26th, 2009 at 14:36