Summer surge plans take shape
November 24, 2009
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Leaders from Fort Jackson and the U.S Army Reserve's 108th Training Command (IET), 98th and 104th Training Divisions (IET), met Saturday for the annual Active Component/Reserve Component Conference to decide the best strategy to incorporate reserve units within active component units for the upcoming year's influx of Soldiers.
The active and reserve components met to discuss how to seamlessly integrate the units during summer surge, when nearly 1,500 Initial Entry Training Soldiers enter the Army through Fort Jackson each week.
"We are here to figure out how we can get units like the 108th fully operational and further expand relationships between active components and reserve components," said Brig. Gen. Bradley May, Fort Jackson commanding general.
Lt. Col. Scott Ward, who is Fort Jackson's mobilization planner, agreed about the significance of building on existing relationships between active and reserve units.
"We have to strengthen existing relationships so that we can go off and do great things," Ward said.
He also said that it was imperative for leaders to decide the best course of action to implement plans.
The U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Center of Excellence and the 108th Training Command are taking the necessary steps "to make the ARFORGEN model a reality from a concept," Ward said.
Lt. Col. Alan Deogracias, commander of 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, discussed previous successes and potential issues for the upcoming year's mobilization.
"There is no way to tell who the reserve component is once they become part of our battalion. The addition is seamless to us," Deogracias said.
He said, however, improvements could be made during the pre-activation process of the Reserve Soldiers.
"Several Soldiers had late or erroneous orders, which delayed their training," Deogracias said. "We also need to determine standards for certification training required prior to reserve components' arrivals at Fort Jackson."
After initial talks, individual commanders from active and reserve components met at different locations for break-out sessions intended to strengthen relationships, begin force requirements and determine schedules for the integration process.
May reminded commanders of the importance of their missions, and of the key contributions reserve units make to the Army.
"This partnership is crucial," May said. "We would not be able to execute the war in the fashion that we are if it were not for the reserve components. Their benefit has been unprecedented."