Overseas training connects active, Reserve Soldiers
September 6, 2011
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany, Sept. 6, 2011 -- Thousands of National Guard and Reserve Soldiers this year experienced overseas deployment training in Europe as a means to prepare for a unit deployment to a command theater operation, a security operation, a forward presence or mission support activities.
This training opportunity -- known as the Overseas Deployment Training program -- is administered by the 7th U.S. Army Joint Multinational Training Command here and the Army's selected reserve program to assist both National Guard and Reserve units that are nearing or have already been notified about a Title 10 overseas deployment.
"The Overseas Deployment Training program is designed to have state-side Guard and Reserve units use their two-week annual training and one additional week to test their ability to prepare, move, and train with their active duty counterparts, and then re-deploy back to home station successfully." said Master Sgt. Donna Dosik, the Overseas Deployment Training, or ODT, operations sergeant in Grafenwoehr.
Dosik is one of five ODT managers throughout Germany that provide arriving units with housing, meals, transportation and coordination with each unit's sponsor.
"Backwards planning is essential for a successful mission. Arriving Soldiers work on their METL (Mission Essential Task List) tasks identified through their state or regional ODT managers." Dosik said. "In addition, ODT units add supplemental support to their sponsors while conducting their METL tasks."
Once in Germany, a unit may distribute its Soldiers to as many as eight different locations in the Bavarian area based on the need and mission support of the supporting command, said Dosik.
Army Regulation 350-9 dated 8 December 2008, provides an ODT-selected unit commander with references and guidelines to prepare his or her unit for a successful National Guard or Reserve ODT experience.
Determinations for a reserve component's participation are largely built around the units five-year training cycle and where the particular unit is in regards to its deployment time line, said Dosik. In the past year, the ODT program has rotated such units as legal, engineer, public affairs, medical and military police.
"This is an outstanding opportunity, better than any annual training we've ever done and its even a week longer," said Spc. Michael J. Smith, a health care specialist/combat medic from the 322nd Medical Company based in Southfield, Michigan. "Our unit doesn't get a lot of opportunities to work in a clinic on a day-to-day basis where I can learn a lot of new skills as well as refining the skills I already have in a practical environment."
According to Army Regulation 350-9, battalion sized units are authorized to deploy as well as cells and detachments. During August, a cell from the New York Army National Guard deployed to support the Joint Multinational Training Command's Public Affairs Office in Grafenwoehr.
Spc. Jay P. Lawrence, a photojournalist from the 42nd Infantry Division based in Troy, N.Y. had finished an ODT tour in Australia supporting Talisman Saber weeks prior to being selected for another ODT tour to Grafenwoehr.
"I'm doing my job in places I never expected to do it. I've been telling my friends and family that I get to go to Australia and Germany to do military journalism." Lawrence said.
For more information on the ODT program and what to expect when your unit is selected for a three-week rotation, go to www.jmrc.hqjmtc.army.mil.