Division West, First Army discuss training mission transition
April 16, 2012
CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. -- Key leaders of the sprawling divisions that train Army National Guard and Army Reserve units before they mobilize to overseas theaters or other contingency operations converged here last week to discuss current and future missions.
Representatives from Division West, headquartered at Fort Hood, Texas, and Division East, headquartered at Fort Meade, Md., attended the First Army Spring Senior Leader Conference, which oriented the entire First Army team on the challenges of transitioning from a deployment-centered mission to the traditional reserve component readiness mission.
Together, the two divisions incorporate 16 operations and training support brigades in locations across the continental United States.
Division West commanding general, Maj. Gen Perry Wiggins, seized the opportunity of having his eight brigade command teams together and conducted a commander's huddle with command teams and key division staff leaders.
Col. Bill Aquino, Division West operations chief, detailed the division's annual training guidance. Other Division West huddle topics included deploying expeditionary force training requirements, the reorganization of operations brigades and training support brigades, reserve manning reductions, and changes in command relationships.
The training and validation of deploying units remain the division's paramount mission, Wiggins said, but the division would need to develop procedures for the training support of contingency expeditionary forces.
Lt. Gen. Mick Bednarek, commanding general of First Army, kicked off the second day of the conference by outlining his near-term and enduring priorities.
"First Army's core competency remains to increase and sustain reserve component readiness," Bednarek said.
Other conference topics included a strategic update from U.S. Army Forces Command, a brief on Army promotion trends, the Army Force Generating Training Strategy for contingency expeditionary units, techniques for developing a "cost culture," and health promotion and risk reduction requirements and strategies.
The final day of the conference covered techniques for utilizing the Senior Army Advisor to the Guard in training and resource planning, and trainer/mentor certification.
The conference closed with breakout sessions and an awards presentation.