After eleven years of combat operations, we have the most capable force this country has ever had. We have a highly educated force. We have a force that has been through quite a lot of turmoil, so this Army transformation and modernization is an opportunity for us to really harness technology and spaced-based capabilities as we reshape the Army of the future.
- Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal, during a visit to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., Nov. 14.
Space-based capabilities shaping Army of the future
I think for us, it's a unique opportunity to help our own ... helping the (American) people who, just like us, from all walks of life inside this country have their lives uprooted in the wake of this hurricane. Our Soldiers are absolutely energized and motivated to come to a place inside the U.S. and help their brothers and sisters.
- Lt. Col. Michael Lalor, 710th Brigade Support Battalion commander, speaks of the Soldiers' general feeling of fulfillment of being able to provide humanitarian aid to the American people, after the catastrophic Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast in late October.
10th Mountain Division Soldiers aid Hurricane Sandy relief effort
First Army Training Academy
What is it?
The First Army Training Academy ensures standardization of trainer mentor training development and certification across First Army, the Army National Guard (ARNG) and the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR). The academy, located at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, Miss., provides trainers a foundation for professional development as they ensure the readiness of our nation's Reserve Component (RC) formations training for deployment at home station and mobilization centers nationwide. The academy also conducts the Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Master Trainer course, providing subject matter experts to each of the sixteen First Army training support brigades.
What has the Army done?
The Army continually refines and improves the quality of training given to the RC troops as they prepare to deploy to missions worldwide. First Army, as Forces Command's executing agent for RC mobilization and demobilization, established the First Army Training Academy in 2007 as a central training facility to provide recently deployed/assigned Soldiers the skills needed to train RC forces. The trainer/mentor skills taught at the First Army Training Academy, coupled with the Soldiers' experience in a theater of operations, provides an effective base to train other service members who are preparing to deploy.
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?
During the past few years, in close consultation with the Combat Training Centers, modifications to the academy facilities and its program of instruction have streamlined the training course from 14 days to 10 days allowing for 20 courses a year with a total of 96 personnel per class. The course uses classroom and field training to teach the fundamentals of planning, setting up, executing, mentoring, and conducting after action reviews for pre- and post-mobilization training lanes and environments. In 2009, the First Army Training Academy established an intensive 15-day Counter-IED Master Trainer course providing students instruction in biometrics, electronic warfare, robotics, IED awareness and homemade explosive (HME) training.
Why is this important to the Army?
The Army demands highly skilled, mission-relevant trainer mentors capable of preparing RC forces for deployment in support of our nation's contingency operations worldwide. The First Army Training Academy provides a standardized program of instruction that prepares Army trainers to meet the challenges of emerging RC missions and combatant command requirements. Since its inception, the academy has graduated more than 11,000 Soldiers who serve as master trainers and training mentors for First Army, ARNG and USAR.
First Army Information Pamphlet (PDF)
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