By Maj. Gen. Larry D. WycheMarch 4, 2014
The transition from being an Army at war to an Army of preparation requires two critical resources: leader development and training. To support the renewed focus of returning to an expeditionary Army, the sustainment community is moving forward with the Reinvigorating Sustainment Home Station Training (RSHST) initiative.
RSHST leverages the Army's institutional capabilities to improve operational readiness and will strengthen the link between the institutional and operational forces. RSHST is designed to provide operational and institutional forces with training products and tools to enhance unit home station training opportunities. These resources will allow units to better prepare to sustain decisive action in support of unified land operations.
RSHST is synchronized with Army priorities, training strategies, and doctrine. Efforts for RSHST began by identifying individual military occupational specialty and collective training gaps across the force. After identifying initial requirements, the Combined Arms Support Command staff bundled further solutions and tools into three focus areas: the brigade combat team (BCT), echelons above brigade (EAB), and training support systems (TSS).
BCT FOCUS AREA
Under RSHST's BCT focus area, training efforts center on providing operational units with resources to aid daily operations and focus local training events. Operational unit resources are provided on the Sustainment Unit One Stop (SUOS) website. There, tools are separated by brigade, battalion, and company levels and are organized by position, such as battalion executive officer, S-1, and S-4 and brigade support battalion S-3 and support operations officer.
Resources are also organized into relevant functional sections pertaining to logistics, personnel services, health service support, and more. For example, the logistics page is divided into maintenance, supply and services, transportation, and force design sections to ease navigation. Two notable examples of RSHST topics for BCTs are the latest guidance pertaining to the command supply discipline program and resources for developing expeditionary unit deployment capabilities.
Sustainment tools have also been developed for both multifunctional and functional units. The SUOS website has dedicated sections for the combat sustainment support battalion, brigade support battalion, and aviation support battalion, all with ample resources developed through the RSHST initiative. In addition, functional units, such as quartermaster, transportation, maintenance, explosive ordnance disposal, human resources, and finance, are provided tools pertaining to their specific missions.
EAB FOCUS AREA
The EAB focus area of RSHST is dedicated to identifying individual and collective training gaps, capturing lessons learned, and developing exercises to address these requirements. Combat training center (CTC) observations, insights, and lessons learned are captured to prepare units for future CTC rotations and real-world missions.
The SUOS website also contains sections for multifunctional units, such as theater sustainment commands, expeditionary sustainment commands, and sustainment brigades, that are populated with numerous training tasks, lessons learned, estimation tools, and knowledge-sharing resources to improve sustainment formations. These shared resources in conjunction with improved command post exercise functional training will better prepare units for deployment and support major decisive action operations.
TSS FOCUS AREA
RSHST also focuses on bringing improvements to our TSS to enhance the training experience at each home station. By linking multiechelon home station training to both CTCs and combatant commands, training will be more interactive, realistic, and relevant.
For example, the latest events occurring in the U.S. Africa Command can be integrated into a customized training scenario to better prepare units aligned to that region. RSHST also provides significant updates to TSS training aids, devices, simulators, and simulations. Mock improvised explosive devices, virtual reality welding, driver?'s training simulators, and digital rifle ranges help to ensure individual, collective, and unit training are as realistic, accessible, and effective as possible.
ORGANIC LOGISTICS SUPPORT
Another essential part of RSHST is identifying contracted logistics support capabilities that may be transferred to Army units. Identifying these capabilities will decrease sustainment costs and reinvigorate field maintenance and unit supply programs. Organic logistics support is essential to maintaining Army readiness, especially during fiscal uncertainty and reduced budgets.
Paired with this effort, warrant officer training is expanding to include advanced technical skills to replace any loss of field service representatives. This alone will save the Army millions of dollars.
Despite the reductions in contracted support, contractors are an integral part of our sustainment team. This requires operational contract support training to be included as a part of home station training and nested within sustainment leader education and development. As RSHST continues to be developed, this training will make its way to the SUOS website for use in the entire force.
THE SUOS WEBSITE
RSHST's tools are useless unless they are in the hands of sustainment leaders and units. To that end, the SUOS website delivers these products directly to Soldiers and units. The site offers relevant, instantly accessible training products for functional individual tasks, training plans for functional and multifunctional sustainment units, and best practices, lessons learned, and links to important resources to assist sustainment organizations across the Army at all levels.
The site is located at http://www.cascom.army.mil/g_staff/g3/SUOS/index.htm. Its content is updated continually and evolves with feedback from the field.
RSHST is important to maintaining a trained and ready sustainment force within an Army of preparation. By focusing on developing our leaders and training our force, we will be prepared for any possible scenario. Reinvigorating our core sustainment competencies will enhance individual and unit performance and improve collective training events. As RSHST continues to be developed, we must continue to identify any gaps within sustainment home station training and come up with tailored solutions to address them.
Maintaining training products for the force requires constant feedback to ensure the most accurate and pertinent solutions for our sustainment force are represented. Using reverse collection and analysis team sessions, the Army gains current observations, insights, and lessons learned from deployments and CTC rotations.
This data directly affects the development of future solutions and identifies new gaps in individual and unit training. The update cycle is an essential process that fosters the continued evolution of doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities.
The RSHST initiative is essential as we begin to support an Army of preparation. The resources developed through this initiative and made available through the SUOS website provide some of the necessary tools to enrich Soldiers and leaders in sustainment formations and beyond.
Maj. Gen. Larry D. Wyche is the commanding general of the Combined Arms Support Command and Sustainment Center of Excellence at Fort Lee, Va.
This article was published in the March-April 2014 issue of Army Sustainment magazine.