By Sgt. 1st. Class Phillip Eugene, 80th Training Command (TASS) Public AffairsApril 7, 2014
Fourth Brigade, 94th Training Division, 80th Training Command (TASS) conducted two pilot Human Resources Specialist Advanced Leader Courses in March 2014 at Fort Knox, Ky., to determine the feasibility of having a permanent presence on the installation, and to administer, for the first time, the One Army School System Program of Instruction.
The brigade conducted the tests based on a Department of the Army directed Concept Plan developed by the 80th TC to support the One Army School System. The OASS standardizes education for Army schools regardless of component. Therefore, if the tests are successful, Active Duty and Reserve Soldiers as well as National Guardsmen will be able to attend classes conducted by 4th brigade instructors at Fort Knox.
The plan has the brigade training approximately 5,000 Soldiers annually in support of the OASS. Three thousand students, combined, will train at Fort Jackson, S.C., Fort Dix, N.J., and Camp Parks, Calif. Two thousand will train at Fort Knox.
"There's a lot of capability here and it's underutilized," said Col. John Aarsen, the brigade commander, referring to the installation's personnel and training resources. "Our reception here at Fort Knox has been excellent...they've built some capabilities for us...and in the end I think it'll be a very good fit."
The brigade relied on the 100th Training Division, an 80th TC subordinate command based at Fort Knox, for classrooms at Tactical Training Center Knox as well as transportation and internet capability for course work, which require a large amount of bandwidth.
"Our students are not traditional students who just come in and hear a lecture," said Master Sgt. Sherri Turner, the course manager. "All of their course ware [and] all of their testing is done through Blackboard."
"We have links within Blackboard that's connected to other training systems so the bandwidth is very large," Turner added.
The course is conducted in two phases. Phase one is solely classroom instruction, while phase two incorporates a 72 hour mock war at a Fort Knox Forward Operating Base which is equipped with human resources computer based systems that enable Soldiers to train on specific tasks. For example, the Electronic Military Personnel Office is used for strength management, accountability and recording of emergency data, and the Defense Casualty Information Processing System is used for reporting casualties.
One of the more significant systems available at Fort Knox is a command and control software interface called the Command Post of the Future. In combat, CPOF allows commanders to view a battlefield in real-time and collaborate with superiors, peers and subordinates over live data.
"A commander can see where his units are, he can see where his strengths are," Turner said. "It's all right there in CPOF."
During the mock operation, students load information like the number of Soldiers killed or missing during a battle, or reports of equipment destroyed or damaged into the CPOF, and instructors who role-play as commanders are able to react.
Turner says compared to smaller installations with limited resources Fort Knox provides students with capabilities that are ideal for training in the human resources career field.
"From their lodging facilities to the state of the art FOBs, to their civilian resources with the CPOF training; it's all outstanding," Turner said.