By Mike A. Glasch, Fort Jackson LeaderJanuary 15, 2009
With more than two months left in the winter season, plans for the summer surge, when 1,500 new Initial Entry Training Soldiers a week will enter the Army through Fort Jackson, are already under way.
Leaders from Fort Jackson and the U.S. Army Reserve's 98th Training Division (IET), 108th Training Command (IET) met Saturday at the Joe E. Mann Center for the Active Component/Reserve Component Conference to work out the details of mobilizing the four brigades.
"Fort Jackson would be severely strained during the summer surge if not for Reserve Soldiers being mobilized to help train new Soldiers," said Lt. Col. Taube Roy, Fort Jackson mobilization officer. "From drill sergeants to supply sergeants, to the band, we tap into the resources of the 98th to help support the summer surge."
Some Soldiers will be mobilized for two weeks. Others could be mobilized for up to a year. As the Reserve Soldiers are mobilized, some will stand up Company E, 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, but the majority of them will be integrated within active component units.
"That is a change from the way we used to do things," Deputy Commander Col. Kevin Shwedo told the conference. "Back in 1995 the Reserve used to send a unit for protrain. They would take over an active component battalion. That meant every two weeks every member of the battalion would change. The Soldiers in BCT were confused because every standard changed every day. It was a miserable failure. Not because we didn't have great people in there, but because there was no consistency."
As the Army grows its ranks by more than 25,000 Soldiers during the next few years, the need to reach out to Reserve and National Guard Soldiers to help train new Soldiers will grow as well.
"The one Army commitment is seamless. You can't tell the difference between active, guard or reserve. The reason is because we all have that same level of commitment," Shwedo said.
"Unlike any other time in our history, we are putting a lot more on the backs of the individuals like you who are training America's sons and daughters. We couldn't do our surge mission without you. We can't do our day-to-day mission without you."
The 98th will also support IET missions at Fort Benning, Ga., Fort Knox, Ky., and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.