By Don CicotteMarch 18, 2009
Today's Soldiers consistently find themselves involved in full-spectrum operations, such as movement to contact, area defense and support to civil law enforcement. It is more important than ever for Soldiers to have confidence, awareness, initiative and accountability as well as the ability to think through and solve problems.
The Fort Meade-based Asymmetric Warfare Group sponsored an Outcome Based Training and Education workshop on March 5 and 6 for training developers, instructors and leaders throughout the Army. The workshop allowed the AWG to explain OBT&E, and helped participants better understand challenges associated with training.
The workshop was hosted at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel. Attendees from several Army organizations provided presentations highlighting how they are currently using OBT&E to execute training. Participants discussed how to modify their training, revealing more opportunities for broader application of the OBT&E methodology.
OBT&E is an approach to force preparation that merges the benefits of training and education to create critical thinkers along with units fully capable of operating in the complex environment of full-spectrum operations.
OBT&E fully embraces the principles found in the newly revised Field Manual 7-0, "Training for Full Spectrum Operations" and the "Army Training Network." Outcomes in OBT&E refer to the total impact on both the individual and the organization. It provides guidance that helps organizations identify and understand the outcome of a training event, good or bad, and adapt the event to achieve a more positive and lasting impact on development of the individual. OBT&E links training, education and self-development by providing individuals with the tools for continuous learning and pursuit of mastery in and out of formal instructional settings.
While training continues to be conducted according to established Army standards, OBT&E gives Soldiers the opportunity to understand and master fundamental skills and principles. These fundamentals allow Soldiers to apply knowledge and experience when confronted with unforeseen situations.
"It's important to bring together the leaders we did so we can all understand how OBT&E is being used in other units and training," said Baker Squadron Command Sgt. Major Michael Cortes. "But we're also identifying the different challenges we all face institutionalizing these concepts throughout the Army." Workshop participants included representatives from the Warrior Training Academy at Fort Lewis, Wash., and Sergeant Major Academy in Fort Bliss, Texas, who learned about the training methods used by the AWG.
Participants also included trainers and leaders from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.; the Basic Combat Training Center of Excellence, Fort Jackson, S.C.; and the Henry Caro Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Fort Benning, Ga. All spoke about how they used the OBT&E philosophy in their own courses.
Workshop participants also discussed the importance of implementing the OBT&E approach in training. During the past year, for instance, OBT&E has successfully been put into practice in the Combat Application Training Courses conducted at Forts Benning and Jackson by using the venue of marksmanship to focus more on the "why" than on the "how." Support for OBT&E continues to grow throughout the Army as it provides a means to better inculcate Soldiers with an inherent ability to solve unstructured problems, thereby defeating emergent asymmetric threats and adaptive networks.
For more information about AWG, visit www.awg.mil.
Cicotte is the AWG Interim Public Affairs Officer.