Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia -- Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Education and Training in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (OSD) for Readiness, Mr. Charles (Fred) Drummond visited Asymmetric Warfare Training Center (AWTC) and to get hands on experience with the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST) located on Fort A.P. Hill.
As the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Education and Training of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness, Mr. Drummond oversees the development of policies and plans for military training and education. His responsibilities include service and joint training policy, cyber training policy, joint professional military education, training capability modernization, and enabling access to the land, air, sea and live training domains. Additionally, he leads and oversees programs in education, to include Troops to Teachers, Tuition Assistance program, Defense Language, Distributed Learning Initiative, and several more to facilitate interoperability.
Prior to joining OSD, Mr. Drummond was responsible for Navy's strategy, policy, resource allocation and execution oversight for all officer, graduate, and voluntary education programs on behalf of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education) (N1).
U.S. Army Garrison Fort A.P. Hill
Mr. Drummond said, "The purpose of the visit was to gain a better understanding of the capabilities of the entire post and what it has to offer to Warfighters in maintaining a fighting edge to meet today's future threats."
Garrison Commander Andrew Q. Jordan and his command group briefed Drummond on the garrison's ability to provide top-notch training to such a broad range of military units from Army, Joint Force and Interagency Warfighers.
Garrison readiness, encroachment issues, Joint Land Use Study and ACUB programs as well as community engagement where topics of discussion during the visit.
Mr. Drummond discussed the importance of reducing the cost of doing DoD business through use of Live Virtual Methods & Simulations. He was surprised at the extensive training support and contingency missions conducted at Fort A.P. Hill.
Stating that the garrison was a hidden jewel, Drummond said that it is important to have a clear understanding of DoD / Army assets and capabilities at installations like Fort A.P. Hill, and said that he is now an advocate for the garrison and its multifaceted capabilities.
Jordan said, "I believe that our ability to provide the vast amount of training and maneuver areas, as well as the broad scope of live fire opportunities in an area that is easily accessible to the National Capital Region and several major east coast installations is of great value to the Army, DoD and Interagency units."
Asymmetric Warfare Group Training Center
During his visit at AWTC, Mr. Drummond received a facilities capability brief from Asymmetric Warfare Group leadership, followed by a tour of AWTC's urban training site and solution development fabrication facility.
The Supervisor of Operations, for AWTC, Capt. Joseph Fyfe, briefed about the importance of AWTC and the design concept during the tour, "AWTC is a different venue, and most of the training facilities out there are standard designs and have been used and seen time and time again. AWTC is unique in design and in capabilities, because it has the capability to exercise all war fighting functions."
At the conclusion of Mr. Drummond's tour he provided his perspective stating, "We were looking for capabilities to apply lethality. This is cutting edge problem solving. This is great information for us to bring up in the pentagon. It's a unique opportunity to see first-hand the capabilities that you offer and are providing to the fighting forces and how many outside army organizations are using the facilities. It's applies a great joint service approach and interaction. That is terrific!"
In closing, the Deputy Commander of Operations, for AWG, Lt. Col. William Shoemate spoke afterwards about the importance of visits like that of Mr. Drummond, "Secretary level visits help open the aperture for organizations to understand what AWG is, its purpose, its mission, and how we can change the course for the army from a material to non-material solution. We provide solution development at the speed of war."