Fort Belvoir, Virginia -- The Military Readiness Intelligence Command headquarters conducted its first ever virtual annual training, Aug. 3 to 16.
The Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment led the virtual training regimen for 14 days that consisted of warrior tasks and battle drills, briefings, and an exercise in military decision-making process that lasted several days. Training was adapted and managed using a temporary remote work environment based on Microsoft Teams deployed by the Department of Defense in March.
"No matter the environment, readiness remains our number one priority," said Brig. Gen. Terri Borras, commanding general of MIRC. "The command continues to reform its processes to operate faster and with more efficiency during this pandemic."
Annual training is a training period typically of 14 days used by Army Reserve units to maintain and improve Soldier skills with units in a garrison or field environment that simulates a possible deployed setting. This training is usually held in one of the military training areas in the continental U.S., but can also be conducted in overseas training areas.
Due to the current pandemic, the MIRC adapted training as appropriate knowing the limitations of operating in a virtual environment.
This virtual annual training brought new opportunities for Soldiers such as participating in Strong Bonds. This unit-based, chaplain-led program, is normally conducted in an offsite retreat format to maximize the training effect. The Unit Ministry Team adapted training so Soldiers received blocks of instruction on active communication and mindfulness.
Physical fitness was included as part of the daily schedule. Soldiers were given time to follow a physical fitness regimen to help them train for the upcoming Army Combat Fitness Test.
While this virtual annual training is the first for the MIRC, it is not first time it has adapted training in a virtual environment. The MIRC was the first U.S. Army Reserve organization to conduct a virtual battle assembly earlier this year. The initial pilot, conducted by 336th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade, was executed the week after the national proclamation on declaring a national emergency concerning COVID-19, March 13.
The MIRC provides deployable forces and vital support that enable intelligence operations, expeditionary missions, and international engagement. The command deploys Soldiers providing operational intelligence support to nearly every national intelligence agency and combatant command, and conducting multi-discipline intelligence operations in support of Army Service Component Commands and worldwide contingency operations.