CAMP RILEA, Ore. – A team of 16 trainers from the National Guard’s Warrior Training Center at Fort Benning, Georgia, traveled to Camp Rilea, Oregon, in June to train 266 Soldiers from across the Northwest in Air Assault and Pathfinder courses.
The WTC hosts Mobile Training Teams, or MTTs, annually in the Northwest, Midwest, Northeast and South, and occasionally in Europe to offer more efficient and cost-effective training options for National Guard, Army Reserve and active Army units around the globe.
“There are several reasons we employ MTTs,” said Lt. Col. Gary Dettloff, commander of the WTC, which is the Army’s executive agent for Air Assault and Pathfinder training.
The WTC cadre teaches 16 courses, most notably the Ranger Training Assessment Course (formerly known as Pre Ranger) and Jumpmaster. Most are resident courses hosted on Fort Benning.
But sometimes, MTTs just make sense, Dettloff said.
“Obviously, it saves the Guard and the Army money when we send a team there, instead of units coming out of training budgets to send hundreds of Soldiers here,” he said. “There’s a savings in time and money – and time is money, of course – but there’s also the benefit to the Soldier, who typically performs better in a climate he or she is used to.
“Bringing a Soldier from the Northwest, where it was a cool, breezy 70 degrees last week, to Benning, where the temperature and the humidity is grueling, puts the Soldier at a disadvantage from the start, and these courses are physically and mentally demanding as it is,” he said.
During the Pathfinder course, candidates learn to navigate dismounted; establish and operate day/night helicopter landing zones and parachute drop zones (DZs), including a computed air release system DZ, a ground marked release system DZ, and a verbally initiated release system DZ; conduct sling-load operations; and provide air traffic control and navigational assistance during rotary- and fixed-wing airborne operations.
Air assault training builds on pathfinder skills and prepares Soldiers for air assault and sling-load operations, and rappelling.
The week of June 19, Soldiers trained on helicopter missions, aircraft safety, aeromedical evacuation, pathfinder operations, principles and techniques of combat assaults, rappelling, and sling-load operations.
Camp Rilea is managed by the Oregon National Guard and is considered a premier training center in the Pacific Northwest.