By Jaz Levario
Devens Reserve Forces Training Area Public Affairs
November 8, 2022
DEVENS, Mass. – Congressional staff delegates visited Devens Reserve Forces Training Area (RFTA) on October 28, 2022, to gain better knowledge and understanding of the installation.
The day began with an overview of the Devens RFTA mission from Garrison Commander Lieutenant Colonel Trent Colestock. After the briefing, the delegates visited barracks, the newly constructed BeaverFit indoor ACFT facility, and a recently modernized office building for garrison tenant units.
There’s great benefit for both Congress and the Army when any Army Installation or Unit is provided an opportunity to inform their mission while showcasing assets and resources that enable mission success. Such opportunity has the potential to shape and influence critical Congressional decision making, said LTC Colestock.
The morning portion of the tour concluded with a visit to the Motor Pool area, where the delegates learned about modernized Army vehicles. Sergeant Israel Rivera, Corporal Aaron Brown and Specialist Lori Gordon, 401st Chemical Company, briefed on the capabilities of the Stryker. Sergeant First Class Christopher Hastings and Sergeant First Class Franklin Blakeley, 94th Training Division, briefed on the capabilities of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). After the briefing, delegates were given the opportunity to ask questions and climb into the vehicles.
During lunch, Soldiers and Marines stationed at Devens RFTA joined the delegates; this allowed the delegates to learn more about these Soldiers' and Marines' journeys and reasons for joining the military.
The delegates ended the tour at the South Post Range Complex. The Range Complex is what Devens RFTA is most known for and what makes it the premier Total Force training installation in New England. The Range Complex has 27 firing ranges, 28 tactical training areas, and 29 training facilities. The delegation fired the M4 rifle and M17 handgun to gain firsthand experience of the most common small arms weapons Soldiers carry and utilize on the battlefield.
This visit was intended to continue building relationships with state and local government and serve as an opportunity to establish open communication and awareness, said Keith Jackson, Deputy to the Garrison Commander.
Throughout the visit, Devens RFTA demonstrated to the delegation the importance of the mission and informed how they’re moving forward and what it takes to be READY NOW and shape tomorrow.
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