By Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public AffairsNovember 9, 2009
CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq - 15th Sustainment Brigade "Wagonmasters" officially reopened the education center here Nov. 5 after two weeks of cleanup and preparation.
The Q-West education center was previously opened with only limited use and was in a dirty state of disrepair.
Command Sgt. Maj. Nathaniel Bartee, the 15th Sust. Bde.'s senior noncommissioned officer, said even if one Soldier benefitted from the education center, all of the work to fix it up would be worth it.
"There were no computer systems here, it was muddy, there was nothing ... and Soldiers were actually here taking [Functional Academic Skills Training] classes in those conditions," 15th Sust. Bde.'s Staff Sgt. Bridget Savage, the education center's new noncommissioned officer in charge and Princeville, N.C., native, said.
The revamped center has 4 classrooms, 20 internet enabled computers for student use, a printer, and phones.
At present, an education counselor visits the center weekly but a permanent one is scheduled to work here in December, according to Savage. A university professor is also expected to teach one traditional class at the center here in December.
Interested students can take a Functional Academic Skills Training, FAST, class, the Defense Language Aptitude Battery, Army Correspondence Courses, proctored exams and college courses through GoArmyEd, Savage said.
Savage also said she is capable of handling most issues with GoArmyEd.
"If I can't do it myself, I have contacts on Speicher and Balad," she explained.
Bartee added, "they can do everything out of this building right here."
Not only are Soldiers working together to make the center better, but Airmen volunteered to teach and help run the front desk when needed as well.
Spc. Kenneth Hagtrom, a San Bernardino, Calif., native and education center specialist, said that he was planning to take the FAST class and correspondence courses.
"Last time I was deployed, we couldn't even do correspondence classes," he said of his deployment in 2005.
"Now it's '09 and you can take actual college classes' That's great."
The Q-West education center is located on the corner of Main Street and Idaho Street and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.