By Will King, Fort Leavenworth LampNovember 30, 2009
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Nov. 25, 2009) -- The Army Training Network continues to grow and change since it went online in April with the mission of becoming the one-stop shop and information source for Army training.
"The whole point of ATN is to make information accessible to trainers," said Jimmy Davis, ATN government team leader.
He said the Web site has undergone three updates to improve the look and feel of the site, and to make it more user friendly.
"We have held true to what we intended to do, which was to keep the site fresh, to continue to make it more user friendly," said Bill Barker, a contractor for ATN development.
Davis said ATN now sends a monthly newsletter with new content and user responses to registered ATN users. The ATN Web site has had more than 120,000 hits and more than 17,000 downloads in its first six months online, according to ATN.
Davis said the products section of the Web site has been most popular with users, but the "training management how to" section is now gaining in popularity. "Training management how to" is the online replacement for Field Manual 7-1, "Battle Focused Training."
Another feature of the Web site popular with users is the ATN forum in the Battle Command Knowledge System. Users can collaborate directly with other trainers through the forum, post training best practices from the field or schoolhouse, and ask the ATN team any training-related question. Davis said ATN usually answers questions within 24 hours of receipt, and no later than 72 hours after.
"We have been very successful at answering users' questions, and I think that is one of the premier features of the site - the idea that if you have a question on training and you can't get an answer somewhere else, ask us and we'll get you the right answer," Davis said.
He said ATN is working with other knowledge management networks, schools and training centers, such as the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, to solicit training information and best practices for sharing through the ATN Web site, newsletter and BCKS forum.
Davis said ATN could help company commanders with several pieces of training management including mission essential task list development, building training calendars, conducting training meetings and executing training. He said noncommissioned officers could benefit from access to combined arms training strategies and the Digital Training Management System for information needed to provide training.
Davis said the ATN team is working to package doctrine and products, "training management how to," BCKS forum entries, and other relevant information by topic for easier searching and viewing on the Web site.
"We're going to see a lot more integration of all the various pieces and parts of the site over the next six months, where people will begin to see how all these things in fact inter-relate," Barker said.
Davis said ATN is updating FM 7-0, "Training for Full Spectrum Operations," to focus on METL development for full spectrum operations. Although the manual is not expected to be published until October, Davis said information about METL development for full spectrum operations is already available for trainers on the ATN Web site.
Visit the ATN training portal at https://atn.army.mil. An Army Knowledge Online user name and password or Common Access Card is required to access the ATN Web site.