By Sgt. 1st Class Christopher DeHart, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs OfficeJanuary 7, 2011
KATTERBACH, Germany -- There are numerous examples of taking two good things and putting them together to make a superior product. The U.S. Army, specifically the team of Resiliency Training instructors at Katterbach Army Airfield, Germany, have combined similar tools to expand their reach and become more effective in helping Soldiers to recover and reintegrate after returning from deployments.
"We incorporated the master resiliency training with the Warrior Adventure Quest," explained Master Sgt. Luis Arzadon, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade master resiliency trainer.
"We have found through our beta testing that it is actually compatible. We had coordinated with the folks in Outdoor Rec and they allowed us to come in early and train Soldiers before they actually go out there. When we come back, we do a little bit more, like a quarter bit of our master resiliency training and it brings home the actual subject. It really brings it home."
Army Resiliency Training has been incorporated across the board for most units coming back from downrange, and has been an effective program in easing the transition for Soldiers back to a more normal work and home life.
This has reduced the risk that Soldiers will have post-deployment problems that have been directly related to the high operational tempo, that has been a mainstay of most units over the past several years.
Now, resiliency trainers are bringing a newer tool to their bag to use in the pursuit of healing Soldiers - Warrior Adventure Quest.
Warrior Adventure Quest is a way for Soldiers to relate the rigors and training of combat to more useful and beneficial activities that years of deployment have drilled into them. It is designed to transition them back to a non-deployed mental state, and lifestyle.
These activities include mountain biking, paint ball, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding and much more.
"We found it very beneficial," Arzadon said of the results seen so far. "So far it has been very, very successful. 412th (Aviation Support Battalion) has been the spearhead of the beta testing and they have actually proved that this method of delivery works very, very well. We have at least 150 to 200 Soldiers who have gone through here, just for that one model."
"The Warrior Quest program is excellent," Maj. Scott Menking, 12th CAB S-3 Plans officer-in-charge, said. "The training is physically challenging and also a lot of fun. I think units need to incorporate this more often, and not just after redeployment."
Menking offered his ideas on how to sell the concept to the leaders at the battalions and companies to get them to start taking advantage of this tool.
"I'd invite the battalion commander to join me. I'd say 'Come on, sir, let's go!' I would just show them because there is no better demonstration than to show them."
Spc. Richard Bau, 12th CAB S-3 section, had nothing but good things to say about what the Soldiers did during their training day.
"Today was a great activity and gave us a chance to do different things, involve skills we learned in the military, like during paintball," , Bau said. "It was good physical fitness, running around, bicycling and all that. The paintball was challenging but very fun. I would definitely recommend this to my fellow Soldiers."