By Sgt. Roland HaleMay 20, 2011
FORT RILEY, Kan. - About 60 noncommissioned officers from the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, attended a professional development program at Fort Riley's Army Substance Abuse Program center, May 19.
The brigade recently returned from a tour to Iraq, and is focusing some of its effort on developing its NCOs. This program was designed as a reminder of the services ASAP offers.
"This is very important to do, especially post-deployment," said Sgt. 1st Class Morgan Skinner. "A lot of guys come back, they haven't drank in a year, and they want to try and make up for it in the first two weekends."
"It's good as an NCO to get a refresher on what ASAP can offer your Soldiers," he said.
Skinner is a platoon sergeant in the brigade's F Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment.
While the course was mostly a refresher, Skinner and the other platoon sergeants were also briefed on new services ASAP offers on Fort Riley.
The center recently installed a simulator that will allow Soldiers to safely experience the effects of alcohol on driving abilities. Also available at the center are electronically controlled go-karts that can be manipulated to simulate the delayed effect alcohol has on Soldiers' reflexes.
"We want to communicate to the units, the NCOs, the Soldiers, that we're here and we have the means to help," said ASAP Director Ted Freeman.
"You wouldn't hide a Soldier with a broken arm, and you shouldn't hide a Soldier with alcohol problems," he said.
Speaking to the group, Freeman also mentioned a new program called the Confidential Alcohol Treatment and Prevention Pilot, or CATEP. The pilot program allows Soldiers with alcohol problems to get help without notifying their unit commanders. ASAP encourages voluntary command notification, he said.
"Stigma is a problem sometimes, and some of these new programs can help that," said Skinner.
The brigade's NCOs were also briefed on prevention services, risk reduction, clinical services, and other programs offered by ASAP.