By Sgt. Omar Estrada, 3rd AAB PAO, 1st Cav. Div. August 22, 2011
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq -- Thanks to the support of the entire GREYWOLF Brigade and the hard work of Staff Sgt. Wesley P. Jackson, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Deployed Digital Training Campus, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division boasts the first fully operational DDTC in the Army.
During his tenure as the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. George W. Casey told the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) which is located at Fort Eustis, Va., that there was a need for Soldiers to be able to take classes and train while deployed, and give them the same education opportunities while deployed as they have at home.
DDTC is a portable digital network center that can be set up anywhere in the world where Soldiers are deployed that has satellite and land connectivity, just like an office network.
The training campus is a completely self-contained internet system with 20 laptops, internet and satellite accessibility. There is an antenna outside the building that connects to a satellite, which beams to Landstuhl, Germany, and then sends information by fiber wire to TRADOC headquarters.
The system can also provide video tele-training and it is designed for Soldiers to conduct structured self development courses, Advanced Leader Course phase one common core, correspondence courses, Rosetta Stone and any other program in the Army e-Learning catalog or the Army management system.
Many devoted students enrolled in military online courses are taking advantage of this free program.
"I'm taking Advanced Leader Course phase one common core for professional development which is programed to actually take 60 hours of class time," said Staff Sgt. Adrian Holler, assigned to A Company, 3rd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd AAB, 1st Cav. Div. "I'm also planning on taking structured self development courses later on this year," he said.
In addition to these benefits, Soldiers can log in and attend college level courses, since it has internet capabilities.
"I got with the education centers in Fort Hood, Kuwait and here (COB Adder), so now I am able to scan and email tuition assistance forms, financial aid requests, and enroll and drop memorandums," said Jackson, a native of Denton, Texas.
The facility is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and is busiest after 5 p.m., with an average of 200 Soldiers utilizing the facility a week.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III paid a visit to the DDTC during his tour of Iraq in July, and was pleased to know that the GREYWOLF Brigade had the first operational DDTC in the U.S. Army.
Col. Douglas Crissman, commander of 3rd AAB, 1st Cav. Div., invested time and resources into this program due to its importance. It took twenty hours a day for two months to get the program fully operational, and now Soldiers are reaping the benefits.
Other DDTC's from Afghanistan, Germany, Alaska and Bosnia have contacted Staff Sgt. Jackson for advice on implementing their systems. Thanks to his help, there are now operational DDTC's in Afghanistan and Germany.
"This program is really good for the deployed Soldier. What Soldiers are lacking is promotion points and can never get promoted. They didn't have the capabilities to take classes, but now they do." said Wesley.