By Esther GarciaApril 11, 2008
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- In August 2006, the 32nd Medical Brigade held its first strategic planning conference to establish command priorities for the coming years. It was during this conference that the leadership teams of the 187th and 264th Medical Battalions identified the requirement to establish a dedicated training facility for low density military occupational specialty skills similar to the 232nd Med. Bn. Soldier medic training site.
And with the 264th Med. Bn. assigned as the lead element, the concept of the Forward Operating Base Warrior was born.
On April 1, Col. John Cook, host and commander, 32nd Med. Bde., officially opened Forward Operating Base Warrior at Camp Bullis during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Equipped with more than 400 8-foot barricade walls, nine guard towers, four checkpoints, 55 pallets of concertina wire, three speed bumps with tire shredders, four bunkers and one vehicle, the impressive FOB Warrior will serve as the focal point for standardization of warrior task and battle-drill training for the brigade's low density military occupational specialty skills.
"The FOB Warrior accurately replicates the forward operating bases that are currently utilized by the military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Capt. Darren Teters, 264th Med. Bn., during his opening remarks.
Located in the vicinity of the Army Medical Department Center and School deployable system, it allows the brigade to use existing training area and reduce resource requirements. The FOB is not a permanent structure and is 100 percent mobile.
"This realistic tactical training base will help us provide our Soldiers with a cutting-edge, realistic and scenario-based training needed by our Soldiers to operate and survive in today's combat situations," said Teters.
In addition, Teters said the FOB warrior will aid the brigade and AMEDDC&S in taking aggressive steps toward standardizing the required tactical training across the board, such as warrior task and battle drills, warrior ethos training and weapons immersion. FOB Warrior will serve as a common-use training facility, not only for the 32nd Med. Bde. but for all units that train on Camp Bullis, whether they are Reserve, National Guard, Air Force or Marines.
"FOB Warrior will serve as a training facility base to prepare them for future deployments in support of the nation's Global War on Terrorism," said Teters.
"As we prepare for the future joint medical readiness and training requirements under the Base Realignment and Closure, as well as Medical Education and Training Campus concepts and initiatives, we envision the training base will one day play host to the fully integrated joint medical training exercises," said Teters.
Cook said, "This impressive facility with its imposing walls, wire, obstacles, and secured entry points fully replicates the contemporary operational environment of Iraq and Afghanistan and offers the most realistic, cutting-edge, training environment for our warrior medics.
No longer will our Soldiers' first exposure to tactical base operations be in the theater of operations. It will occur right here, at FOB Warrior, in a training environment, under the guide of experienced combat veterans," said Cook.
Cook said the training base cost 1.1 million dollars to construct. In a cost-saving measure the 32nd Med. Bde. took on the challenge of constructing the facility with organic resources. He said from December 2007 to March 2008, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Byrd, 68K instructor, 264th Med. Bn., department of clinical support services, with assistance from Camp Bullis personnel, constructed the facility. Byrd and a first sergeant from D Company, 187th Med. Bn., presented the idea of a FOB to the leadership.
"We wanted to know why Fort Sam Houston did not have a FOB. So we presented the idea and it just grew from there," said Byrd.
"As Camp Bullis continues to feel the pressures from its surrounding communities, the FOB Warrior will validate the importance of maintaining high quality training areas for our military forces as Camp Bullis is home to the best tactical training base in all of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command," said Teters.
Prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony Cook presented Certificates of Appreciation and the Commander's Coin of Excellence to personnel involved in the construction and execution of the FOB Warrior.
The ceremony concluded with a tactical demonstration that included a scenario of enemies trying to enter the compound with the gate guards from the towers firing to stop the enemy from entering.
A tour of the facility and a reception followed immediately after the demonstration.
"FOB Warrior serves as proof of concept for what right should look like in our tactical training facilities. We must take this concept and apply it to our combat medics and our officer training facilities to better prepare those Soldiers for the challenges that lie ahead for us all," said Cook.