By Allen Shaw, Fort Wainwright PAOJuly 31, 2012
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska (July 27, 2012) -- Soldiers, leaders and civilians were given a rare look at what is said to be one of the Army's most comprehensive and modern training facilities.
The Sgt. Joel D. Clarkson Training Support Center staff hosted an open house to those on Fort Wainwright who aren't familiar with what is offered.
The purpose of this event was to educate the local Army community and show how we can support future training requirements said David Arlie Nethken, training support officer, Sgt. Clarkson Training Support Center. "My experience of late," he said, "is that soldiers are hungry for training but don't know where to go."
The TSC is a customer-focused facility that provides training resources and service to total Army units assigned to forts Wainwright and Greely, with regional focus on Interior Alaska from the Alaska Range north to the Arctic Ocean and from the Canadian border west to St. Lawrence Island.
Nethken said they have a warehouse filled with training devices that can be signed out by qualified hand-receipt holders, flight simulators and a plethora of virtual combat simulators.
"We can provide training with small arms, indirect fires, mobile guns, various vehicle operations and egress of rolled vehicles," Nethken said.
A few highlights of the tour were the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected and High-Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle Egress Trainers and the Engagement Skills Trainer. The egress assistance trainers reinforce the importance of seat positioning, wearing seatbelts, demonstrating the feeling of being disoriented, the actual effort required to execute egress procedure and the necessary steps to survive a vehicle rollover.
The Engagement Skills Trainer is used as a unit and institutional, indoor, multipurpose, multilane, small arms, crew-served and individual antitank training simulator. "It's an effective and cost-effective tool to teach marksmanship, shoot and don't shoot decision training and unit collective squad level training scenarios," Nethken said.
The center, located at 3441 Ile DeFrance Avenue, is dedicated to Sgt. Joel D. Clarkson of Fairbanks, Alaska. Clarkson, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, assigned to Joint-Base Lewis-McCord, Wash., died of wounds March 16, 2010, after being injured by small arms fire during a patrol in Farah Province, Afghanistan, March 13. Clarkson was a team leader in support of Operation Enduring Freedom when his unit engaged in a violent exchange of small arms fire with an enemy force. The soldiers killed eight members of the opposition, destroyed the enemy base, along with a cache of weapons and ammunition and captured a key enemy leader.
"Even after his death," Nethken said, "Clarkson exemplified his unselfishness by being an organ donor, giving seven recipients a second chance at life. We are honored to have this facility dedicated in his name."