CAMP DODGE, Iowa – Greater than 30 Virginia Nationwide Guard Troopers assigned to Alpha Firm, 429th Brigade Help Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Fight Group, performed annual coaching on the Military Nationwide Guard Sustainment Coaching Heart in Iowa June 5-18.
“Alpha Firm is a conventional logistics firm. We provide gasoline, water and ammo,” mentioned Capt. Demetrius Hollis, Alpha Firm commander. “Camp Dodge permits Troopers to coach particularly on their army occupational specialties (MOS), and that’s one thing Troopers have been asking for.”
“We’re so accustomed to going to Fort Pickett; it is a nice alternative to get away,” mentioned 1st Sgt. Otis Brown. “We do nice coaching there, however this places them in a distinct surroundings.”
Along with a headquarters ingredient, Alpha Firm features a transportation platoon able to transferring and delivering logistics packages, a water and gasoline platoon, and a platoon able to staffing provide assist actions.
Hollis mentioned one of many largest gripes from Troopers is that they’re not capable of do their particular job at house station.
“We’ll go to Fort Pickett they usually’ll fireplace their weapons or undergo sure kinds of coaching, however they gained’t get to study their particular MOS,” he mentioned. “At Camp Dodge, they’re given the possibility to coach. The provision of us are right here, the water canines are on a mission, the 88Ms are given the possibility to get on the street they usually’re transferring tools from level A to level B, and Troopers are right here studying the right way to dispatch autos. Everybody’s getting an opportunity to coach.”
Brown mentioned the coaching was an ideal expertise for brand spanking new and skilled Troopers.
“All of us can study one thing new, and we’ve discovered so much we will take house,” he mentioned.
Whereas Fort Pickett supplies nice coaching alternatives, touring to an unfamiliar location assessments the unit in methods coaching in Virginia can’t.
“At Fort Pickett, you realize the place every part is,” Hollis mentioned. “Right here, there’s that worry of the unknown, and when there’s that worry, they pay extra consideration, they wish to do an excellent job. Everyone seems to be on their A-game. They know they’re going to return out higher Troopers after they come out of this.”
Spc. Chuck Onuegbu, an ammunition specialist from Charlottesville, mentioned it had been a strong studying expertise.
“Right here, I can do my job and concentrate on that, then return to the barracks and are available again the following day and do my job,” he mentioned. “On this surroundings, I’m doing higher with the issues I used to be dashing with paperwork-wise, which varieties to fill out. It’s been a strong studying expertise.”
It’s not simply the situation that offered an ideal coaching alternative but additionally the Sustainment Coaching Heart employees and their strategies.
“The employees right here is watching you and providing you with suggestions in real-time,” Hollis mentioned. “Typically they’ll allow you to do the incorrect factor time and again to see in the event you’ll alter. Typically they’ll see in the event you can suppose by yourself. They’ve been nice to work with.”
Spc. Allie Champion has solely been within the unit for a yr, however this expertise was very totally different for her in comparison with final yr’s annual coaching.
“Coming right here has given me the chance to study my job and see what it’s like in an precise Military environment,” the ammunition and inventory accounting specialist mentioned. “We’re studying a lot from our teacher. It’s very enlightening for me.”
As a result of a variety of the unit’s Troopers had been requested to deploy with different Virginia Military Nationwide Guard items over the previous yr, lots of Alpha Firm’s Troopers needed to fill positions they wouldn’t normally fill and carry out duties they wouldn’t usually carry out.
“Right here, I’m answerable for extra, so I’m pushed out of my consolation zone,” mentioned Spc. Jacob Hughes, a motor transport operator. “You by no means study something in the event you’re snug. I feel coming here’s a massive step for me and a variety of the Troopers. Coming right here has been fairly phenomenal.”
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