The FATC and COE: training relevant and ready warriors.Basic combat training (BCT BCT Brigade Combat Team
BCT Basic Combat Training
BCT Best Conventional Pollutant Control Technology (EPA)
BCT Business Cards Tomorrow
BCT Banque Centrale de Tunisie (Central Bank of Tunisia) ) skills essentially have remained unchanged for the past 40 years, focusing on common Soldier tasks and discipline. These tasks were for Soldiers who fought on a linear battlefield and knew who and where the enemy was.
The philosophy was to give the Soldier enough information during BCT, advanced individual training (AIT), or one-station unit training (OSUT OSUT One Station Unit Training
OSUT On-Site User Test
OSUT On-Site User Training ) to survive upon arrival at his first duty station. The Soldier's first unit would provide additional training in his specific military occupational specialty A Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is a job classification in use in the United States Army and Marine Corps. The occupational specialty system uses a system of letters and numbers to identify general and specific jobs of military personnel. (MOS (1) (Metal Oxide Semiconductor) See MOSFET.
(2) (Mean Opinion Score) The quality of a digitized voice line. It is a subjective measurement that is derived entirely by people listening to the calls and scoring the results from ) and in how to fight and survive during combat.
This is not true today. Some graduates of BCT/AIT/OSUT are arriving at their first duty assignments in combat zones, fighting terrorists and insurgents Insurgents, in U.S. history, the Republican Senators and Representatives who in 1909–10 rose against the Republican standpatters controlling Congress, to oppose the Payne-Aldrich tariff and the dictatorial power of House speaker Joseph G. Cannon. in Iraq or Afghanistan. Some others deploy to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF OIF Operation Iraqi Freedom
OIF Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (French: International Organization of Francophonie)
OIF Office for Intellectual Freedom (American Library Association) ) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF OEF Operation Enduring Freedom (US government response to September 11, 2001 terrorism attacks)
OEF Oxford Economic Forecasting
OEF Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum
OEF Optimal Extension Fields ) within a few weeks of graduating from AIT or OSUT.
Taking into account these new variables and the challenges of the contemporary operating environment (COE See common operating environment. ), the Army is changing the way we conduct basic and advanced individual training. The Field Artillery Training Center (FATC FATC Florida Antique Tackle Collectors, Inc.
FATC Field Artillery Training Center
FATC Fire Alarm Terminal Cabinet
FATC Foreign Affairs and Transport Canada
FATC Fleet Area Telecommunications Center ), Fort Sill, Oklahoma, is one of the first training centers to implement many of these changes--is leading the way.
This article provides an overview of the changes in the FATC's initial entry warrior training and gives the details of two extended field training exercises (FTXs) for BCT and OSUT Soldiers: the forward operating base An airfield used to support tactical operations without establishing full support facilities. The base may be used for an extended time period. Support by a main operating base will be required to provide backup support for a forward operating base. Also called FOB. (FOB FOB 1) adj. short for Free on Board, meaning shipped to a specific place without cost. 2) Friend of Bill (Clinton). (See: Free on Board) ) FTX (Fault Tolerant UNIX) Stratus Computer's version of Unix System V for its XA/R fault tolerant computer systems. See also FTTx.
(operating system) FTX - Stratus' Unix operating system. and military operations in urban terrain (MOUT MOUT military operations on urban terrain (US DoD)
MOUT Managed Object Under Test ) in the "Strikerville" FTX.
Overview of Initial Entry Training (IET IET Institution of Engineering and Technology (merged name of IEE and IIE)
IET Initial Entry Training
IET Image Enhancement Technology
IET Institute of Environmental Technology (Houston, TX) ) Warrior Training. The Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC TRADOC Training & Doctrine Command (US Army) ) is focusing on what combat skills are required to prepare all Soldiers for the Army's various combat zones. In January 2004, TRADOC assigned an IET Task Force at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to analyze every aspect of IET. The task force examined lessons learned from OEF and OIF and developed recommendations to change the way the Army conducts IET. The FATC is implementing many of the changes to meet the needs of our Army in the COE. Some of the changes in the FATC IET are--
* Soldiers go to the field in their first week of BCT. This experience introduces basic field craft to Soldiers from the beginning. This two-day field problem establishes a tactical mindset mind·set or mind-set
1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations.
2. An inclination or a habit. in the new Soldiers by introducing them to what "right" looks like in a tactical setting.
* There are no "administrative" moves in IET. Training focuses more on patrols than foot marches. The last two patrols (10 and 15 kilometers, respectively) are embedded in exercises with privates continually reacting to contact. Contact may be with conventional ambushes and snipers, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and civilians on the battlefield. Training in this manner contributes to the mentality that every soldier is a rifleman and sensor.
* Many administrative classes previously taught indoors are now taught in a field environment with more hands-on, rigorous training. In addition, the classes have decreased from battery-to platoon-sized classes.
* Soldiers recite the "Soldier's Creed" before each physical training (PT) session. This reminds them of their purpose and reinforces the "Warrior Ethos" embedded in the creed.
* The Army has a new PT standardization program designed to prevent injuries and includes total-body exercises that make Soldiers more combat effective. Although the Army is not planning to implement these changes into table of organization and equipment A table of organization and equipment (TOE) is a document published by the U.S. Department of Defense which prescribes the organization, manning, and equippage of units from divisional size and down, but also including the headquarters of Corps and Armies. (TOE) units for another year, FATC Soldiers began this program 1 January 2004.
* Weapons "clearing barrels" are now used in each battery area and range complex. This is what Soldiers do in FOBs while deployed. Clearing procedures training in BCT helps reduce the likelihood of Soldiers accidentally discharging their weapons and causing needless injuries.
* M16A2 qualification is in simulated combat conditions in an extended field exercise. Soldiers now qualify in the flak vests they have to wear when deployed. They also conduct "reflexive firing" while moving.
* FATC BCT/OSUT Soldiers now receive familiarization training on the M2 and MK19. Before 1 January 2004, only MOS 13Bs Cannon Crewmembers received training on these weapons. The M2 and MK19 are the same Soldiers will use on mounted combat patrols when deployed. The first time Soldiers see these weapons should not be in a hostile environment.
* First aid training has expanded to a two-day event, culminating in situational training exercise (STX STX - Start Of Text ) lanes in the field. The STX provides more rigor rigor /rig·or/ (rig´er) [L.] chill; rigidity.
rigor mor´tis the stiffening of a dead body accompanying depletion of adenosine triphosphate in the muscle fibers. and realism to this critical training.
* Each battery slowly transitions from bivouac sites to tactical patrol bases during IET. During Fill Week, batteries use GP-medium tents for the first FTX. During the following weeks, the batteries go to shelter halves and select more tactical sites. By the last field problem, Soldiers use ponchos to construct improvised sleep shelters. At this point in their training, IET Soldiers are more "comfortable" with being uncomfortable.
* IET Soldiers train on MOUT in Strikerville. In this urban scenario, Soldiers must operate in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment with civilians and media on the battlefield. They face urban security requirements and multiple STX opportunities.
* Combined-MOS OSUT units conduct a realistic live-fire FTX. The training unit consists of the gunnery team of 13Bs, 13Ds FA Tactical Data Systems Specialists and 13Fs Fire Support Specialists conducting a 72-hour scenario-driven FTX that includes live fire--called the "Redleg Challenge." The FTX is more like TOE battery training and combines BCT and AIT tasks to culminate in one exercise.
In the exercise, live fire is integrated with STX lanes, ambushes and several opposing force (OPFOR OPFOR Opposing Force
OPFOR Operating Force (US DoD) ) attacks. Our newest Cannoneers live fire in Redleg Challenge, including out-of-traverse missions and Paladin Paladin
archetypal gunman who leaves a calling card. [TV: Have Gun, Will Travel in Terrace, I, 341]
See : Wild West hip shoots.
* IET Soldiers go through a rigorous, realistic Hand Grenade Assault Course. Soldiers go through 10 stations, one after another, using individual tactical techniques and hand grenade skills in conditions that simulate the battlefield.
* Within the first few weeks of training. IET Soldiers receive a briefing from a recent OIF/OEF veteran who graduated from the FATC within the past year. The veteran is someone the Soldiers can relate to and helps establish the warrior mindset. The veteran gives advice to the IET Soldiers--the Soldiers' responses to this initiative have been very positive.
The inculcation in·cul·cate
tr.v. in·cul·cat·ed, in·cul·cat·ing, in·cul·cates
1. To impress (something) upon the mind of another by frequent instruction or repetition; instill: inculcating sound principles. of Warrior Ethos training events and the emphasis on incorporating lessons learned from the COE have contributed to a much improved training experience for IET Soldiers. On Day-One, these Soldiers are ready to contribute in their units deployed in harm's way.
FOBFTX. The FATC executes a two-week FTX (weeks four and five), coinciding with basic rifle marksmanship Marksmanship
(1846–1917) famed sharpshooter in Wild West show. [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 67]
son of Pan, companion to Muses; skilled in archery. [Gk. Myth. (BRM BRM biologic response modifier.
BRM Biological response modifier, see there ) qualification. The FOB is close to the range complex and rifle ranges.
The Soldiers' initial priorities of work include security, tent setup and continual position improvement. Soldiers deploy daily from the FOB to rifle ranges to conduct BRM training and then return to resume FOB operations. In the past, Soldiers returned to the barracks bar·rack 1
tr.v. bar·racked, bar·rack·ing, bar·racks
To house (soldiers, for example) in quarters.
1. A building or group of buildings used to house military personnel. after BRM training.
During this extended FTX, Soldiers are introduced to many tasks never taught in BCT: clearing a building, conducting convoy operations, operating the precision lightweight global positioning system Global Positioning System: see navigation satellite.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Precise satellite-based navigation and location system originally developed for U.S. military use. receiver (PLGR PLGR Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver (US DoD)
PLGR Plunger ), searching vehicles at a traffic control point (TCP (1) (Transmission Control Protocol) The reliable transport protocol within the TCP/IP protocol suite. TCP ensures that all data arrive accurately and 100% intact at the other end. ), conducting a 9-line medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) briefing, operating under rules of engagement (ROE), reacting to the OPFOR, identifying and reacting to mines and IEDs, and more. After classroom instruction, lane training reinforces the lessons.
During the FTX, Soldiers establish a perimeter around the FOB with concertina wire and a tactical command post (CP) with bunkers. They man the CP and maintain two teams of roving guards. Soldiers search all vehicles entering the FOB, and personnel in the vehicles have to show identification before entering. The Soldiers are very motivated in this training environment.
"We should have learned some infantry tactics in basic [BCT] because everyone who goes 'down range' does a lot of both infantry and MP [military police] work ... every day we had to search between 50 to 75 Iraqis." PFC Nathan LeBlanc B/3-18 FA, 17th FA Brigade
But the Soldiers conduct more than just tactical training in this exercise. They take showers in a tent equipped with hanging shower bags and wash their clothes in buckets. Soldiers eat meals ready to eat (MREs) with one hot meal per day. They also continue their PT program each morning in the FOB.
This extended FTX in the FOB challenges Soldiers to operate in a tactical environment while becoming proficient on their individual weapons. The training is realistic, challenging and motivating plus introduces Soldiers to tasks they will perform on real-world deployments--perhaps just after graduating from IET.
Strikerville FTX. The BCT program of instruction (POI) requires Soldiers complete an FTX in their eighth week of training. In the past, this event included various STX lanes, four hours of mission-oriented protective posture A flexible system of protection against nuclear, biological, and chemical contamination. This posture requires personnel to wear only that protective clothing and equipment (mission-oriented protective posture gear) appropriate to the threat level, work rate imposed by the mission, level four (MOPP-IV) training and a 25-kilometer road march over a period of four days. This FTX was the only overnights BCT Soldiers spent in the field.
In January 2004, BCT batteries began conducting "the same" FTX in week eight--but after the Soldier had already spent 15 nights in the field and under extremely different conditions. Spurring the change to the situational lanes-driven FTX was the need to expose Soldiers to MOUT in a COE environment.
Strikerville consists of five roads, 25 small buildings (shops, schools, government facilities, etc.), minefields, and a religious gravesite grave·site
A place used for graves or a grave. . The training battery operates much like a deployed unit with the battery commander acting as the liaison to the town mayor.
Drill sergeants act as squad leaders, (instead of observer/controllers) and react to different scenarios. This concept of "pulling" and not "pushing" as a leadership method allows the IET Soldiers to react to the directives of their NCOs--just as they would in "downtown Fallujah."
The training battalion coordinates the scenarios with the well rehearsed (seasoned NCOs) OPFOR. This two-day FTX is near the end of the nine-week basic training cycle and serves as a culminating exercise.
Depending on the battery, the exercise can start with a 15-kilometer combat patrol. The Soldiers then reconnoiter re·con·noi·ter
v. re·con·noi·tered, re·con·noi·ter·ing, re·con·noi·ters
To make a preliminary inspection of, especially in order to gather military information.
v.intr. and secure Strikerville's perimeter and, with the mayor's permission, occupy the town and establish TCPs and observation posts (OPs). The training battery briefs the Soldiers on the ROE and rotates them through three platoons in eight-hour shifts: one for security, one for patrolling and one to serve as a quick-reaction force (QRF QRF Quick Reaction Force
QRF Quick Response Force
QRF Quick Response Fund (US reconstruction projects in Iraq)
QRF Quick Release Fitting
QRF Quality Results Formula (sports teams) ). Soldiers maintain 24-hour operations during the exercise.
"The things I wish I learned while at basic training were how to conduct vehicle searches and patrols and how to run checkpoints ... things that we really do. Another is guarding prisoners and building bunkers." PFC Andrew Schneider B/1-17 FA, 75 th FA Brigade
The Patrolling Platoon looks for enemy weapons and supply caches; keeps the town secure; and reacts to snipers, civilians and media; looks for a downed pilot; rescues an injured Soldier; and finds a mass grave. Many patrols occur simultaneously.
The Security Platoon mans the OPs and searches vehicles and individuals entering Strikerville as well as guards the school and the mass grave site. Many of the interactions with the OPFOR occur at the TCPs, making that a key duty for the security element.
The QRF Platoon maintains its weapons and equipment and remains on-call for any missions. About once every eight hours, a mission requires a squad from the QRF platoon, so one squad remains awake throughout the rotation. For the most part, being in the QRF Platoon allows Soldiers and drill sergeants time to rest before going back into the patrolling or security mode.
For more than 48 hours, Strikerville has IED Noun 1. IED - an explosive device that is improvised
I.E.D., improvised explosive device
explosive device - device that bursts with sudden violence from internal energy explosions and sniper attacks, requiring patrols and 100 percent security. The OPFOR probes the perimeter day and night and always is in some local civilian attire.
Soldiers and cadre operate for 16 hours, take an eight-hour break for maintenance and rest, and then go back into the rotation. The ever-changing scenario never allows Soldiers to get into a routine, providing them a brief glimpse of what operating in the COE could be like.
By the end of the FTX, the feeling among the cadre and Soldiers is mutual--a sense of accomplishment.
The Global War on Terrorism Terrorist acts and the threat of Terrorism have occupied the various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. government for many years. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, as amended by the usa patriot act has caused us to adjust our IET training to meet the new threat and the dangerous COE. With the improved training under Warrior Ethos, young Soldiers gain a new appreciation for surviving in combat and how to contribute as a team protecting the interests of America.
The culminating event of BCT is a ceremony called the "Rites of Passage." When Soldiers conducted the Rites of Passage ceremony in the past, they walked through a field without much consideration for their surroundings--although loud music played, machine guns fired blanks and grenade simulators ignited.
That same ceremony conducted for today's Soldiers is a very different scene. Soldiers react and respond to the gunfire and grenade simulators. They are aware of their surroundings and manifest the heightened alertness critical to survival on today's modern battlefield.
With these changes to BCT and OSUT, the FATC is helping to develop more tactically capable and motivated Soldiers who are imbued with the Warrior Ethos--Soldiers who are relevant and ready with the basic skills of a rifleman the minute they arrive in their first units.
By Captains Joel J. Canon, Eric Hartunian and Glen D. Renfree, First Sergeant Michael T. Richards and Drill Sergeant Lloyd K. Smith, IN
Photos by Fred W. Baker, Cannoneer
Captain Joel J. Canon, until recently, was the Commander of C Battery, 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery (One-Station Unit Training), or C/1-40 FA (OSUT), in the Field Artillery Training Center (FATC), Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Currently, he commands Headquarters and Headquarters Battery of 1-78 FA, also in the FATC.
Captain Eric Hartunian is the Commander of B/1-22 FA (OSUT) at the FATC. His previous assignments include serving as a Battery Executive Officer (XO), Battalion and Brigade Targeting Officer and Battalion Fire Direction Officer (FDO FDO Feature Data Object
FDO Functional Device Object
FDO Flight Dynamics Officer
FDO Fire Direction Officer
FDO Freshman Dean's Office (Harvard University)
FDO Flexible Deterrent Options
FDO Foreningen Danske Olieberedskabslagre ), all with the 4-11 FA, 172d Infantry Brigade (Separate), in Alaska.
Captain Glen D. Renfree is the Commander of A/1-79 FA (Basic Combat Training, or BCT) in the FATC. His previous assignments include serving as a Battery XO, FDO and S3, all in 1-78 FA.
First Sergeant Michael T. Richards serves in B/1-22 FA. In his previous assignments, he was the First Sergeant, Master Gunner, Platoon Sergeant and Gunnery Sergeant, all in 2-3 FA, 1st Armored Division, in Germany and a Paladin Section Chief in 1-15 FA, 2d Infantry Division, Korea.
Senior Drill Sergeant (Sergeant First Class) Lloyd K. Smith, Infantry (IN), is in A/1-79 FA. Among other assignments, he was a Ranger Instructor in the 5th Ranger Training Battalion, Dahlonega, Georgia; Squad Leader in the 2d Ranger Battalion, Fort Lewis, Washington; and Platoon Sergeant in 6-101 AV, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.