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BRAC’s Impact on Transportation Training

In May 2005, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission recommended, and the President subsequently approved, the following BRAC actions:

  • Realign Fort Eustis, Virginia, by relocating the Transportation Center and School to Fort Lee, Virginia.
  • Realign Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, by relocating the Ordnance Mechanical Maintenance School to Fort Lee.
  • Realign Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, by relocating the Ordnance Munitions and Electronics Maintenance School to Fort Lee.
  • Consolidate the Transportation Center and School and the Ordnance Center and Schools with the Quartermaster Center and School, the Army Logistics Management College (ALMC), and the Army Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM), all of which were already at Fort Lee.
  • Establish a Combat Service Support Center (now known as the Sustainment Center of Excellence (SCoE]) at Fort Lee.

Since then, much work has been done to accomplish the commission’s recommendations in order to comply with the mandated completion date of 2011. But BRAC 2005 raises many questions for transporters. What do the BRAC recommendations mean to transportation training? How will they affect who and how we train our transportation Soldiers and civilians? What exactly is a SCoE? How will transportation training be affected by the formation of the Logistics Corps?

Realigning Training

The bottom line is that transportation training will continue to be relevant and rigorous and conducted to standard. By the end of fiscal year 2011, transportation training will be conducted at three installations: Fort Eustis, Fort Lee, and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. As shown in the chart on page 33, Fort Eustis will continue to be the home of Army watercraft, rail, and cargo-handling training. That means that advanced individual training (AIT) for watercraft operators (military occupational specialty [MOS] 88K) and watercraft engineers (MOS 88L), cargo specialists (MOS 88H), and railway equipment repairers (MOS 88P), railway section repairers (MOS 88T), and railway operations crewmembers (MOS 88U) will continue to take place at Fort Eustis. Motor transport operator (MOS 88M) AIT has been consolidated at Fort Leonard Wood. The Noncommissioned Officer Education System (NCOES) Advanced Leader Course, formerly known as the Basic NCO Course (BNCOC), for watercraft, rail, and cargo specialist MOSs will be taught at Fort Eustis, as will the maritime functional and warrant officer courses. The Senior Leader Course—formerly known as the Advanced NCO Course (ANCOC)—for MOSs 88K and 88L will remain at Fort Eustis, but the Senior Leader Course for all other 88-series MOSs will relocate to Fort Lee.

The aviation maintenance AIT courses currently being taught at the Army Aviation Logistics School will also remain at Fort Eustis.

Training Locations

So what is moving to Fort Lee, and will there still be a Transportation School? The easy answer to the first question would be to say that everything not mentioned above as staying at Fort Eustis or Fort Leonard Wood is going to Fort Lee, but it isn’t quite that simple. Before any further discussion of training is presented, we need to understand the SCoE components involved in transportation training. Those components are the Army Logistics University (ALU), warrior training, the Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate, and the Transportation School.

ALU is an expansion of ALMC. (ALMC is now one of several colleges constituting ALU.) ALU’s physical facilities include the ALMC building and a newly constructed instructional facility; a new Simulation Training Center has been built next door.

ALU will conduct all Officer Education System (OES) courses, three deployment functional courses, and the NCOES courses not staying at Fort Eustis (in other words, the 88H, 88M, and transportation management coordinator [88N] Senior Leader Course and Advanced Leader Course). Those courses will be conducted in separate ALU colleges or in the Logistics NCO Academy. Transportation instructors will teach the courses, but they will not be part of the Transportation School as they are now, even though the Deputy Commanding General and Commandant of the Transportation School will serve as the director of the ALU.

Warrior training for 88N AIT Soldiers is planned to take place at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. The focus of the warrior training has been, and will continue to be, the warrior tasks and battle drills taught in basic training and reinforced in AIT. All AIT Soldiers in training at Fort Lee will spend up to 5 days at Fort A.P. Hill going through situational training exercises, close-quarters marksmanship training, and convoy live-fire exercises. Planning is also underway to incorporate at least 10 hours of technical training. Transportation training will be focused on those tasks associated with operating a forward logistics airfield and will require the Soldiers to build and document 463L pallets, weigh and mark vehicles, and load the pallets and vehicles onto C–130 aircraft or other modes of transportation. While 88N Soldiers will train at Fort A.P. Hill, cargo specialist (88H) and watercraft (88K and 88L) Soldiers will continue to conduct their warrior training at Fort Eustis. MOS 88M AIT Soldiers will conduct their warrior training at Fort Leonard Wood.

There will be a Transportation School at Ft. Lee. The planned home of the school is Building 2300, the former home of the Quartermaster NCO Academy. That building will be renovated so that MOS 88N AIT, the Mobility Warrant Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, and 10 deployment functional courses can be taught there.

The Transportation School will also be colocated with five Air Force courses that are moving to Fort Lee from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. It is important to note that these courses (two apprentice-level and three functional courses) will be colocated with Army Transportation School courses and not consolidated with them. Once all courses have moved to Fort Lee and all parties have gained experience on how the Air Force courses compare to Army courses, some consolidation of the courses may occur; however, it is too early in the process to say what portions of courses can be brought together.

One other training element may become part of the SCoE at Fort Lee. The Joint Deployment Training Center (JDTC) currently provides training on numerous joint systems, such as the Joint Operations Planning and Execution System (JOPES), Global Combat Support System (GCSS), and Joint Flow and Analysis System for Transportation (JFAST). The JDTC provides training to the Transportation School’s Mobility Warrant Officer Basic and Advanced Courses and the Captains Career Course. Moving the JDTC to the SCoE would add even more synergy to the joint aspects of transportation training.

The chart at left summarizes the training that is moving to Fort Lee. Transportation training will be conducted either at the Transportation School or at ALU. The Transportation School OES classes (Transportation Basic Officer Leader Course, Captains Career Course, and others) and NCOES courses will all be taught at the ALU campus. Three Transportation School functional courses will be taught at ALU as well: the Defense Advanced Traffic Management Course, the Strategic Deployment Planning Course, and the Mobilization/Deployment Planning Course. The school’s Deployment and Distribution Exercise and Experimentation Center will be located in the Simulation Training Center.

Training the Logistics Corps

The establishment of ALU at Fort Lee supports the formation of a Logistics Corps. The three major logistics branches will have colocated or consolidated training within the ALU campus. Lieutenants will continue to hold functional positions, but their training may be provided by Transportation, Quartermaster, or Ordnance officers. Transportation lieutenants will still receive convoy training at Fort A.P. Hill and will still participate in the transportation technical and tactical exercise “Red Ball Express” at Forts Eustis and A.P. Hill. There will be one Logistics NCO Academy at ALU, and the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course will be taught at one location instead of at multiple sites. Transportation functional courses will become part of the ALU’s course listings.

Transportation training development will continue as it is today, executed by the training developers who were consolidated into one CASCOM directorate in 1994. Now, however, they will be located at the same installation as their quartermaster and ordnance counterparts instead of 75 miles away. The close proximity of instructors and training and combat developers can only make the formation of and support for the Logistics Corps even more transparent to the Transportation Corps and the Army as a whole.

Transportation training definitely will be impacted by BRAC 2005 and the realignments directed by it. We will train in three major locations, but we will retain a Transportation School and our great Transportation Corps branch. Officers, warrant officers, NCOs, and civilians will receive the same great instruction they have in the past. Our training organization may not look the same, but the content of that training will remain relevant, rigorous, and conducted to standard.

All of these movements and colocations are scheduled to be completed by late fiscal year 2010. Regardless of when the move begins, the staff and faculty of the Transportation School continue to refine plans to efficiently execute required moves of personnel, equipment, and supplies so that all training is conducted on schedule.

John C. Race, Jr., is the Assistant Commandant of the Army Transportation School.

 
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