West Point Society of Texoma

Information of interest to Society members

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Academy Changes Summer Training

By Spc. Benjamin Gruver
Staff Writer

Changes to summer training trim a week off Cadet Field Training and move the end of Beast Barracks to Camp Buckner instead of Lake Frederick.

West Point made the alterations to training based on recommendations from its military instruction department. DMI staff members explored ways to upgrade the training in an effort to better prepare the Army’s future officers for the current environment.

"The rest of the Army is changing," said Capt. Jerry Patak, officer-in-charge of CFT. "Last summer we added weapons emersion, which involved the cadets carrying weapons around everywhere, because basic trainees are doing that."

To keep USMA's military instruction on the edge of what is new, Patak, and others in DMI who recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, are using their lessons learned. They're also using training techniques they found at places like Fort Knox, Ky., and Fort Benning, Ga.

CFT, according to Patak, was able to be shortened without letting anything important fall away.

"We trimmed off a bit of the fat that was there, and we are making the training more efficient," he said.

Most CFT changes were made in the second half of the training, which is traditionally comprised of Operation Highland Warrior and Mounted Maneuver Training. Last year, half of the cadets went to Fort Knox for MMT while the other half stayed for OHW. This year, according to Patak, Fort Knox cannot support as many cadets because the U.S. Army Armor School is getting ready to move to Fort Benning, Ga., as part of the most recent Base Realignment and Closure.

"Instead of having four (companies) gone and four doing OHW," said Patak "Two will go to MMT and six will be here doing training."

MMT was also shortened in length in an effort to make more efficient use of time, leaving more time for OHW.

While at the West Point training grounds, cadets in CFT will be rotating between six stations, Patak said. That includes four new training operations to include a quick reaction force, a convoy reaction lane, a cordon and search and access control point operations. The search and attack and live-fire ambush operations will remain from the previous training format.

Another change to CFT includes a field craft training that takes cadets out into the field during the first detail to prepare them for their field experience during the second detail.

Cadet Basic Training got the same treatment as CFT. When Camp Buckner became available, moving CBT's culminating event there just made since, explained Cadet Basic Training Officer-in-Charge Capt. Chad Goyette.

Goyette explained that Buckner offers an environment similar to one deployed Soldiers might experience. And, he added, will still have a Marchback.

"Traditionally there has always been the dreaded foot march out to Lake Frederick and the dreaded foot march back from Lake Frederick and there is a lot of history in that," said Goyette. "We are going to try and replicate that, but we are going to use different routes this year coming out of Buckner as opposed to Lake Frederick. It is just changes things up a little bit."

The efficiencies made in CBT also allowed Goyette to give a day back to the cadet leadership on the first weekend of Beast, giving them more time to prepare the new cadets for field training beginning that Monday.

"We wanted to give that time back to the cadet leaders to prepare for training, and you are going to do that through time management," Goyette explained. "In the past they didn't have the time because it wasn't on the calendar, but because of the training efficiencies, we have created an entire day."

posted by ortizmro  # 8:06 AM
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