The Noncommissioned Officer Academy’s Warrior Training Center has attracted the attention of the U.S. Army Reserve’s top enlisted Soldier.
Command Sgt. Maj. Leon Caffie, whose Fort Lee itinerary included a visit to the Reserve team in the Army Culinary Arts Competition, made a two-hour stopover at the WTC where he received operations briefs and met with Active-Duty and Reserve Soldiers.
Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Aubain, U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command’s top enlisted Soldier, hosted Caffie and said the 33-year veteran of the Reserve liked what he saw.
“It was a good visit, and he was impressed with the operation,” said Aubain.
The Warrior Training Center —— a 20,000 square-foot building comprised mainly of classrooms, weapons simulation ranges and areas for urban terrain training — was designed and developed by Academy NCOs. Several hundred Soldiers from the basic and advanced NCO courses, as well as Soldiers from other units, have undergone training at the facility. The center’s main training course is an intense 36-40-hour hands-on course of study that covers many of the Army’s mandated tasks and drills.
Caffie, a Vietnam veteran and draftee, said he is seriously considering making a similar course a Reserve training prerequisite.
“I’m looking at bringing in Reservists and bringing them in for a five-10-day training experience,” he said. “Hopefully, we can duplicate what they already have here.”
Caffie also said an option to build a similar facility at various other locations is not out of the question.
“If we expand this concept, it could possibly go to a location like Fort McCoy, Wis., Fort Dix, N.J. or Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.,” he said.
The U.S. Army Reserve, like its Active counterpart, is in the midst of a personnel and training transformation while it struggles with recruiting and a historically high-operations tempo.
Caffie put no timetable on when a decision would be made regarding his considerations.
Several reservists have already trained at the facility since it opened. Most recently, the 316th Sustainment Command, a Reserve unit based in Pennsylvania, sent several of its subordinate units to the WTC to train. Many more of the unit’s Soldiers, maybe hundreds, are due to undergo training at the facility as it ramps up for future deployments.