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 April 09, 2010

News

ARRTC prepares for move to Fort Knox

Story By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff 

Personnel in the Army Reserve Readiness Training Center (ARRTC) Provisional (P) at Fort McCoy are beginning the process to transition the organization to its new location at Fort Knox, Ky.

The mission of the organization is to develop, sustain and deliver a wide spectrum of functional courseware and leader-development instruction. The organization also oversees Army Reserve leader-development training, develops Web-based training and distance learning and coordinates training done by other services and government agencies that support the Army Reserve.

PHOTO: Master Sgt. Sean Beaudette of the 2nd Battalion, 339th Regiment (Leadership Training) reviews student essays and critiques from the new Supervisor Development Course that piloted in December at Fort McCoy. Photo by Master Sgt. Christina Steiner
Master Sgt. Sean Beaudette of the 2nd Battalion, 339th Regiment (Leadership Training) reviews student essays and critiques from the new Supervisor Development Course that piloted in December at Fort McCoy. Photo by Master Sgt. Christina Steiner

Tim Shuffield, ARRTC director of support, said the current plan is for the ARRTC (P) to transition from a provisional organization to an approved structure by October 2010 and to relocate from Fort McCoy to Fort Knox by September 2011.
 
The relocation was directed as part of a Base, Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process in 2005.

“We’re in the draft stages of the process right now,” said Shuffield “We’re going through the mechanics to determine what the ARRTC will look like in addition to preparing for our move to Fort Knox.”

The reconstituted ARRTC will have approximately 180 personnel and report directly to the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC).

The NCO Academies at Fort McCoy, Fort Dix, N.J., and Fort Lewis, Wash., also will be under command and control of the reconstituted ARRTC, he said. Operations and staff for those facilities will remain at their current locations.

The process of the final relocation of the ARRTC involves coordination with the USARC and the 84th Training Command (Leader Readiness). Shuffield said the process also entails acquiring the right personnel.

“Fortunately, we all have been able to sit down to coordinate the new structure and personnel requirements,” he said.

“People in the other organizations (84th Training Command (LR), 70th Training Division (Functional Training), and USARC) have realized how important it is that we have the right structure to help prepare for the move,” he said. “Our work force also has done an exceptional job in meeting the challenges and demands of the move.”

In addition to the coordination with all organizations involved in the relocation, other factors, including availability of facilities, will play a role in the projected time line to move the ARRTC work force, Shuffield said.

The ARRTC work force will move to the current Armor School facilities at Fort Knox, Shuffield said.

For that to happen, the Armor School at Fort Knox needs to move into its new location at Fort Benning, Ga.

ARRTC at Fort McCoy

The Army Reserve Readiness Training Center (ARRTC), often referred to as the Schoolhouse of the Army Reserve, was created and located at Fort McCoy in 1976.

Other important historical dates for ARRTC at Fort McCoy are:

•1982: Became an installation tenant activity;

•1990: Was awarded a unit insignia;

•1992: Classroom/administrative  building was completed and occupied;

•1997: Distributed learning program began;

•2000: Dormitory project was completed; and

•2003: Virtual University started.

 

Some degree of renovation likely will be required to adapt the Armor School building to meet ARRTC’s needs, he said.

As this happens, Shuffield said the ARRTC staff will continue to support its mission of training thousands of personnel each year.

A contracted service that offers Automation Security training at the ARRTC facility is aligned with Fort Gordon, Ga., and is not part of the BRAC move and will remain at Fort McCoy.

Another key factor in the move will be the employees, who are split between Active Guard/Reserve personnel and federal civilians, he said. Each group will bring its own challenges to the moving process.

AGR personnel generally serve three years in an assignment before moving to their next duty station. Shuffield said that the challenge faced with the AGR personnel is they can’t be moved if they have been on station less than one year.

Another factor is the timing of their permanent change of station move. “We have to consider all of the effects moving can have,” he said, such as spouses leaving jobs sooner than expected or children transferring to another school during an academic year, for example.

Civilian employees also must make decisions about relocating to Knox.

Shuffield said many civilian employees have been at Fort McCoy for a number of years and have ties to the local communities, where they live, their spouses may be employed and they may have children in the school districts or university systems. Many also are nearing the end of their careers and may choose to stay in their current communities rather than move to Fort Knox.

“Typically, the civilian employees have provided the stability and the institutional knowledge while the military have brought in the new ideas and kept the programs current and relevant,” he said. “If enough experienced civilians don’t transfer to Fort Knox, the roles may be reversed somewhat in the move, with the military personnel initially providing the stability of the work force.”

Shuffield said everyone in the organization has been happy about the time they have spent at Fort McCoy. The ARRTC was located at Fort McCoy in 1976 and often was referred to as the Schoolhouse of the Army Reserve.

“Our move is almost a bittersweet thing,” he said. “McCoy has been our home. We’ve been treated well, and well received. It’s exciting to see the ARRTC stand back up, and sad that we have to move.”

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