[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                              September 11, 2009
News

RTS-Maintenance gets perfect
inspection score

Story by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

The Regional Training Site (RTS)-Maintenance organization at Fort McCoy has become the first Army Reserve maintenance organization and one of the few Armywide to receive a perfect score in its reaccreditation process, said Maj. Stephen Skelton.

Photo: Students in an RTS-Maintenance Vehicle Recovery Course determine the best approach to free a vehicle stuck in the sand at the installation’s Vehicle Recovery Site. The training is one of the areas that helped RTS-Maintenance gain recognition. (Pnoto by Rob Schuette)
Students in an RTS-Maintenance Vehicle Recovery Course determine the best approach to free a vehicle stuck in the sand at the installation’s Vehicle Recovery Site. The training is one of the areas that helped RTS-Maintenance gain recognition. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Skelton, the RTS-Maintenance commandant, said the perfect score means RTS-Maintenance can call itself an institution of excellence, which it will retain for the next three years.

Organizations earn the institution of excellence designation with a score in the 95 to 100 percent range.

RTS-Maintenance offers basic and advanced noncommissioned officer (BNCOC and ANCOC) ordnance training (among its NCO Education System courses), heavy wheeled maintenance mechanic training, Standard Army Maintenance System – Enhanced (SAMS-E) computer maintenance record tracking training and vehicle recovery training, among others, he said.

“The RTS-Maintenance staff is proud of the perfect mark, which shows its instruction, facility and staff meet the highest Army standards,” Skelton said. “The perfect mark is a key indicator of the quality of instruction we provide. We also were selected as an institution of excellence after our last reaccreditation, with a score of 96 percent, so we continue to be an institution of high-quality learning for maintenance Soldiers.”

Active-duty personnel from the Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee, Va., Directorate of Lessons Learned & Quality Assurance Office conducted the reaccreditation inspection, which covered key areas for RTS-Maintenance, from the classroom to test control to the safety of its instruction, Skelton said.

RTS-Maintenance falls under the Ordnance Proponency and is a direct-reporting unit of the 80th Training Command.

RTS-Maintenance at Fort McCoy is one of four in the Army Reserve and 12 in the Army National Guard. In addition, upward of 20 other Army Reserve organizations are reviewed in accordance with proponent and Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) as part of the reaccreditation process, he said.

Sgt. 1st Class William Nowlan, the chief operations noncommissioned officer for RTS-Maintenance, said the high ranking and specialty training the organization offers helps support a large training population.

The organization trained 1,800 Soldiers in fiscal year (FY) 2008 and is expecting to train about 1,300 this year (FY 2009, which ends Sept. 30), with a staff of 16 full-time and seven mobilized personnel.

In addition to regularly scheduled courses, RTS-Maintenance staff members instruct pop-up courses, such as on-demand courses for mobilizing troops to help them become validated for deployment, and provide mobile training team (MTT) courses to units at their home stations throughout the Army.

“Personnel come to us for training because of our reputation, as well as the facilities we have access to here at RTS-Maintenance, and off-site, such as the vehicle recovery area,” Nowlan said. “We’re one of the few RTS-Maintenance organizations that offers SAMS-E training.”

“The courses we offer help us train more troops than any other RTS-Maintenance,” he said.

The organization also has been emphasizing the Soldier tasks involved with the maintenance field and introduced opposing-force scenarios into BNCOC and ANCOC courses, he said. Many of the training scenarios in the RTS-Maintenance Course are adapted from lessons learned in-theater, he said.

Pfc. Lindsey Reamer of the 724th Engineer Battalion (Forward Support Company) of Hayward, Wis., said she works at Volk Field, and vehicle recovery training was required for her job.

“The instructors are good, and they know what they’re talking about,” Reamer said. “The facilities are nice and have everything we need, and the tools we need are available. They’re training us on the things we need to know using hands-on training with real-life scenarios.

Sgt. Antinio Brewer of the 631st Maintenance Company of the Florida Army National Guard said the training taught him the technical aspects of vehicle recovery, which will come in handy during the unit’s upcoming deployment.

“I’ve recovered vehicles before but this class taught me a lot of information that I didn’t know, as well,” Brewer said. “They also provide you with a safe working area and show you how to do things so you don’t break the vehicles/equipment or hurt anybody.”

Among the future improvements in RTS-Maintenance training is the planned construction of a new building, which will help RTS-Maintenance offer more of its courses during the winter months and balance its training load throughout the year, Skelton said.

 

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