by PFC Zoe Morris
As the 29th Signal Regimental Symposium kicked off Nov. 28, senior officers explained just how the Signal Regiment fits into the big picture, and where to go from here.
One element of the Signal Regiment�s involvement in the Army�s transformation is the University of Information Technology, the brainchild of the Signal Center at Fort Gordon, Ga. UIT is intended to streamline the initial-entry training process and keep Signaleers educated as they move through their Army careers.
�To achieve that vision (of Army transformation), we�re going to have to transform the way we train our soldiers,� said MG Pat Cavanaugh, commander of the Signal Center and Fort Gordon.
|Chief of Signal MG Pat Cavanaugh briefs Signaleers on the state of the Regiment at the annual symposium.|
He explained how students in advanced individual training are taught things initially they may not retain until Week 10, much less to their first duty station.
They may also be sent to a station that uses different equipment than they were trained on, Cavanaugh said.
He pointed out how, between AIT and the basic noncommissioned officer course, there�s a possible four-year gap where soldiers get little training.
�What we have here,� Cavanaugh said, �is we don�t have any formalized way of training those soldiers on those skills that are out there.�
There are officers out in the field, Cavanaugh said, who use their own time and resources to fill that gap. With UIT, lifelong learning would be easy and mandatory to fill the Army with better-trained soldiers faster, he said.
A huge part of the distance- and lifelong-learning concepts is simulations. The simulations, Cavanaugh said, look like, move like and sound like the real thing. The simulations are computer programs that have every detail of equipment on which soldiers need to be trained.
�Simulations allow for the unit in the field and the soldier in the field to get that information at the teachable moment,� he said.
But new technology will not only help train soldiers, it can help them out in the field in warfighting capabilities.
�What we desire to do,� said LTG John Riggs, director of the Objective Force task force, �is use the power of information technology to be able to see first with situation awareness, to understand first with situation understanding and to give ourselves the ability to act first with qualitative rapid decisions to finish decisively.�
|LTG John Riggs, director of the Objective Force task force, speaks on information technology's role in the Army's transformation.|
�There are several backbones (to transformation) in this particular phase,� said Riggs, �but information dominance is clearly one of them.�
Information dominance means fast, clear communication. Army Knowledge On-line is a new website set up to become a single portal for everyone to use, said LTG Peter Cuviello, director of information systems for command, control, communications and computers, office of the secretary of the Army. Cuviello said the Army will be web-based in the future. (See related story.)
The Signal Regiment, all three generals stressed, is a big and important part of Army transformation.
The Regiment is also implementing huge changes within itself.
�We need your advocacy, support, commitment to implement this plan,� said Cuviello, �to ensure the Army has the information dominance and decision dominance to win decisively, both as a warfighter and in our business practices.�
PFC Morris is a staff writer with The Signal, Fort Gordon�s post newspaper.
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