More than 140 leaders from the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood got out of their comfort zones Oct. 9 and participated in a terrain walk to learn about the unique capabilities that exist only at Fort Leonard Wood.
Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, said the intent of the professional development session was not only to get leaders out to see the critical training conducted at Fort Leonard Wood, but to allow them to meet and cross talk with one another.
“We all have goals and play a part in accomplishing the MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood mission,” Smith said. “What I want you all to think about is how we can leverage and learn from each other to enhance capabilities.”
The session showcased training at the Lt. Joseph Terry CBRN Facility, which is a part of the USACBRNS and is the lead for all Department of Defense CBRN response training; the U.S. Army Engineer School’s bridging training at Training Area 250; and the U.S. Army Military Police School’s Stem Village, which provides realistic training in several different situations military police routinely face.
Fort Leonard Wood’s Canadian Liaison Officer Maj. John Dempsey said he was glad to get out of the office and see how his American counterparts train.
“The terrain walk was good,” Dempsey said. “It’s always too easy to get stuck behind your desk and focus on your own job – it’s good to see what the other schools are doing and how they provide training.”
It was Dempsey’s first time visiting Stem Village. He said he was impressed with the training scenarios.
“The scenarios [USAMPS] has set up were really well developed, they provided very realistic scenarios for students to go through,” Dempsey said. “The training is not just a collection of skills but actually shows how those skills are applied when going out on task.”
According to James Tucker, Fort Leonard Wood’s director of contracting, the highlight of the session was seeing his organization’s efforts in action and how the contracting office contributes to the units on Fort Leonard Wood.
“For me, the best thing I got to see was when we went to the Terry Facility, the product that my office had bought for the facility, I got to see how it was used,” Tucker said. “I got to see how my mission fits into the overall mission of MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood, that to me was critical,” Tucker said.
Warren Brabant, director of the Tank and Automotive Command maintenance activities at Fort Leonard Wood, known as the FMX program, agreed.
Page 2 of 2 - “The FMX program performs most of the maintenance on the bridging equipment,” Brabant said. “I understand now, because of the constant use, why we spend so much time working on that equipment.”
Brabant said the session was an eye opening experience.
“I’ve been at Fort Leonard Wood for about 28 years, and I had never seen some of the training that I observed on the terrain walk,” Brabant said. “The terrain walk was very good. I was impressed, and I would like to see this happen again for our second-level leaders.”