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479th Field Artillery Brigade (Training Support)

479th Field Artillery Brigade executes Pre- and Post-Mobilization Training Operations in accordance with Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) and provides Mobilization Assistance Teams to Fort Hood, Texas and other designated mobilization training centers in order to provide trained and ready Army, Joint and Multi-Component Forces for full spectrum operations.

The 479th Field Artiller Brigade was first constituted on 11 March 1944 in the Army of the United States as the 656th Field Artillery Battalion and activated on 20 April 1944 at Camp Rucker, Alabama. The Battalion participated in 2 campaigns in the European Theater of Operations during the Second World War: Rhineland and Central Europe. The Battalion was inactivated on 1 December 1945 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.

Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 656th Field Artillery Battalion was redesignated on 24 December 1946 as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 479th Field Artillery Group, and allotted to the Organized Reserves. The remainder of the 656th Field Artillery Battalion was concurrently disbanded. The 479th Field Artillery Group was activated on 2 January 1947 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Organized Reserves was redesignated on 25 March 1948 as the Organized Reserve Corps, which was redesignated on 9 July 1952 as the Army Reserve. The 479th Artillery Group remained a part of this organization throughout the redesignations.

The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 25 May 1959 as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 479th Artillery Group. Its location was changed on 1 May 1960 to Horsham, Pennsylvania and again on 31 January 1968 to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The unit was redesignated on 1 November 1971 as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 479th Field Artillery Group and again on 16 April 1980 as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, before being inactivated on 15 September 1996 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The unit was withdrawn on 24 October 1997 from the Army Reserve and allotted to the Regular Army with its Headquarters concurrently activated at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The Brigade was assigned a training support mission. More than two-thirds of the field artillery at the time was in the Army National Guard. The 479th Field Artillery Brigade provided US Army active component soldiers for training, evaluation, and mobilization support to US Army National Guard and other Reserve Component units.

In support of operations in Persian Gulf in 1990-1991, Reserve Component forces, the Army National Guard (ARNG) and US Army Reserve (USAR), mobilized and deployed, sometimes in advance of active forces. Benefiting from Cold War preparations and policy, both the Active Component and Reserve Component were better prepared than in the past to operate in the same theater. However, the Army still learned lessons from the mobilization. For example, during the presidential selective reserve call-up, some units were assigned to headquarters with which they had never trained. Consequently, units could not coordinate with their gaining headquarters until after they knew to which headquarters they were assigned. Additionally, some units mobilized at installations unfamiliar to them. These mobilization stations were understaffed because the Reserve Component units usually present under a full mobilization were not activated. Active units pulled double duty, deploying themselves while training and assisting Reserve Component units.

Another challenge was that new personnel were assigned as fillers to units immediately before deployment. Their level of expertise varied, and many were not military occupational specialty-qualified. New equipment greatly enhanced Reserve Component unit capabilities, but units receiving the equipment after mobilization had little or no time to train on it. Scarce resources continued to cause problems in the length of the preparation time needed for Reserve Component units after mobilization and in the slowness of their modernization, which resulted in equipment compatibility problems on the battlefield.

Since the Gulf War, legislation and programs introduced for both the Active Component and Reserve Component strived to improve the mobilization, training and integration of the Reserve Component. The Army National Guard Combat Readiness Reform Act (ANGCRRA) of 1992 (Public Law 102-484, Title XI, as amended) required that Reserve Component units considered essential for execution of the national strategy be associated with an Active Component unit. ANGCRRA also prescribed responsibilities for the associated unit commanders, commune called Title XI responsibilities.

In compliance with Title XI, Forces Command (FORSCOM) Regulation 350-4 AC-RC Training Association Program (effective 17 August 1998) established associations between Active Component units and priority Reserve Compoent units. In addition, it provided the training support brigade guidance for readiness oversight responsibilities.

Not all Reserve Component units received the same amount or type of training support. The Reserve Component unit's order for force generation, first-to-go in a deployment, coupled with its training needs determined the type and priority of support. Within Fifth US Army, priority units included divisional roundout units, force support package 1 and 2 units (primary feeder units into theaters 1 and 2), units that were to close into theater with the latest arrival dates less than or equal to 30 days (called LAD < 30 units), designated attack helicopter units (those equipped with the AH-64) and enhanced separate brigades. The other "traditional" units were supported within the training support brigade's capability after supporting its priority units.

The 479th Field Artillery Brigade (Traing Support) acted as an active Army organization reporting directly to Fifth US Army, a Continental United States Army (CONUSA) Command. Within Fifth US Army, the 479th Field Artillery Brigade has Title XI responsibility for force support package units that were not General Officer commands (GOCOMs) and for LAD < 30 units within its designated states.

These responsibilities included approving unit training programs; reviewing readiness reports; assessing manpower, equipment and training resource requirements; and validating the compatibility of the unit with Active Component forces. These responsibilities empowered the training support brigade commander to approve yearly training plans and post-mobilization training plans for its force support package and LAD < 30 RC units (with the exception of GOCOMs).

FORSCOM Regulation 350-2 specified that training support brigades would help the Reserve Component unit commanders determine the information for their training assessment models in accordance with FORSCOM Regulation 220-3 Reserve Component Training Assessment. Training assessment models were a management tool that provided leaders a framework for planning, supporting and assessing training readiness.

The training support brigades executed many of these responsibilities through their organic training support battalions. In the case of the 479th Field Artillery Brigade, the unit had 5 such battalions. Two of these trained Reserve Component Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) units and 3 trained Reserve Component combat support/combat service support (CS/CSS) units. The 479th's 1st Training Support Battalion (MLRS) advised priority Reserve Command units on training matters, assists in training validation and provides lane training.

The center of gravity of the training support brigade was its observer-controller/trainer (OC/T) teams in its training support battalions. Each training support battalion was composed of highly skilled and experienced teams that provided quality lane training, training assistance, assessment and feedback to their supported priority units.

The 479th Field Artillery Brigade's 2 battalions that supported ARNG MLRS units were configured the same. Each consists of 3 firing battery teams and a headquarters battery team, for a total of 6 officers and 29 NCOs. It had 12 OC/T teams. The battalion's CS/CSS NCOs in the headquarters battery had a dual responsibility to provide OC/T teams for low-density CS/CSS MOS in MLRS units and internal organic support. The operations section planned and coordinated both internal training for the OC/Ts and external training with supported priority ARNG units. The 479th supported ARNG MLRS units, and as a result other training support battalions that work with field artillery units in direct support of ARNG maneuver units had a slightly different organizational structure. For example, such units included a fire support section.

The 479th's 1st Training Support Battalion provided training assistance, support, and assessments for 5 force support package 2 units. These priority units were the 45th Field Artillery Brigade; 1st Battalion (MLRS), 158th Field Artillery and its attached 1045th Ordnance Detachment); and the 1st Battalion (MLRS), 171st Field Artillery and its attached 1145th Ordnance Detachment. All of these units were in the Oklahoma ARNG.

Active Component and Reserve Component leaders at all levels worked together to plan, execute and assess pre-mobilization and post-mobilization training, based on the unit's mission essential task list (METL). The pre-mobilization objective was to identify achievable, sustainable pre-mobilization training requirements that would produce a predictable starting point for post-mob training to accommodate the required deployment time line.

The training support brigade training support cycle was similar to the training management cycle outlined in FM 25-101, Training the Force: Battle-Focused Training. Once a priority ARNG unit had been associated with an Active Compoennt unit in accordance with FORSCOM Regulation 350-4, the commander of the 479th Field Artillery Brigade forwards a memorandum to the unit. The memorandum identifies which Active Component unit would provide the ARNG unit training support and explained how the training support brigade would accomplish its training support responsibilities. The 479th Field Artillery Brigade charted its cycle of training support events, called its "Battle Rhythm," on a 3-year calendar to ensure it executes its Title XI responsibilities. The 479th's Battle Rhythm covered the TSB's 3-phase training cycle with overlapping planning cycles.

In Phase I, the 479th Field Artillery Brigade approves the ARNG battalions' post-mobilization plans in the first quarter of each year. The ARNG unit commander plans pre-and post-mobilization training by evaluating his unit's METL with the assistance of the training support brigade and its training support battalions. He selected a specific set of tasks cross-walked with the METL that can be mastered and sustained annually within the pre-mobilization 39-day training year. The pre-mobilization set of tasks might include only the critical tasks for the most important METL missions. Those tasks not selected were deferred for post-mobilization training.

Reserve Component units in Fifth US Army might separate these tasks by categories. Category 1 tasks were the most important that the Reserve Component unit commander determined he had to train to Army standard and achieve the assessment of "trained." Category 2 tasks were important, but time might be insufficient to achieve a trained rating. The Reserve Component commander might only have time to achieve an assessment of "needs practice" and would have to allot time to train these tasks in post-mobilization training to achieve the Army standard. Category 3 tasks were those remaining that support the METL, which could not be trained in the 39 days of training each year. These tasks were included in the post-mobilization training program. Identifying what collective tasks needed to be trained led to the unit's yearly training calendar that directed when and where to train the tasks.

In Phase II, the primary focus during the second quarter was the preparation of the yearly training program for the following year and coordination for the current year's annual training. The Reserve Component commander developed detailed post-mobilization plans with the help of its training support brigade/training support battalion. The post-mobilization training and support requirements document was updated with collective tasks that were not trained to Army standard during the training year. Upon mobilization, plans were reviewed and implemented by the organization responsible for validating the Reserve Component unit's combat readiness.

Approval of the yearly training program was followed by the yearly training brief in the third quarter. The brief was the ARNG unit's vehicle to present the yearly training program to the chain of command and to the training support brigade for approval. The brief identifieD the external resources necessary to accomplish the training. Inactive duty training lane training was also completed in the third quarter.

During Phase III, the emphasis was on supporting and assessing annual in the fourth quarter of the year. In conjunction with the ARNG unit commander, the 1st Training Support Battalion assessed and evaluated the tasks performed during the inactive duty training and annual training portions of the training support cycle. OC/T teams used the after-action review process to help the unit discover training deficiencies and determine corrective actions.

Based on the results of training, the ARNG commander reevaluated the status of his unit. He updates the training assessment modules to identify the collective tasks and post-mobilization training and support requirements to be trained during annual training. The annual training assessment module reflected the unit's functional, administrative and collective task areas, providing a "snapshot" of the unit's readiness rating. The ratings were based on success in training pre-mobilization tasks, impacting the number of days needed to attain combat readiness in future pre- and post-mobilization training.

After annual training, the training support battalion worked with the ARNG unit to adjust its upcoming yearly training program and finalize training support agreements. Annual training planning began 2 years prior to execution, hence, the 479th Field Artillery Brigade's 3-year Battle Rhythm. Annual training scheduling conflicts were resolved during the Regional Scheduling Workshops (First US Army) and the annual Training Support Synchronization Conference (First and Fifth US Armies). Then the cycle started again with Phase 1. Throughout the cycle, the OC/T teams provided branch, functional, and mobilization assistance to their priority support units, as required.

Throughout these processes, ARNG units face several training challenges. ARNG budget limitations might not allow a leader to attend a leadership school required at his level and a major training event in the same year, limiting his timely development. The OC/T teams helped by presenting unit leader classes covering topics such as troop leading procedures or other areas the ARNG unit commander wished to emphasize.

Soldier proficiency was paramount. The ARNG commander faced the same challenges with soldier training as with leader training. Upon completion of initial entry training and usually during annual training, the commander ensured that soldiers who were not duty military occupation specialty-qualified were enrolled in the first available military occupation specialty-producing school. These schools generally precluded participation in annual training for a second year. Thus, the road to a fully duty military occupation specialty-qualified soldier in an ARNG unit could be quite long. The OC/T teams' knowledge and experience were critical to the learning process of individuals and sections during training events. Low-density military occupation specialty soldiers could present additional training challenges for ARNG commanders, especially when the geographic separation of subordinate units prevents consolidated training at the battalion level.

Some support for ARNG field artillery units came from infantry or armor training support battalions. Each training support brigade that had an enhanced separate brigade in its support area also included an infantry or armor training support battalion (depending on the branch designation of the enhanced separate brigade) that worked in residence with the enhanced separate brigade. The enhanced separate brigade training support battalion was organized by branch-specific companies or teams (formerly called resident training detachments), including a field artillery team. The company/team sizes vary, but generally ranged from about 3-7 people.

In his "One Team, One Fight, One Future" concept of a totally integrated Active Component-Reserve Component force, General Reimer stated that the Army had to have one clear, consistent standard. Achieving one standard required Army readiness to be tested and validated continually. Furthermore, a thorough assessment of training and mobilization was necessary to ensure both realistically meet the needs of the Force.

The Training Support XXI program continued to provide units suitably located to train and evaluate Reserve Component units on a prioritized basis. It consolidated all Active Component and Reserve Component soldiers into combat arms and CS/CSS battalions organized into a training support brigade under the command of a continental US army. The training support battalions would fall under the administrative control of training support divisions, initially called exercise divisions.

Basically the reorganization took the 2 separate training support structures (Active Component and Reserve Component) and integrated them into one. The Active Component structure was continental US armies with training support brigades and their training support battalions, while the Reserve Component structure was the exercise divisions with field exercise brigades and their field exercise battalions. Training Support XXI organized the continental US armies' training support brigades under the administrative control of the training support divisions. Except for unit name changes, the reorganization was to be transparent for the user unit.

Effective 16 October 1999, the existing training support brigades/field exercise brigades and trainings support battalions/field exercise battalions would merge into tri-component (Active Component, ARNG, USAR) organizations called training support brigades that would change their unit designations in accordance with USAR lineage. Regardless, the training support brigades would continue to support their same priority units. In the continental US, the training support battalions would still be the single-source provider for METL development, yearly training program assistance, inactive duty training/annual training lane training support, post-mobilization training program/post-mobilization training and support requirement assistance, mobilization assistance, and branch/functional area assistance.

The Active Component-Reserve Component Training Association Program included the Active Component training support brigades with their training support battalions working with Reserve Component units. New Active Component-Reserve Component training support brigade organizational changes became effective on 1 October 1999 with the implementation of Training Support XXI. Each of the 10 Active Component training support brigdades in Fifth and First Armies that train Reserve Component field artillery units had its own procedures and operational policies to comply with training support requirements mandated by Federal law. As part of the changes, the 479th Field Artillery Brigade (Training Support) was inactivated and its personnel reflagged as 4th Brigade, 75th Division (Training Support) on 16 October 1999 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

With changes made to the continental US training structure made as part of the decision to redesignate Fifth US Army as US Army, North (ARNORTH) and expand First US Army, Headquarters, 479th Field Artillery Brigade was reactivated on 1 December 2006 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma as the headquarters for a training support brigade. The 479th Field Artillery Brigade was subsequently assigned to Division West, First US Army and eventually relocated to Fort Hood, Texas.

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Page last modified: 23-01-2012 13:18:02 ZULU