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78th Training Division (Operations Training)
78th Training Division (Functional Training)
78th Division (Training Support)
"Lightning Division"

The 78th Training Division (Operations Training) provides realistic sustainment and combined arms training, focused on developing leaders and unit combatant commands. It plans, coordinates and executes pre-mobilization collective training for Reserve Component units up through brigade level, preparing them to move into the Army Force Generation model available pool. It supports training and sustainment of Army forces to include individual battle skills and leader training, combined arms training toward full spectrum operations, as well as adaptable, phased training. It also provides feedback to improve the force and prepare them for success on all future joint battlefields.

The 78th Training Division (Operations Training) was first constituted on 5 August 1917 in the National Army as Headquarters, 78th Division and organized on 23 August 1917 at Camp Dix, New Jersey. At that time it consisted of 4 infantry regiments (309th, 310th, 311th and 312th) and 3 artillery regiments (307th, 308th and 309th). Twenty thousand soldiers made up the original Division. Deployed to Europe during the Great War, the 78th Division was in France during the summer and fall of 1918. There it was said to be " point of the wedge" of the final offensive, which knocked out Germany. The 78th Division participated in 3 major campaigns during World War I: Meuse-Argonne, St. Mihiel, and Lorraine. After the war, the 78th Division was demobilized on 9 July 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey.

The 78th Division is nicknamed the "Lightning Division." The shoulder insignia mirrors the nickname: a red semicircle with a white lightning bolt streaking through it. There are 2 stories concerning the origin of the sobriquet. The first holds that, in World War I, the French compared the action of the 78th Division to a bolt of lightning that seared the field through which it raced. The other is attributed to the fact that the Division was first formed in Burlington County. It was called "Lightning Division" to honor the famous Jersey Applejack whiskey produced in that county.

The unit was reconstituted on 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves as Headquarters, 78th Division and organized in November 1921 at Newark, New Jersey. It was redesignated on 20 February 1942 as Division Headquarters, 78th Division. It was ordered into active military service on 15 August 1942 and reorganized at Camp Butner, North Carolina. It was concurrently redesignated as Headquarters, 78th Infantry Division.

After 2 years as a Training Division, the 78th Infantry Division embarked for the European Theatre. There the Division fought in Belgium, France, and Germany. The Siegfried Line, the Roer and the Rhine rivers, the Cologne plain, the Remagen bridgehead, the Rhur pocket all lay along the road to Berlin, where the Division found itself at the end of the war. The World War II Honor Roll listed one Medal of Honor, 9 Distinguished Services Crosses, 599 Silver Star Medals, 3,909 Bronze Star Medals, and 5,454 Purple Hearts. The Division lost 1,368 officers and enlisted men. After 6 months of occupation duty, the Division was officially inactivated on 22 May 1946 in Germany.

The 78th Infantry Division was reactivated on 1 November 1946 at Newark, New Jersey. During this period, the Organized Reserves was redesignated on 25 March 1948 as the Organized Reserve Corps, which was in turn redesignated on 9 July 1952 as the Army Reserve. The 78th Infantry Division remained a part of this organization throughout the redesignations. Its location changed on 9 November 1955 to Kearny, New Jersey and again on 6 December 1958 to Edison, New Jersey. The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 1 May 1959 as Headquarters, 78th Division (Training).

The 78th Division again responded to the nation's call in 1990 and 1991 during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, when the Lightning Division's 920th Transportation Company (Medium, Petroleum) was deployed to Southwest Asia and provided vital fuel. The 1018th Reception Battalion, the 2nd Brigade OSUT Headquarters, and the 1st and 3rd Battalion of the 310th Regiment, as well as the 1st Brigade's 3rd Battalion, 309th Regiment, with a composite detachment from the 78th Training Support Brigade, provided assistance in necessary Training Base Expansion at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The 348th Military Police Detachment conducted protective service missions for key national leaders throughout the world during the mobilization period. The 78th Division also provided many individual fillers and volunteers for other mobilized units.

In 1992, the 78th Division began transforming into an Exercise Division under the Army's "Bold Shift" initiative. The new mission was to conduct small unit collective training (LANES) and computerized battle simulation exercises for clients in the First US Army (East) area. The unit was formally reorganized and redesignated on 1 October 1993 as Headquarters, 78th Division (Exercise).

The 78th Division (Exercise) was one of 5 Exercise Divisions in the United States, headquartered in Edison, New Jersey with subordinate units located in New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York.

The Army Reserve conducted its first combat service support (CSS) training simulation system (CSSTSS) simulation exercise in an inactive-duty-for-training status in September 1997. The participating group commanders found that the simulation exercise effectively stressed their staffs and provided more effective CSS training than that offered in other simulations used by the Army Reserve. The 78th Division (Exercise) from Edison, New Jersey was tasked by the Army Reserve Command to conduct a pilot test using CSSTSS to determine its viability for training CSS battalion and group staffs during a weekend drill.

Using a modified Prairie Warrior data base, five CSS groups operated at 5 locations in 4 states in the simulation exercise: the 475th Quartermaster Group in Farrell, Pennsylvania; the 300th Transportation Group in Butler, Pennsylvania; the 38th Ordnance Group in Charleston, West Virginia; the 390th Personnel Group in Richmond, Virginia; and the 300th Area Support Group at Fort Lee, Virginia. The 310th Theater Army Area Command at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, provided a small group to function as a theater support command at the 78th Division's battle projection center in Fort Dix, New Jersey.

The simulation exercise ran from 1800 hours on 11 September 1997 until 0800 hours on 14 September 1997. The opposing forces cell fought a series of "battles" with the battle driver subsystem. The battles created corps sustainment requirements that were fed into the CSSTSS emulated Standard Army Management Information System (STAMIS) to reflect the generated logistics work load. Daily roll-ups were used to monitor unit progress and check the accuracy of data posted by the groups on the status boards.

Due to the success of the simulation exercise, a proposal was developed to conduct a single simulation exercise from a mainframe and transmitted to all five exercise division's. This way, CSS units all over the country could simultaneously participate in one simulation exercise through their host exercise divisions. This would increase training opportunities and eliminate the cost of conducting multiple exercises. In FY98, 2 exercise divisions, the 78th and the 87th, conducted an exercise in this manner. The 375th Transportation Group in Mobile, Alabama, joined the 475th Quartermaster Group, the 300th Transportation Group, and the 390th Personnel Group for a simulation exercise in August 1998.

On 17 October 1999, the unit was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters, 78th Division (Training Support). The reorganization was to a tri-component structure for training support, assistance and evaluation as directed by First United States Army for designated priority Reserve and National Guard units during pre- and post-mobilization, as part of the Training Support XXI program. The missions of mobilization training teams, mobilization, and providing military support to civil authorities were new additional duties. Units were headquartered in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and North Carolina.

The 78th Division (Training Support) provided training assistance and support to Reserve Component units in accordance with established priorities, provides command, and staff training exercises through the simulations brigade, and discharged other missions as directed by the First US Army to enhance the combat readiness of Reserve Component soldiers and units. It would, on order, coordinate and synchronize mobilization assistance and support to Reserve Component units within its area of responsibility. All soldiers trained by the Division would be fully prepared to accomplish any mission and meet the theater commander's requirements.

The 78th Division provided training support to its client units and soldiers by providing the latest tactics, techniques, procedures, and doctrine by utilizing mobile training teams, computer simulations, and lanes exercises. Through a wide range of focused professional services, the Division worked with the responsible commanders to maximize the combat power of the US Army, by ensuring that these units were fully trained and ready to deploy.

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, the Department of Defense recommended to close Camp Kilmer, New Jersey and relocate the Headquarters, 78th Division to Fort Dix, New Jersey. The relocation of the Headquarters, 78th Division to Fort Dix and establishment of one of the new Army Reserve Sustainment Units of Action would establish a new capability for the Army Reserve while increasing the support capabilities of the Army Reserve to the Active Army.

The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 2 October 2009 as Headquarters, 78th Training Brigade. As a result, the 5 brigades previously assigned to the unit were inactivated and reflagged as elements of First US Army. The unit's location was formally changed on 16 October 2009 to Fort Dix, New Jersey as per the 2005 BRAC recommendations.

The unit was redesignated on 18 September 2010 as Headquarters, 78th Training Division. The unit was first designated as 78th Training Division (Functional Training), before having the designation changed to 78th Training Division (Operations Training). The 78th Training Division (Operations Training) was charged with providing training to sustainment units preparing to deploy to the Southwest Asia theater of operations and any other locations where Army Reserve soldiers were called upon. The 78th Training Division conducted Warrior Exercises and Combat Support Training Exercise rotations for Deployment Expeditionary Forces in Training Year 2 and 3 of the Army Force Generation model and pre-mobilization training for Deployment Expeditionary Forces units in Ready Year 4.

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Page last modified: 24-01-2012 17:32:53 ZULU