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Individual Ready Reserve training continues, improves

By Carmen Slaybaugh

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 14, 2005) - More than 1,100 Reservists have transitioned back to active duty as a part of an Individual Ready Reserve callup that started in August 2004.

"At the start of this mission, I was told that we would receive about 4,440 IRR Soldiers at Fort Jackson alone," said Task Force Marshall commander Lt. Col. Douglas Snyder.

The total number of IRR Soldiers recalled was more than 5,600.

The initial projections were for Reservists to complete the first phase of retraining at the South Carolina National Guard's McCrady Training Center by December.

Snyder, the delay has resulted from a combination of reasons.

"HRC (Human Resource Command)-St. Louis has been very good - some say sympathetic - about listening to Soldiers' family, job and personal issues," Snyder said.

This resulted in amending orders and pushing back report dates.

Many other orders were revoked because of the lack of a family care plan or because the Soldier was found to be non-deployable because of health issues.

Snyder said HRC-St. Louis directed IRR Soldiers to not report between Nov. 14 and Jan. 1 to prevent them from reporting for training over Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year holidays.

Snyder said he was not sure what impact the delays and exemptions will have on their final numbers.

Another vital factor of the training, Snyder said, is the constant improvement and refinement of the overall program.

"We constantly turn to the Center for Army Lessons Learned at Fort Leavenworth [Kan.] and obtain the latest updates from them on tactics being used by the [Iraqi and Afghani] insurgents; and countermeasures and tactics being used by coalition forces against the insurgents," Snyder said. "As insurgents become more clever, we have had to become more sophisticated in the way we combat them."

The convoy operations training, how to react in an ambush and recognizing an improvised explosive device are three of the warrior tasks constantly being reviewed, ensuring they reflect the realities of the current combat environment.

The callup is the first large-scale use of the IRR since 20,277 Soldiers were mobilized during the 1991 Gulf War. Prior to this, the only sizable callup was in 1968 during the Vietnam War. OCPA Public Affairs Home OCPA Public Affairs Home


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