Taking care of annual training can mean a huge investment of time and resources, to include classroom instruction, computer-based training and a multitude of slideshows. With the holidays coming, who needs the extra stress?
To make training a little less hectic but give participants the full benefit of refresher instruction, the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Security office provided a one-stop-shop community training opportunity delivering annual security training in one morning session.
“The training provides a means for Department of Defense personnel within the USAG Rheinland-Pfalz community to complete their annual security training requirements, to include Antiterrorism Level I, Operations Security and Threat Awareness and Reporting Program,” said Dennis L. Mathis, USAG R-P and Installation Management Command-Europe Security manager. “In today’s environment, it is important for the community to take this training because our briefings are consistent with the growing and evolving threats today. The training highlights security awareness, education and vigilance promotion within the community.”
The security office provides the training opportunity eight times per year and alternates locations between the Tiger Theater on Sembach and Armstrong’s Club on Vogelweh, said Mathis, who is a retired Army first sergeant intelligence analyst and security manager.
“This training is better than taking CBTs because our live audience training includes the latest European threat information,” Mathis explained. “Besides, TARP training must be received via live audience by a certified counter-intelligence agent. Online training does not meet the annual requirement for TARP training.”
As an Installation Emergency Manager, William R. Gairy, taught the Ready Army and AtHOC portion of the course.
“This is definitely a beneficial refresher training,” said Gairy, a retired sergeant first class whose career as a chemical specialist spanned 24 years. “People need to keep emergency management foremost in their minds so that it becomes second nature.”
Gairy taught attendees about having comprehensive contingency plans and emergency kits ready as part of Ready Army training.
“Having a good plan is beneficial because you need to be able to find courses of actions, rally points and ways to communicate in case cell phones aren’t working,” Gairy said. “It’s also important to be informed. The USAG R-P community needs to sign up to receive AtHoc mass notifications to be cognizant of all emergency announcements.”
A recent example of AtHoc notifications took place in Rheinland-Pfalz over the Thanksgiving holiday when 12 cities in the Birkenfeld area were identified as having high levels of E-Coli in the drinking water.
“I live in that area, so that affected me,” Gairy said. “But I had a plan and had enough water on hand to sustain my family for 72 hours. That was exactly how long the water emergency lasted.”
For Sgt. 1st Class Sharon Hollis with the 598th Transportation Brigade, the training was informational and relevant for today’s troops.
“As Soldiers, we train as we fight, so it’s good to be reminded of this information to keep it fresh in our minds in case of an emergency,” said Hollis, a sexual assault response coordinator. “When we receive refresher training, it helps us to cut down on our reaction time when urgent situations occur.”
Hollis said she liked the format of the training because it didn’t detract too much from her normal duty day.
“Taking this training was a lot easier than taking several CBTs, which take hours to complete. The briefers and material were good, especially the information about AtHoc. You never know how important these notifications are until one applies to you,” Hollis said.
The security training applies to everyone in general, Mathis said.
“We welcome all Soldiers, DOD civilian employees and family members 14 years or older to receive the training,” Mathis said. “The next training opportunity will take place in March 2017, and we will provide training dates early next year.”
To sign up for AtHoc notifications, visit the USAG R-P website at www.rp.army.mil.