Training Center Puts Soldiers in the Fight
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany, Oct. 21, 2005 Before U.S. European Command soldiers deploy to Iraq to fight the war on terror, Timothy Maples makes sure they're ready.
Maples is the operations manager for the "Close Combat Tactical Trainers" here. The CCTTs are machines that provide simulated tank, Bradley fighting vehicle, M113 personnel carrier, and Humvee training for EUCOM soldiers.
"We have what we call a 90 percent solution here," Maples said. "The knobs, the switches and anything a soldier would need to perform his job is within one inch of its actual location in the real vehicle."
Maples oversees 32 trainers, five after-action review rooms and five semi-automated force workstations, he said. The workstations provide "red" and "blue" forces to fight either with or against soldiers, he explained.
The CCTT site in Grafenwoehr is one of only two located overseas, Maples said. It began eight years ago as a quick-start site, but is now a full site, he said.
There are soldiers training on the CCTTs about 50 to 60 percent of the time, Maples said. There is always more training if a unit is getting ready to deploy, he added. When the soldiers do deploy is when he can see the real benefits of the training they receive at his facility, he said.
"I'm very proud of the fact that when our boys went into Iraq a couple years ago, they all came through here and had to do a 'movement to contact' with a hasty-attack operation before they went 'down range,'" he said.
The Joint Civilian Orientation Conference visited the CCTT site in Grafenwoehr Oct. 19 after spending the morning at a live-fire demonstration and weapons ranges. The conference is a weeklong program meant to familiarize civilian business professionals and civic leaders with the military.