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Stewart adding to training repertory
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With Wednesday’s approval of funding for a new Urban Assault Course on Fort Stewart, 3rd Infantry Division soldiers can expect more realistic urban combat training to be in place next year.
Base commanders worked with U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) and Pentagon officials to have money reprogrammed for the $3.5 million facility after recognizing the need for a UAC “as a number one priority for Major Construction Army (MCA) training support projects at Fort Stewart.”
“This course is vital to help soldiers prepare for urban and underground encounters,” Kingston said. “We must have these facilities to support our troops as they prepare to continue to fight the global war on terrorism.”
The UAC is the key facility in the Army’s Combined Arms MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) Training Facility (CAMTF) strategy. Its five stations provide instruction on important MOUT “crawl and walk” tasks such as entering and clearing buildings and rooms as an individual, team, squad and platoon.
Urban combat preparation on Fort Stewart currently consists of a live-fire shoot house and a simulated town with several buildings.
Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said the UAC will be a step-up from the urban terrain training now available.
“The new Urban Assault Course expands upon what we have and will give Fort Stewart units expanded training capabilities to perfect their urban combat skills,” he said in a written statement.
The course will primarily be used for instructing soldiers stationed at Fort Stewart and Army National Guard and Reserve units that train on the base, but requests from other units to use the facility will be supported based on availability.
While the base has been looked at as a possible home for another brigade combat team due to “the global repositioning of forces,” Larson said the expansion in training is not a sign more soldiers are headed for Fort Stewart.
“If a brigade were to be repositioned, DoD (Department of Defense) is the release authority on that,” he said. “Since there has been no DoD release saying a brigade is coming here, the answer is no, no more soldiers are coming to Fort Stewart at this time.”
Construction of the new UAC is expected to begin in May and should be completed by May 2008.

Where else?

Only Forts Benning, Bragg and Drum presently have UACs in use, but the goal is for every installation with Forces Command units to have at least one course for training.

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