USARPAC commander tours island training sites

| July 29, 2013 | 0 Comments
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Gen. Vincent Brooks (left), commander, U.S. Army-Pacific, and Col. Jack Pritchard, executive officer, USARPAC, survey the land below during an aerial reconnaissance of Hawaii Army facilities across the island, here, July 19. The visit enabled Brooks, who recently assumed command of USARPAC, to meet and greet Soldiers at Schofield Barracks, the Lightning Academy and other Army training areas while simultaneously familiarizing himself with the facilities via a literal bird's-eye view. Also joining Brooks was Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller (right), commander, 25th Infantry Division, and commander, U.S. Army Hawaii. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Crista Mary Mack, U.S. Army-Pacific)

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Gen. Vincent Brooks (left), commander, U.S. Army-Pacific, and Col. Jack Pritchard, executive officer, USARPAC, survey the land below during an aerial reconnaissance of Hawaii Army facilities across the island, here, July 19. The visit enabled Brooks, who recently assumed command of USARPAC, to meet and greet Soldiers at Schofield Barracks, the Lightning Academy and other Army training areas while simultaneously familiarizing himself with the facilities via a literal bird’s-eye view. Also joining Brooks was Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller (right), commander, 25th Infantry Division, and commander, U.S. Army Hawaii. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Crista Mary Mack, U.S. Army-Pacific)

U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs
News Release

FORT SHAFTER — The view from high above the island was majestic, but it was only at ground level that the Army’s newest four-star general was able to see some of the challenges facing commanders in Hawaii.

Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific, took his first aerial and ground tour of island training facilities, July 19.

Two UH-60 Black Hawks from 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, picked up the general on Palm Circle at Fort Shafter and airlifted him to get a birds-eye view of East Range at Schofield Barracks’ Area X, the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility at Kahuku, and Makua Military Reservation (MMR).

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — General Vincent K. Brooks, commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific, conducted an aerial reconnaissance of Hawaii Army facilities across the island of Oahu July 19, embarking from Fort Shafter's Palm Circle. Brooks recently assumed command of USARPAC, so the visit enabled him to meet and greet Soldiers of Hawaii while simultaneously familiarizing himself via a literal bird's eye view. He was joined by Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, 25th Infantry Division commanding general.The two commanding generals visited facilities and Soldiers at Schofield Barracks, the Lightning Academy, and other Army training areas. (photos by Sgt. 1st Class Crista Mary Mack, U.S. Army Pacific)

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — General Vincent K. Brooks, commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific, conducted an aerial reconnaissance of Hawaii Army facilities across the island of Oahu July 19, embarking from Fort Shafter’s Palm Circle. Brooks recently assumed command of USARPAC, so the visit enabled him to meet and greet Soldiers of Hawaii while simultaneously familiarizing himself via a literal bird’s eye view. He was joined by Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, 25th Infantry Division commanding general.The two commanding generals visited facilities and Soldiers at Schofield Barracks, the Lightning Academy, and other Army training areas. (photos by Sgt. 1st Class Crista Mary Mack, U.S. Army Pacific)

“We want to make sure our troops get the best opportunity to train,” said Brooks.

Brooks’ helicopter, with a four-star placard on its side window, landed at 25th ID headquarters where the general received an operational brief and then toured “inadequate” company and battalion operations facilities at B Quad complex, Building 360, and temporary trailers at Martinez Field.

Brooks said he wasn’t pleased with some of the sub-standard conditions.

“It was well worth seeing because of the great sacrifice and morale that I see in our Soldiers. We can be proud of what they’re doing, but need to be more focused on gaining the resources that are needed to help them live in the right kind of standard,” said Brooks.

The facilities currently house units from 2nd Stryker and 3rd Bde. Combat Teams. Brooks was briefed on an alternative plan to fund expansion and movement of these units to upgraded locations on Schofield Barracks until military construction funding is restored.

Brooks also toured MMR and was given a thorough briefing by representatives of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii about MMR’s importance to unit training, as well as its environmental and cultural significances.

“The Army has much to be proud of concerning its environmental stewardship out there. The Army is doing a great job keeping the valley in good shape,” said Brooks, referring to the $4.5 million the Army spends each year to protect cultural sites and to protect and rehabilitate endangered species in the valley.

As wartime operations wind down, the Army’s presence on Oahu will revert to its prewar levels, meaning that there will again be seven full brigades and other large units of Soldiers permanently stationed among Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield and Fort Shafter. The capability to train locally will again be critical.

“Certainly with us being back and committed to the Pacific once again, training opportunities and space will be a premium,” Brooks said.

Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller (left), commander, 25th Infantry Division and senior commander, U.S. Army Hawaii, briefs Gen. Vincent Brooks,  commander, U.S. Army-Pacific, on proposed military construction plans for Quad B and surrounding buildings during a tour at Schofield Barracks, July 19. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army-Pacific)

Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller (left), commander, 25th Infantry Division and senior commander, U.S. Army Hawaii, briefs Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific, on proposed military construction plans for Quad B and surrounding buildings during a tour at Schofield Barracks, July 19. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army-Pacific)

Brooks also landed at East Range in Wahiawa and toured the newly established Lightning Academy, a learning center offering resident courses that mentally and physically challenge young officers and noncommissioned officers on a variety of infantry skills.

The general was also briefed on the return of the Jungle Operations Leaders Course that will call East Range home.

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Category: Leadership, News

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