25th represented at symposium

| April 18, 2014 | 0 Comments
Instructors of 25th ID's JOTC demonstrate some of the equipment used in jungle operations during the Land Forces in the Pacific conference. This year is the first that JOTC has appeared at LANPAC. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica DuVernay, 25th ID PAO)

Instructors of 25th ID’s JOTC demonstrate some of the equipment used in jungle operations during the Land Forces in the Pacific conference. This year is the first that JOTC has appeared at LANPAC.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica DuVernay, 25th ID PAO)

Story and photo by
Sgt. Jessica DuVernay
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

HONOLULU — People attending this year’s Land Forces in the Pacific conference, hosted by the Association of the United States Army, were greeted a little differently at the 25th Infantry Division booth by Soldiers wearing battle dress uniforms and a jungle survival equipment display.

The Sheraton Hotel, here, was filled with military officials and civilians from various countries across the Pacific, April 8-10, for the conference.

The division’s booth highlighted the most recent integral parts of the division that included new technology, maritime operations and the newest asset of the division, the Jungle Operations Training Center (JOTC) through the division’s Lightning Academy.

“25th ID has built the capability to operate effectively in jungle environments through the development of the JOTC,” said Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, commander, 25th ID.

The division has been present both years of the LANPAC convention to be held; however, this year was the first that JOTC was highlighted.

“We wanted to ensure that we were highlighting the unique capabilities in the division, and JOTC is a critical piece of what we’re trying to do within the division,” said Maj. Eric Haas, plans officer, 25th ID.

“Part of operating in the jungle requires very specific training, very specific equipment and … very seasoned Soldiers to go through that training. So, by highlighting what the JOTC does here at LANPAC, it gives us a chance to talk to both the U.S. Army-Pacific staff, U.S. Pacific Command staff, and also the larger Army audience who come out to this conference from the mainland,” Haas explained.

“It gives us the opportunity to broadcast to the wide audience about what JOTC is first, and secondly, that it does require some support from larger Army if we wish to maintain this capability within our force,” Haas added.

Fuller was on the third panel of the convention; he focused on land power throughout the PACOM area of responsibility and spoke about JOTC and maritime environments.

“To produce environmentally seasoned Soldiers, 25th ID has focused its efforts on the three major terrain types we expect to operate in: jungle, maritime and urban. The two unique to the Pacific are operations in the jungle and maritime environments,” said Fuller.

Several who visited the booth were interested in talking to instructors and recent graduates of the course.

“We’re transitioning from the wars that we’ve fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and getting back into the jungle environment, so jungle warfare is going to be one of the biggest fights that we will fight in our next battle,” said Sgt. 1st Class Dominick Johnson, JOTC senior instructor.

As distinguished visitors and PACOM leadership visited the booth, the graduates of the inaugural course were able to highlight some of the skills they had learned while at the course, like water purification and simple rope-making skills.

“Being able to prepare for it and using the skills that we have to offer the division and the Army is pretty crucial,” explained Johnson.

The JOTC instructors were there to answer any questions guests may have had.

“We are here to show our host nations and other military or people who are not in the 25th ID what JOTC has to offer and what kind of curriculum we are teaching,” explained Staff Sgt. Anthony Morris, JOTC instructor. “We give them an overview of what kind of training is going to be happening when we send Soldiers or units through JOTC and the capabilities that we have to facilitate units or Soldiers.”

As the conference came to a close, the division representatives offered water that had been purified on the spot to visitors of the booth and explained the importance of the training.

“This is awesome,” explained Johnson. “Being one of the first ones to do anything remotely close to

jungle in the division was an honor for me, and to see where it’s come from since 2011 to now is pretty amazing.”

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