By Sgt. Omar Estrada

1st Cavalry Division public affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - The 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division boasts the first fully operational Deployed Digital Training Center in the Army.

During his tenure as the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. George W. Casey told the Army Training and Doctrine Command, which is located at Fort Eustis, Va., that there was a need for soldiers to be able to take classes and train while deployed, and give them the same education opportunities while deployed as they have at home.

The training center is a portable digital network center that can be set up anywhere in the world where soldiers are deployed that has satellite and land connectivity, just like an office network.

The training campus is a completely self-contained Internet system with 20 laptops, Internet and satellite accessibility. An antenna outside the building connects to a satellite, which beams to Landstuhl, Germany, and then sends information by fiber wire to Fort Eustis.

The system can also provide video tele-training and it is designed for soldiers to conduct structured self-development courses, an advanced leader course, correspondence courses, Rosetta Stone and any other program in the Army e-Learning catalog or the Army management system.

Many students enrolled in military online courses are taking advantage of this free program.

"I'm taking (first phase of the Advanced Leader Course) for professional development, which is programed to actually take 60 hours of class time," said Staff Sgt. Adrian Holler, Alpha Company, 3rd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. "I'm also planning on taking structured self development courses later on this year."

Soldiers also can log in and attend college level courses, since the digital training center has Internet capabilities.

"I got with the education centers (at) Fort Hood, Kuwait and (at Adder), so now I am able to scan and email tuition assistance forms, financial aid requests, and enroll and drop memorandums," Jackson said.

The facility is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and is busiest after 5 p.m., seeing about 200 soldiers each week.

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