Unit Sustainment



Land navigation is a skill that is highly perishable. The soldier must continually make use of the skills he has acquired to remain proficient in them. The institution is responsible for instruction in the basic techniques of land navigation. The institution tests these skills each time a soldier attends a leadership course. However, it is the unit's responsibility to develop a program to maintain proficiency in these skills between institution courses. The unit sustainment program provides training that will build on and reinforce the skills the soldier learned in the institution. It should use the building­block approach to training: basic map reading instruction or review, instruction on land navigation skills, dead reckoning training, dead reckoning practice, terrain association training, terrain association practice, land navigation testing, and building of leader skills. These reader skills should include following a route selected by the commander and planning and following a route selected by the leader. The unit trainer should be able to set up a sustainment program, a train­the­trainer program, and a land navigation course for his unit's use. It is recommended that units develop a program similar to the one outlined in this chapter. Complete lesson outlines and training plans are available by writing to Commander, 29th Infantry Regiment, ATTN: ATSH­INB­A, Fort Benning, GA 31905­5595.

The purpose of setting up a sustainment program in the unit is to provide soldiers with training that will reinforce and build on the training they have received in the institution. All soldiers should receive this training at least twice a year. It will also provide the unit with means of identifying the areas in which the soldiers need additional training.

a. Training Guidance. The unit commander must first determine the levels of proficiency and problems that his unit has in land navigation. This can be done through after­action reports from the unit's rotations to NTC/JRTC, ARTEP final reports, feedback from his subordinates, personal observation, and annual training. Once the unit commander decides where his training time should be concentrated, he can issue his training guidance to his subordinate leaders. He will also direct his staff to provide training sites, resources, and time for the units to train land navigation. It is recommended that land navigation be trained separately, not just included as a subtask in tactical training.

b. Certification. The unit commander must also provide his subordinate commanders with a means of certifying training. The unit staff must provide subject matter experts to ensure training meets the standards decided upon by the unit commander. Instructors should be certified to instruct, and courses should be certified prior to use by the unit.

c. Program Development. The sustainment program should be able to meet the requirements of all of the unit's soldiers. It should address all skills front basic map reading to leaders, planning and executing a route. The program should cover the following:

Diagnostic examination.
Map reading instruction/review.
Land navigation skills training.
Dead reckoning training/practice.
Terrain association training/practice.
Land navigation written/field examination.
Leaders' training and testing.
The sustainment program should be developed and then maintained in the unit's training files. The program should be developed in training modules so that it can be used as a whole program or used separately by individual modules. It should be designed so the commander can decide which training modules he will use, depending on the proficiency of the unit. The unit commander need only use those modules that fit his training plan.