DDTCs provide essential training to Soldiers in Kuwait

ATIS equipment
Product Manager ATIS’s DDTC package includes satellites that provide connectivity. (U.S. Army photo by Brandon Hazelwood)
Mission Area
Rachel Christie, Army Training Information System
August 4, 2023

During COVID-19, the Army waived the requirement for Soldiers to take the Basic Leader Course (BLC) prior to their promotion. The BLC provides fundamental skills in leadership training for non-commissioned officers (NCO) and is the first course in a junior enlisted Soldier’s progression through the NCO ranks. Without the course, a Soldier cannot move forward in his or her career.

One particular Army National Guard unit had a challenge earlier this year. They were being deployed overseas to Kuwait, and Soldiers needed to complete the course within the following six months, lest they lose their promotions. The unit turned to Product Manager (PdM) Army Training Information System (ATIS) — part of Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems’ Army Data and Analytics Platforms portfolio — for help via its Deployed Digital Training Campuses (DDTCs).

ATIS maintains a suite of 20 DDTCs, which are portable digital classrooms with satellite communications that provide Soldiers with the ability to continue military education and surge training at no cost to the unit while deployed. Each campus is equipped with 21 laptop workstations, internet accessibility, video tele-training and voice over internet protocol. The “classrooms in a box” connect via satellite or local area network, can be set up in less than two hours and are easily transported by the unit. Every year, over 1,700 Soldiers successfully maintain readiness by using a DDTC. 

“The Basic Leader Course is critical for a Soldier’s career advancement,” said Tim Hale, ATIS product manager. “Soldiers have to be able to access this training whenever possible, and the DDTCs are able to meet that need.”

The National Guard initially approached PdM ATIS with their requirement in February 2023. In less than three months, the ATIS team was able to prepare and ship four DDTCs halfway around the globe to the unit. Deploying the four systems required hundreds of man-hours and dedication from the PdM ATIS team and Soldiers on the ground to complete the mission.

“The Soldiers using the DDTCs in Kuwait are a perfect example of why these systems were built,” Hale said. “These tools provide an invaluable service to the Army by bringing training to the Soldiers instead of the other way around. No matter where they are, Soldiers can do their training and keep their Army career progressing without any disruptions.”

The National Guard unit will continue to use the DDTCs until they complete their course in September 2024.

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