Typically, National Guard members are required to attend one drill weekend each month and one annual training period each year (usually 2 weeks in the summer).
Weekend drills usually consist of one Saturday and Sunday each month, but occasionally include reporting for duty on Friday night.
Initially, all non-prior service personnel are required to attend initial entry training (IET), also known as Basic Training.
After Basic Training, soldiers go to their Advanced Individual Training (AIT) which teaches them the special skills they will need for their job in the Guard. These schools can usually be scheduled to accommodate civilian job or school constraints.
Training time is precious to Army National Guard soldiers. That’s why the Guard uses many unique training methods. From "real-life" training exercises, like rotations at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California, to high-tech simulation training and distributed learning, the Army National Guard employs innovative training methods to give its members access to high quality training.
The mission of The Training and Technology Battle Lab (T3BL) is to create state of the art training environments, integrating relevant emerging and Distributive Training Technologies into the live, virtual and constructive environments for our soldiers, communities and nation. T3BL provides a Regional Battle Simulation Training Center that uses state-of-the-art Training Aids, Devices, Simulators and Simulations (TADSS) in live, virtual and constructive environments to enhance the readiness of the Army National Guard, as well as other public entities. T3BL provides alternate training strategies that are very low-cost to the client. Who are those clients? The most obvious is the military, but others include other public entities such as government agencies, police and firefighting forces. The Port Authority of New York/ New Jersey, for example, has received Homeland Security and Weapons of Mass Destructions training through T3BL. In fact, any public entity in need of emergency scenario training might be a T3BL client. T3BL is cost effective (free in most cases). Everything needed for the training is on-site, with skilled trainers in a wide variety of areas. When clients cannot come to the T3BL facility for training, it is possible to arrange training locally.
Civil Support Simulation Exercises
T3BL uses scenarios like this simulated railroad disaster to train clients. How do you prepare emergency first responders to be ready for an emergency without putting them through a real disaster? Experience may be the best teacher, but no one wants to experience a large-scale disaster in order to be prepared! Community-wide disaster drills can be an effective method of training, but they are complex, expensive and can be hazardous to personnel and equipment. A computer simulation exercise is the solution and a perfect alternative to live, costly, complex and dangerous disaster drills. The Army National Guard’s Battle Staff Training Branch (BSTB) is able to run computer simulations that replicate your agency’s equipment and resources at minimal cost in a safe environment. Exercises can be designed to train a myriad of audiences. Scenarios are easily adaptable to train local, state, and federal agencies.
Training ARNG soldiers involves unique challenges such as geographic dispersion, competing civilian employment demands and travel costs. These factors adversely impact the number of Army National Guard soldiers trained each year. Distributed learning uses information age technologies to overcome some of these challenges and increase the number of soldiers trained at home station. Community and quality of life are also enhanced through opportunities for shared usage of ARNG distributed learning facilities.