Sustaining Growth, 13th SC(E) Center for Army Lessons Learned Analyst Provides Insight to Future, Gleans Lessons from Past
Story and Photo by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson
13th SC(E) Public Affairs Office
Fort Hood, Texas — The oft-quoted refrain, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it,” is a mantra the analysts of the Center for Army Lessons Learned live by.
Kirk Highberger, CALL analyst for the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), has been at Fort Hood since 1994, when he was stationed here as a senior noncommissioned officer.
Highberger said his background as an intelligence analyst prepared him for the responsibility of providing the 13th with a sense of the pulse and operational tempo of the Sustainment Command on the road to war.
According to the CALL website, the center currently has analysts and liaison personnel embedded with Task Force, Corps, Division, and Brigade sized forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and in the combat training centers.
The CALL website describes the network as a group of analysts which utilize various venues to rapidly share/disseminate information, facilitate integration, and assist in the issue resolution process.
The Harker Heights native continued, “I attend meetings with key leadership within the command, as far as the content, nothing is directive, but there are recommendations.”
“Most of what I do involves a lot of research from day to day,” said the Highberger.
Aside from keeping members of the leadership informed, CALL analysts also provide many services to junior Soldiers and leaders in the command.
“We have quite a few publications designed to help Soldiers at every level,” said Highberger, “Our publications range from a Soldiers’ Handbook called the ‘The First 100 Days’ to guides on ‘Tactical Site Exploitation and Cache Search Operations’.”
Highberger defined his customer base in a sweeping manner, “If you’re in an Army uniform you’re my customer, I don’t care if you’re a private or a general officer.”
“CALL analysts have been placed within units, so that when they’re preparing to go to war, they have access to the most current information available for their training period,” said Highberger.
“My focus has been on the 4th Sustainment Brigade, because they are in the gate ready to go,” Highberger continued, “I provide documentation, respond to [Requests for Information], and the turnaround time for RFIs is 72 hours.”
In addition to traditional forms of research, CALL analysts use information from collection teams.
“The information we get from collection teams is essentially straight from the Soldiers’ mouths,” said Highberger, “They get right on the ground floor with surveys given to Soldiers at school houses and such.”
“The integration of lessons and best practices are an integral part of improving our war fighting capabilities,” said Highberger, “and providing our Soldiers and leaders with the skills and knowledge they need to perform their mission and achieve their goals.”