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Camp Atterbury eyes conferences in new mission

May. 5, 2013 - 02:06PM   |  
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EDINBURGH, IND. — An Indiana military installation is promoting itself as a low-cost and accessible location for meetings of high-ranking military leaders.

Camp Atterbury commander Col. Ivan Denton told The Republic ( ) that the pitch is part of the installation’s efforts to drum up business after the war in Afghanistan winds down. The post expects to lose 300 to 400 jobs this year because it no longer will be mobilizing soldiers for the war, but it expects to remain a key training hub.

Its new mission will include unmanned aerial drone training, cyber warfare operations and major training events.

Maj. Lisa Kopczynski said Camp Atterbury is actively marketing itself to units across the country as a place where they can come to do training.

Denton said officers and their command staff would set up in tents and be given a hypothetical scenario to respond to, such as an attack by North Korea. Soldiers based at Camp Atterbury would portray the enemy.

Command staffs in battalions, brigades and divisions typically go through those training exercises annually and are required to do it for certification every few years to keep their units ready for deployments.

Denton said most infantry units currently go to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for the training, but no post offers it for artillery, battlefield surveillance and combat aviation.

Camp Atterbury hopes to fill that void by offering its facilities year-round.

“We think this has the potential to be our main throughput in the future,” Denton said.

Conferences also would be available year-round, Denton said. He said the post would like to host at least one conference a week at its new 10,000-square-foot conference center and virtual training center.

“A Washington, D.C., hotel room costs $220 a night,” he said. “We can put them up for $40 a night.”

He noted that the installation is easily accessible by plane or interstate and said he hopes the post benefits from a push to have such meetings on military bases.

“We realized that the Department of Defense was concerned about the perception of having conferences in Las Vegas and Hawaii,” he said. “It ends up all over the national news when agency X is having a conference at one of those places, and the Department of Defense recognizes that it’s in everyone’s best interests to save money.”


Information from: The Republic,

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