For the sixth time in seven years, the Cooperstown Graduate Program has coordinated with the Army Reserves to do field training in the Cooperstown area.
According to CGP Professor Cindy Falk, about 30 soldiers from Fort Drum, six cadets from Syracuse University and six CGP students from her Culture and Collections class worked together on training exercises over a three-day weekend, from Thursday, March 25, to Saturday, March 27.
“We did what we have been doing since 2015,” Falk said. “We just had to do it differently this year.”
To accommodate coronavirus restrictions, the group had a hard cap of 50, Falk said, and the soldiers, cadets and students were kept apart as much as possible to avoid any health issues.
Beginning Thursday, March 25, the soldiers – reservists from the 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion’s Alpha Company in Syracuse – did classroom training, with a remote seminar from Bassett Healthcare Network officials and in person lectures from the CGP and Fort Drum officials.
On Friday, the soldiers and cadets worked on a mass casualty and evacuation drill.
Earlier this month, the Cooperstown community welcomed a group of soldiers from the 403rd Civil Affairs battalion for their monthly training. The visit is part of an ongoing partnership between this unit and SUNY Oneonta’s Cooperstown Graduate Program.
CGP students develop a program about the protection of cultural heritage (think of the Monuments Men during World War II), and the soldiers learn about museum collections and visit the Hall of Fame as well as training with the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade from the New York Army National Guard, which brings Blackhawk helicopters.
Both the soldiers and CGP students and recent graduates participate in a scenario that requires them to think on their feet about how to care for museum collections in times of conflict.
This training event requires numerous collaborations, and we would like to thank the Clark Sports Center, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Bassett Healthcare, Clark Estates and Jane Forbes Clark for the use of facilities; members of the Cooperstown Fire Department for preparing hot food at the end of a cold day; John Odell for sharing his knowledge of baseball’s tangible history; and the CGP students who lent their enthusiasm and creativity to make the exercise a success.
We are happy that our community is able to share its many resources with those who serve our country.