Taking Technology on the Road

By Beacon Staff

When U.S. Army Maj. Chris Cavin learned the army’s new mobile classroom for training master gunners would be coming from a company in Kalispell his reaction was confusion: “Kalispell, Montana? Where is that?”

A year later, Cavin was happy to be visiting the Kalispell for the first time. “I’m very glad we figured out where it was. The quality of the work Nomad Technologies has done for us speaks for itself. We’re stunned at what they gave us.”

Cavin was on hand for Nomad Technologies unveiling of their latest mobile command facilities, a mobile classroom designed for .50 caliber weapons training, maintenance and operation and a mobile training environment for the MIA2 tank. Nomad Technologies is a locally owned and operated company that builds custom communications vehicles for emergency response crews and the military.

Around 100 people gathered at the Nomad Technologies site at 3240 U.S. Highway 2 E. Friday morning to tour the new army training vehicles and other examples of Nomad’s work.

Cavin said when the Army came to Nomad last year they had little more than “a three paragraph thing saying we’d like to take this course somewhere.” The end result surpassed all expectations: “This trailer is better than the brick and mortar classrooms we have now. We might have to move the courses to the parking lot.”

The sleek, black 16-wheel trailers include flat screen televisions, large projectors, stadium seating, audio and video systems and adjustable workstations. Cavin, who is based at Fort Cox, Texas, said the current schedule for soldier deployment to Iraq – 15 months deployments, followed by a 12 to 15 month return home, and then often another deployment – has cut his time to train master gunners. By mobilizing the training site, Cavin said the army could increase the number of soldiers it trains and decrease a soldiers time away from home.

“All the little stuff when a guy comes back cuts away at that leave time,” he said. “If I can go to them and they can go home to their wife and kids after training that’s better for everyone.”

Nomad Technologies President Will Schmautz said the master gunner command centers were a sign of the company’s growth since its inception five-and-a-half years ago. “Our first location was in a barn. It’s amazing to see where we’ve come from and where we are today.”