FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii (August 24, 2009) - The Soldiers of the 8th Theater Sustainment Command (TSC) are once again refining their craft to conduct operations in the Pacific Theater with a command post exercise August 17 through 30 here.

The exercise comes on the heels of the unit becoming fully operational capable, which makes the experience very important to training its veteran and new personnel alike.

"This prepares us by simulating the same conditions we\'ll experience in real world missions," said Staff Sgt. Jarod Weatherford, an information systems operator for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th TSC.

Some of the real world situations the Soldiers of the 8th TSC may respond to include, natural disasters, combat operations, or a humanitarian crisis in the Pacific.

"These exercises are great because we get all the staff elements together," Weatherford said. "The more times we conduct things like this, the easier it becomes because of our established relationships with subordinate commands and with other staff sections."

Col. Bern Ruiz, 8th TSC G-3, said that the unit bears a unique challenge as the senior logistical element in the Pacific. Due to the size of the area under its responsibility, the command must deploy a forward command post [FCP] to Camp Zama, Japan, as well as operate a main command post in Hawaii.

"Sending an FCP to Japan allows us to deploy and take care of a host of sustainment operations," Ruiz said. "These split based operations are manned 24-7, and allow us to support the full spectrum of operations."

The 8th TSC is responsible for sustainment operations throughout the Pacific, covering 11 time zones and more than 9,000 miles. The Soldiers in the main command post here provide the "reach back" capability for the FCP in Japan, allowing them to conduct operations closer to the action.

"This helps the entire unit from the command down to the young Soldier because they get a chance to see the scope of our entire mission and execute our real-world missions," Weatherford said.

When the exercise hit the halfway mark, leaders and Soldiers conducted a mid-point after action review (AAR). This AAR is essential because it reinforces what is going well, and what can be done to improve upon the hard work already accomplished as the exercise moves forward.

"The summer time usually brings around a lot of new faces in any unit, and we have a lot of new faces working in the main command post, but they are all doing a great job and I am proud of them all," Ruiz said. "They continue to improve with each exercise."

Page last updated Tue August 25th, 2009 at 02:07