3rd Sustainment Bde trains for upcoming deployment
February 4, 2010
<b>FORT STEWART, Ga. </b>-According to the Army field manual titled, "Training the Force," the Army's number one priority is training. This is why so much work and effort went into the planning and execution of the 3rd Sustainment Brigade's culminating event, Unified Endeavor 10-1, at Evans Army Airfield, Fort Stewart, Ga.
"This has been six months in the making, and taken more than ten days to set up." said Col. Shawn Morrissey, commander of the 3rd Sustainment Brigade.
The exercise began on Jan. 25 and will conclude Feb. 5. Colonel Morrissey compared the training event to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., where makeshift towns are constructed and convoys travel through, allowing Soldiers to experience what a real Iraqi or Afghan town might be like. In this exercise, there are real life scenarios and computer simulations where the 3rd Sustainment Bde. has to react in real time.
Included in the training are the 43rd Sustainment Brigade out of Fort Carson, Colo., the 632nd Medical Brigade out of Fort Lewis, Wash., and the 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Bde. from Fort Benning, Ga.
They too, are using this training as their culminating event for their upcoming deployments.
Much like NTC, there are observers that follow the event from start to finish, choose which scenarios will be played out, and help coach and mentor Soldiers and leaders on their choices during the exercise. The Battle Command Training Program observers also routinely give after action reviews to provide feedback to the units and help to identify deficiencies, seeking solutions to the problems that may arise.
There are a variety of problems and concerns that can plague Soldiers and their units while downrange including missing weapons, disgruntled Soldiers upset with their unit, accidental weapon discharges, improvised explosive devices and even the death of a Soldier or civilian. All are scenarios that the BCTP could set up and the units at Unified Endeavor must deal with and work through.
"We are humbled by the challenge," said Col. Morrissey speaking of the complexity of this exercise. He then said that the exercise would be an excellent example for the Soldiers in the brigade for when they deploy to Iraq. They will be able to deal with situations as they arise and work through them. They can "make mistakes, and we can refine what we are doing."
He went on to speak on how the 3rd Sustainment Brigade is different than any other brigade at Fort Stewart because of its modular design.
At any one time, the 3rd Sustainment Bde. can have units as small as five Soldiers and as large as 700 Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti or in various parts of the United States.
"In the year that we have been in command, we have never had the entire brigade on one field at one time, and that is over 3,700 Soldiers," said Col. Morrissey of him and his battle buddy, Command Sgt. Maj. Clifton Johnson, the 3rd Sustainment Bde. command sergeant major. He said having to deal with friends and loved ones gone is "a true tribute to the young Soldier in this brigade and their Families."