Division West hosts sustainment training symposium
March 12, 2012
FORT HOOD, Texas -- Key senior logisticians from throughout the Army met here March 7 for the third annual First Army Sustainment Unit Logistics Training Symposium hosted by Division West.
Representatives of units from various levels, including Army and Forces Command Logistics, attended the event so Division West, which trains Army National Guard and Army Reserve sustainment units, can refine future logistics training.
The 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, whose business is providing beans and bullets in theater, participated via video teleconference from Afghanistan. They shared their experiences about what works, what does not, and what needs improvement in the current logistics effort.
"They are all briefing us on their ongoing missions, how they are task-organized and how follow-on forces can be better prepared to assume their missions," said Maj. Jose Martinez, Division West Logistics training and mobilization officer.
Symposium participants agreed that applying lessons learned during persistent conflict has enabled the Army to better train logistics Soldiers before they deploy to Afghanistan.
"We need to understand the lessons learned, the observations and the insights that have been developed over the past couple rotations, and then we can embed these lessons learned inside the training centers," said Brig. Gen. Jack O'Connor, head of Forces Command Logistics from Fort Bragg, N.C.
The Logistics Symposium underscored First Army's obligation to train Soldiers for the environments of Afghanistan and Kuwait so they can effectively and efficiently execute the mission the Army directs them to do.
"The great thing about this meeting is that the sustainment community is a small community, so we all know each other," said Maj. Gen. Mark MacCarley, First Army deputy commanding general for support. "Those commanders and their senior enlisted leaders (in theater) are telling us what's happening and how we can best help them as we train new units."
Tapping into a sense of responsible tax dollar stewardship, MacCarley said Division West kept the conference at only one day, compared to previous years' two-day events. "We had people sitting over a working lunch," he added. "We didn't have substantial breaks, if we had any breaks at all."
The symposium provided critical material for Division West's sustainment unit training mission, MacCarley said.
"We are going to take all that valued information, both the critical and the praiseworthy," MacCarley said, "put it all together, distill out a summary and use that summary to improve the manner in how we train those Guard and Reserve Soldiers."