Army Soldiers complete strenuous transportation training
August 31, 2012
As the military continues to tighten it's budget, an Army command has developed a creative and cost efficient ways to keep Soldiers trained before a deployment.
Soldiers from the 1394th Transportation Brigade (TB) participated in TRANSWARRIOR 2012, a 14-day exercise to enhance technical and tactical skills on Fort Hunter Liggett, August 17-31, 2012.
"Most of our deploying Soldiers are going to Afghanistan where we will be responsible for moving units," said Col. Ronald Lane, Commander, 1394th TB. "This training allows us to do all of the work necessary for a strategic deployment anywhere in the world."
TRANSWARRIOR is a pilot program of the 1394th TB and the Deployment Support Command (DSC), the command headquarters of the 1394th TB. Lane and his staff saw a need in 2011 to develop a real-world scenario that would train their Soldiers in the different areas of their military occupational specialties (MOS).
In coordinating the overall function of a command, the 1394th TB and DSC developed several scenarios to train brigade and battalion staffs interacting with themselves and a higher headquarters staff was developed for this exercise.
"This is the first time we were able to bring the entire brigade together," Lane said. "We are able to see the entire process from start to end including the leadership side, computer systems, and the loading."
While according to Lane, it would be better to be on an actual Fast Sealift Ship, a ship in the Unites States Navy inventory primary used to rapidly transport equipment and supplies of heavy combat units. The 1394th TB was able to replicate everything on Fort Hunter Liggett with plans to continue this exercise in the future.
"The DSC has been in existence for a few years, doing smaller exercises, but this exercise allows us to take it to the next level," Lane added. "We have to continue to plan for not only current, but for future operations."
Soldiers participating in the exercise said this was valuable training and plans to take full advantage of the hands-on experience.
"I just finished AIT (advanced initial training) not too long ago, but it wasn't like this," said Pvt. Standford Martin, a transportation management coordinator (TMC) with the 1180th Port Management Team, El Monte, Calif., a unit under the 1397th Deployment Distribution Support Battalion, Vallejo, Calif. which directly reports to the 1394th TB.
A TMC is primarily responsible for scheduling and selecting the modes of transportation for personnel and equipment. They organize, plan and oversee the movement of those vehicles, personnel and cargo worldwide.
"I'm actually deploying soon, so this training is really good. I'm getting to do call forwards and getting some experience on the different systems and vehicles used," said Martin, of Anaheim, Calif. "It's giving me hands-on experience that I believe will help a lot when I do deploy."
Several units under the 1394th TB including the 643rd Automated Cargo Documentation Detachment (ACD) participated in TRANSWARRIOR. Spc. Elizabeth Scheck, a cargo specialist with the 643rd ACD, explained how beneficial this training was for all Soldiers participating regardless of previous experience.
"In a nutshell, what we do is port management operations," said Scheck. "Being able to do training like this helps us to have knowledge of doing everything step-by-step like at a port."
Although for Scheck the experience can be a little overwhelming, she finds it is well worth attending future TRANSWARRIORS.
"This training has been very intense, but as realistic as can be in the stateside," she said. "It is definitely reinforcing some things and showing some new ways of doing things."
She added how some of the courses are usually taught during a two or three weeklong class, but some of the newer Soldiers are learning most of it in a matter of days. "It's a lot of information all at once, but I think a lot of the Soldiers came prepared to learn, are learning and moving forward with it."