By Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, USARPAC Public AffairsDecember 2, 2013
BELLOWS AIR BASE, Hawaii (Dec. 2, 2013) -- Disaster or tragedy can strike anywhere in the world. Teams of Soldiers could get called to provide humanitarian assistance or aide at a moment's notice. However, before the Soldiers are able to provide assistance there are teams in place to provide the caregivers with the right resources to facilitate mission success.
Units from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as Department of Defense civilians participated in the 413th Contracting Support Brigade's third annual disaster training exercise held at Hawaii Army National Guard Training Center- Bellows Air Base, Nov. 16-23.
Staff from resource management, legal, and contractors worked through various scenarios throughout the week-long exercise.
"Just like the USARPAC motto, 'we are one team,' it takes all three legs of the Fiscal Triad for us to successfully accomplish our mission and we do that very well," said Col. John Vogel, deputy chief of staff for financial management, U.S. Army Pacific, known as USARPAC.
The USARPAC Fiscal Triad consists of the G-8 budgeting office, the Staff Judge Advocates office and the 413th Contract Support Brigade.
The training exercise presented a unique situation from a centralized location. When resource management, legal, and contracting act as one entity, these components are commonly known as the Fiscal Triad.
"Each leg of the Fiscal Triad works closely together to meet the USARPAC commander's mission, requirements in compliance with law, policy and regulations," said Col. Kevan Jacobson, a staff judge advocate for U.S. Army Pacific. "The Fiscal Triad has truly been a team effort and a case of the group being greater than the sum of its parts."
The Fiscal Triad legally procures the necessary resources needed to sustain Soldiers and host-country nationals during military operations and crises.
While the Soldiers participated in the disaster training exercise, they conducted scenarios that tested their abilities to quickly procure essential resources needed for rapid deployment. They also conducted scenarios where they procured resources to safely sustain long-term operations for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
"The mission focuses around the Fiscal Triad," said Sgt. Maj. Gregory Ransaw, Alexander City, Ala. native, senior financial management advisor for USARPAC. "The tragedy that happened in the Philippines is why we train. These exercises prepare us for the real world. What we're doing here today is relevant and right on time. This training is beneficial to us all."
The Fiscal Triad may not consist of many beach-storming, door kicking Soldiers but these hardcore check-writing legally contract binding Soldiers are being called upon more as global disasters hit hard.
"It's a great learning process for us all," said Ransaw. "This exercise is like a window into what we're doing over here in the Pacific. Disaster training exercises show how prepared we are to maneuver throughout the Pacific when tragedy happens. Having all the components of the Fiscal Triad in a centralized location attributes to quick resolution of issues and reduces the time of getting answers to our Soldiers and customers.
This is the fourth year the 413th Contracting Support Brigade has run the exercise, and the third year that the financial management community is participating. This joint situational exercise helps to provide an overall view or the processes needed to support on-going military operations.
"The goal of this exercise is to make sure that we have a deployable ready Fiscal Triad to go out and be able to respond to missions across the Pacific region," said Col. Martin Zybura, Garfield, N.J., commander of the 413th Contracting Support Brigade. "So when something happens for real, we're able to quickly execute. And it's also important that we bring in other services so that we share joint practices and that we're all are ready to execute."
While it's rare to find all services represented in a centralized location for a training exercise, all services have a version of the Fiscal Triad. It's important in all branches or service that all personnel have the essentials to run any military operation.
"It's very important to come together and hone our skills," said Air Force 1st Lt. Harry Thigpen, a Honolulu resident, a specialized contracting officer for the 766th Specialized Contracting Squadron. "It's our job to help U.S. forces and local nationals procure the resources they would need to sustain life in the aftermath of a disaster. Only when we can come together as a single entity can we bring adequate relief to those in need."
The annual exercise provides valuable learning opportunities for Soldiers to maintain and improve skills in a deployed environment.
This training event is the best I've seen, this is "what right looks like" in the area of training our forces, said Col. Jeffrey C. Powell, United States Army Financial Management, commandant.
As unfortunate as the disaster in the Philippines is, tragedies will occur. As long as the Soldiers in the Pacific region continue to support the surrounding nations, there will be Soldiers helping to ensure they have the life-sustaining resources for stability and mission success.