By U.S. Army Japan Public AffairsAugust 22, 2008
CAMP ZAMA, Japan - The 8th Theater Sustainment Command Forward Command Post held training in the state-of-the-art I Corps (Forward)/U.S. Army Japan Command Center the week of Aug. 18 in an effort to streamline its responses to crises within the Pacific theater. This is the first time the 8th TSC, which provides logistical and sustainment support for the entire Pacific region, has conducted training at Camp Zama.
8th TSC commander, MG Raymond V. Mason, said the training exercise is an excellent opportunity that will help increase the capabilities of the Army's mission here in the Pacific region.
"The main purpose for us in this exercise was to deploy our forward command post. Our command post has several different sizes. We have a light, medium and heavy, and we basically deployed our light side of about 30 people," Mason said.
Mason said this is the first time the 8th TSC has deployed a forward command post and the unit is using this opportunity to work through various standard operating procedures and that the exercise is a "great workout" for the command.
"I specifically want to thank Brig. Gen. Wiercinski, Command Sgt. Maj. Franklin, and their staff for their great hospitality and their cooperation. We have put ourselves inside their command center and it's gone seamlessly," Mason said. "It really has been a great opportunity to build our relationship because the 8th TSC has a responsibility to support the United States Army Japan and the United States Forces Japan for logistics operations and executions in this area."
The more than 5,500 Soldiers of the 8th TSC are currently performing a number of critical roles throughout the region.
"We have engineering units and military police units that train with our allies and partners throughout the Pacific Rim. We do exchanges of personnel, they come visit us, we go visit them," Mason said. "We have been involved in synchronizing logistics support to some of the humanitarian operations that have happened in the last couple of years."
Mason said the 10th Support Group in Okinawa, part of the 8th TSC, has a responsibility to provide emergency relief items such as tents, blankets and various medical supplies in the event of a humanitarian crisis. Because of the enormity of the Pacific theater, the 8th TSC has to be ready at a moment's notice to overcome any challenge for any mission or humanitarian crises that may arise in the region.
"You're dealing with different environments, geography, weather, and you have to be prepared for that. You have so many different nations, languages, and cultures that you've got to be attuned to and understand how things operate in different countries around the world," Mason said. "We spend a fair amount of time before we deploy, training Soldiers and providing them with briefings and videos on the cultural aspects of the nations we are going to train with."