By Staff Sgt. Aaron KnowlesJune 30, 2014
FORT STEWART, GA - Soldiers of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 42nd Fires Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, participated in a Tactical Operations Center setup exercise, June 24.
The TOC setup was part of a "crawl, walk, run" training exercise that is preparing the 42nd FiB soldiers for a validation exercise later this year.
According to Sgt. 1st Class Ronald Herd, a native of Columbia, South Carolina, and the operations sergeant major for 42nd FiB, 3rd ID, the validation exercise is the true test for the 42nd FiB, and their ability to accomplish their mission in a war time scenario.
The TOC setup was focused on familiarizing new soldiers with the Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter.
"Setting up the DRASH is part of our war fighting function," Herd said. "It will be a part of our validation exercise that we are preparing for in December. This is our first time as a group to come together and establish a TOC, so in essence, this is one of our weapons systems. We can't fight without it."
Ralph Hodgden, a native of Smith Station, Al and a business development representative for DHS technologies, was onsite to assist the 42nd FiB soldiers with the DRASH System and it's components.
"These guys are great," Hodgden said. "Since the first time they set it up, they have cut their time down to a third of it."
According to Hodgden, the military is one of DHS's primary customers, using the DRASH system as anything from a recreation area to hospital shelters, but no matter what it's used for, it needs to be taken care of.
"Treat it like it's your own," Hodgden said. "I've been in the Army. We all know that if it gets damaged, it will take time to get new pieces, so treat it like it is your own."
"Right now there is not a lot of stress on the soldiers other than focusing on putting up the tent and learning the important parts of it," Herd said. "The good thing about this is that soldiers are walking away from this with a lot more 'tools in their kit bag,' than they had when they started."