KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Soldiers with the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command deployed to Rhine Ordnance Barracks in Kaiserslautern, Germany, to support XVIII Airborne Corps during the largest combined airborne training exercise on the continent in decades.
Operation Swift Response was comprised of 11 NATO nations: Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. During the exercise paratroopers from those nations conducted a combined joint forcible entry operation across four European nations. The purpose of the exercise was to test the multinational alliances' capability to rapidly deploy to project power from Europe.
The 3rd ESC's mission during the exercise was to provide mission command for multiple sustainment organizations and logistical task forces that assist Intermediate Staging Bases (ISB).
To support the exercise, the 3rd ESC deployed its Early Entry Command Post (EECP). Col. David Waddell, G3 officer-in-charge (OIC) and 3rd ESC forward commander, described some capabilities of the EECP.
"The EECP is the 3rd ESC's rapidly deployable mission command center," said Waddell. "Through utilization of our logistical channels and our Command Post of the Future, we are able to provide essential logistic support to XVIII Airborne Corps, giving them freedom of maneuver through a variety of sustainment assets."
Operating out of the EECP, the 3rd ESC conducted mission command of ISB-Kaiserslautern, which included locations at Ramstein Air Force Base, Baumholder Training Area and Rhine Ordnance Barracks, ensuring the locations met logistical requirements.
The ISB provided a reception area for incoming troops during the exercise, and coordinated sustainment functions including providing rations, water and lodging and handling many transportation requests,thereby facilitating smooth sustainment operations throughout the exercise.
In addition to supporting ISB-Kaiserslautern, the 3rd ESC worked outside its usual scope of responsibilities, helping the 82nd Airborne Division to operate the departure airfield at Ramstein by transporting riggers and executing jump manifests.
Maj. Dedrick Marshall, human resources operations branch OIC, worked with the 1st Human Resources Sustainment Command and the 82nd Airborne Division to help with the manifests.
"Normally we don't execute jump manifests. That was a major change, but we were able to rapidly assemble a mobile team to adjust to the change," said Marshall "It was a pretty smooth process."
Capt. Chris Howard, G1 plans and operations OIC with the 3rd ESC, was part of the mobile team, and described the process.
"The jump manifest helps ensure accountability of what Soldiers are in which chalk (or group)," said Howard. "After dividing into chalks, they would split up between left and right doors and the Jumpmaster would secure the ID cards, handing them over to us to create the manifests."
Throughout the exercise the 3rd ESC worked above and beyond, providing sustainment support during Operation Swift Response. The lessons learned during the three-week exercise will continue to improve the 3rd ESC, ensuring it remains the premier expeditionary sustainment headquarters as it supports the XVIII Airborne Corps and the Global Response Force.