By Staff Sgt. Melissa WoodMay 24, 2016
SAN MIGUEL, Calif. -- The 224th Sustainment Brigade hit the ground running at Camp Roberts last week in support of the California Army National Guard's 2016 annual training event. The Long Beach unit provides logistical support to the state's military assets for everything from heavy equipment transport to water purification.
The brigade arrived on site to a nearly empty expanse of brush-covered hillside, scattered only with a few small tents to support the organization's extensive tactical operations. Despite its meager beginnings, the 224th's area of operation quickly came to life as the unit's soldiers established essential entry control points, maintenance facilities, field medical treatment facilities, and a Centralized Receiving and Shipping Point to serve as a key logistical node in support of its customer units operating within Camp Roberts, Fort Hunter Liggett, and other points throughout California.
By the end of the day, the formerly empty hillside was scattered with Lightweight Individual Shelters as many soldiers chose to forego cots in large general-purpose tents for their own place under the stars. Food service specialists from the 224th Special Troops Battalion served up a hot meal from their Containerized Kitchen unit, and the worn down troops were finally able to cool off in the shade of the newly erected mess tent.
Over the next two days, the brigade's headquarters element completed construction of its state of the art Standard Integrated Command Post System, which serves as a nerve center for mission coordination across the brigade. Housed within a 6,000 square-foot Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter, the massive multi-tent complex provides a fully operational control center capable of tracking each of the brigade's assets and its movement throughout the state.
In addition to operations within the headquarters element, every battalion within the brigade has made significant contributions to the unit's ongoing sustainment mission.
The 224th Special Troops Battalion's 315th Engineer Vertical Construction Company out of Oxnard is well underway with the reconstruction and renovation of aging World War II era buildings on the installation. In addition to housing the brigade's finance, chemical, signal and engineering assets, the 224th STB also provides critical medical, maintenance and food service operations, as well as training opportunities essential to ensuring the competency of the brigade's soldiers and the success of its ongoing mission.
The 746th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion's 1114th Transportation Company out of Bakersfield is undergoing a landmark transformation from Heavy Line Haul to Composite Truck Company, a first in the state of California. The transition will increase the unit's manning by over 70% and establish an additional detachment in Van Nuys to ensure the unit's decreased response time to natural disasters throughout the area. Over the next two weeks, the company's soldiers will undergo extensive training at Camp San Luis Obispo in coordination with the 223rd Regional Training Institute to become certified on the multiple vehicle systems newly assigned to them.
The 749th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion is in the midst of ongoing operations in support of the 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team's eXportable Combat Training Capability (XcTc) exercise at Fort Hunter Liggett. The battalion is also on the ground at Camp Roberts conducting its logistical and maintenance missions, as well as Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit operations in partnership with its active duty counterpart, the 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command out of Fort Bragg, N.C.
The 340th Brigade Support Battalion is wrapping up its mission at Camp Guernsey, Wyo. for Operation Gunsmoke alongside the Utah Army National Guard. The 340th BSB was tasked with providing sustainment support for more than 1,300 soldiers in six active duty and Army National Guard commands.
Brigade Commander, Col. Julian H. Bond, said that these are not the only active duty units to which the brigade has offered its support this year. The 224th's sustainment mission has also touched the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division and 3rd Cavalry Regiment.
As its list of active duty customers steadily grows, Bond continues to place support to the National Guard and Reserve component among his top priorities.
"We are committed to supporting active duty, National Guard and reserve units in dynamic multifunction sustainment missions," he said.
As the 224th's annual training event continues, Bond is confident that every unit under his command will achieve its goal to man, arm, fuel, fix, move and sustain the force by providing the robust sustainment support services for which the brigade has become known.