By Mr. Stephen Standifird (Leonard Wood)May 26, 2016
The United States Army has made readiness for the possibility of a deployment its No. 1 priority for all Soldiers and units.
For the 5th Engineer Battalion, a U.S. Army Forces Command on Fort Leonard Wood, that means its companies and Soldiers need to be ready to deploy at a moments notice. Because of that, the battalion took time to test its deployment readiness May 16 through 19.
"We haven't done one in two years. We wanted to test the systems on Fort Leonard Wood, and ourselves, to see if we could and what is needed to make that happen, if we needed to deploy," said Capt. Michael Tarasiewicz, assistant operations officer, 5th Engineer Battalion.
According to Lt. Col. Jacqueline Reini, 5th Engr. Bn. commander, this exercise is something that "needs to be codified and will help us fill the gap."
"I see this as a great exercise for us, to ensure that we're not scrambling around when we get called," she added.
Tarasiewicz, said the battalion tested 100 percent of the personnel and about 25 percent of containers and vehicles, to get a good idea of where 5th Engr. Bn. stood.
"We shortened everything up and did a small sampling of our unit rather than trying to move the entire battalion just for an exercise," he said. "If we honestly tried to push the entire battalion, that might be a large stressor both on the installation and on ourselves."
The exercise included individual Soldier Readiness Plans, company-led inspections, closing out barracks, vehicle maintenance inspections, receiving briefs from the installation, container loading and a short convoy.
In the end, Tarasiewicz said the battalion met its goal.
"In today's Army, it's massively important to be ready for a deployment," he said. "With the war on terror going on, you never know when something is going to occur and the United States is going to need Soldiers. Being ready at a moments notice is always key. The 5th is ready."