316th ESC trains at North Fort Hood for upcoming deployment
By Spc. Gregory A. Prunty Jr., 119th Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentFebruary 10, 2017
NORTH FORT HOOD, Texas-- Throughout history, the way battles are fought is ever-changing. As the battlefield changes, so must the Soldiers who fight on it. The 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) is adapting with the facilitation of the Warfighter Exercises (WFX) here as part their pre-deployment training.The WFX is a two-week long command and control exercise to test and evaluate a headquarters reaction, and method of battle pertaining to its management and execution abilities, through a virtual battlefield.Leading the unit through this WFX iteration is Col. Rock Henry, chief of staff of 316th SC.
"Warfighter Exercises have multiple purposes," said Henry. "Mainly to exercise the staff, their processes and to actually exercise the warfighter functions in preparation for deployment."The joint exercise will improve how information flows between higher echelons of command and subordinate units, making communication more clear and concise."Normally, when a reserve unit deploys, they have a large number of cross levels," said Henry. "Those are soldiers that join the unit. Since we have a large number of cross levels this exercise allows us to integrate the old soldiers with the new, so we can have a shared understanding of how we are going to sync operations going forward."The WFX provides training to participating soldiers going into a deployment. The 316th's dedication to the mission reflects their motto: "Sustain the Victory.""It allows us to see ourselves," said Henry. "We perceive that we are at a certain level of readiness, but the rigor of the warfighter allows the soldier to make a good, honest self-assessment of where we are right now, and it shows we have a lot more to learn."The WFX is more than a training tool. It also builds the deploying soldier's confidence in their battle tasks, drills and abilities."I found in my experience that when soldiers deploy, it increases retention," said Henry, a 34-year veteran. "Soldiers join the Army for a purpose, and that purpose is to serve. There is no other pleasure or glory to serve other than combat."The upcoming deployment will be the Pennsylvania-based unit's third tour."It gives the state a sense of pride that their citizen-soldiers are contributing to the fight against ISIS", said Henry.Though the WFX is only a few weeks long, there is much to do and much more to take away.
"By the end of the warfighter we will be ready to go," said Henry. "That's what excites me, the growth process and the maturity going into theatre."