CAMP ZAMA, Japan -- More than 200 Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians, and contractors converged on this small Army post, located in the southern part of Tokyo, for a two-week command post exercise which began March 9. A lot of prior planning, schedule adjustments, and generous assistance from Camp Zama personnel ensured that this vital training exercise went off without a hitch.

The first area 8th Theater Sustainment Command and U.S. Army Garrison, Japan officials looked at was where to house all of the personnel. Billeting space is finite on any military post, so the command in Japan had to be creative.

"Originally, our initial courses of action had the 8th TSC living in tents at Sagami Depot and taking buses to Camp Zama," said Col. Robert Waltemeyer, garrison commander, U.S. Army Garrison, Japan. "So we looked at the resources we had here on Camp Zama, and moved the 8th TSC Soldiers right into the training area so that they could maximize their time here on Camp Zama doing training."

Another area of concern for Waltemeyer and Camp Zama officials was how to feed the surge of additional Soldiers in the dining facility during normal hours, and ensuring that the night shift personnel were taken care of as well.

"We had to adjust our schedule quite a bit, because we aren\'t accustomed to feeding such a large group in that amount of time," said Michael Horne, Camp Zama dining facility manager. "We are used to feeding 50 to 60 people, so the increase to 150 people makes a big difference for us here, but we made it through."

8th TSC Soldiers enjoyed the use of the drop-off laundry facilities, a Post Exchange, food court, Shoppette, and a world-class fitness center, all within easy walking distance of the billeting areas.

"We couldn't have done this exercise without the awesome support of U.S. Army, Japan, and U.S. Army Garrison, Japan," said MG Raymond V. Mason, commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. "The close proximity of the facilities to the command post exercise made the most efficient use of our training time here on Camp Zama."

According to Waltemeyer, Camp Zama garrison personnel also received a training benefit from this command post exercise.

"The garrison has a standing responsibility to take care of anyone that comes through Japan to train to maintain their combat readiness," Waltemeyer explained. "We took this opportunity to train some of our deployment and redeployment activities, and to get a hands-on feel for the requirements, in case we have to move Soldiers around."

The 8th TSC will return to Camp Zama periodically to continue refining the processes and procedures for their forward command post. The command post exercise concludes on March 20.