The Army Reserve is composed of maneuver support, force sustainment, and specialized support units. In general, Reserve units operate at the division, corps, and theater levels where they provide area and general support instead of direct support to maneuver forces.

So how does the Army Reserve train its sustainment forces? The Army Reserve Command (USARC) oversees and routinely conducts and integrates training exercises for both general support and direct support sustainment operations.


Big Logistics Over-the-Shore (LOTS) is a training exercise for units in multiple stages of Sustainable Readiness. Under Sustainable Readiness, Army Reserve units build readiness progressively over a five-year cycle (four prepare years and one available year).

The focus of this exercise is fourfold:

• To practice planning, directing, and coordinating port, terminal, and LOTS operations.
• To develop and sustain Soldiers' technical skills.
• To perform shipboard and pierside cargo loading and offloading operations.
• To practice ocean terminal cargo documentation.

Training conducted during Big LOTS is based on mission-essential task lists (METLs), affording units the opportunity to meet their specific Sustainable Readiness training target points.

Big LOTS exercises are conducted at two locations. Big LOTS East is conducted annually near Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. It uses the installation's Third Port, the Naval Supply Center at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown-Cheatham Annex, and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story. This exercise is intended for units in the Sustainable Readiness prepare years 1 and 2.

Big LOTS West is conducted annually in California near Camp Parks, the Port of Alameda, and Military Ocean Terminal Concord. This exercise is intended for units in prepare years 3 and 4.


Control Move is a training event that develops and sustains movement control units. The event focuses on training transportation management coordinator skills and movement control team proficiency at home station. This training is accomplished using distributed learning platforms or with assistance from mobile training teams.

Nationwide Move is a training exercise that provides transportation and support units with valuable, realistic training by moving cargo across the continental United States. The focus of the exercise is to develop and sustain Soldiers' technical skills, identify and prepare cargo for movement, and conduct transportation operations.

This training is METL-focused and affords units the opportunity to train and meet individual, crew, team, and squad levels of proficiency in Sustainable Readiness prepare year 2 and potentially prepare year 4.

Nationwide Move transportation assets come from Warrior Exercise and Combat Support Training Exercise troop lists. The assets are tasked to maximize multiechelon training while supporting equipment moves for those Army Reserve exercises.


The Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise is for units in Sustainable Readiness prepare year 1 through available. The exercise focuses on the technical aspects of theater bulk petroleum and bulk water operations, including storage, production, and on-time distribution.

The Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise consists of multiple petroleum and water units operating in multiple locations to provide petroleum support. This support includes actual fuel deliveries to both Defense Logistics Agency Energy and its customers and water deliveries to other customers.

The Forces Command Petroleum Training Module (FPTM) at Fort Pickett, Virginia, provides additional petroleum training. The FPTM offers the only fuel pipeline and terminal operations training for land-based forces within the Department of Defense. Instructors provide training on storage and distribution equipment for the inland petroleum distribution system (IPDS) as well as mobile petroleum laboratory operations.

The FPTM provides comprehensive IPDS construction, operations, and maintenance training for Army and joint forces. The training program provides a first-class experience that allows commanders to use METL assessments to develop their training plans in order to maximize hands-on training and tailor the level and frequency of technical and tactical training to the units' needs.


The Mortuary Affairs (MA) Exercise is for MA units in Sustainable Readiness prepare year 1 through available. The focus of this exercise is to develop and sustain MA Soldiers' technical skills. It is also designed to train MA units to conduct search and recovery missions, set up and operate MA collection points, establish theater mortuary evacuation points, and set up and operate personal effects depots.

This training provides units with the opportunity to practice and meet individual and collective tactical and technical proficiency. The exercise also serves as a venue for multiechelon training, especially for MA Soldiers in theater sustainment commands, expeditionary sustainment commands, sustainment brigades, and combat sustainment support battalions.


Diamond Saber is an exercise that provides technical training for financial management (FM) Soldiers. This premier functional training, held at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, focuses on FM processes and automated systems.

It includes both classroom-based technical training and interactive mission scenarios. Diamond Saber is designed to provide training for about 533 Soldiers. This event is integrated into the Combat Support Training Exercise, which is coordinated by the 86th Training Division.

Diamond Saber is a multiechelon and multicomponent exercise for echelons-above-corps financial management support centers (FMSCs), company-level FM support units, and FM support detachments. All of these units are composed of active and reserve component elements.

The 469th FMSC from New Orleans was the USARC action agent for Diamond Saber 2016. The 469th FMSC developed and implemented FM operations and disbursement training. It also coordinated with the Financial Management Command (for commercial vendor services training) and with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (for military pay training).

The qualified and experienced FM Soldiers who act as role players contribute a great deal to Diamond Saber's success. The exercise replicates the FM operational environment, which requires information systems to perform FM missions.

Every year, Diamond Saber hosts distinguished visitors from the FM community and key leaders from the National Guard and Reserve. Hosting key leaders is important because it allows those outside of the FM community to see the training value and the cost effectiveness of this premier functional exercise.


Human Resources (HR) Train is an exercise held at Fort McCoy. Through this exercise, units conduct theater, multiechelon, and multifunctional training.

The exercise develops and sustains HR Soldiers' technical skills by focusing on three HR core competencies: man the force, provide HR services, and conduct HR planning and operations.

The 310th Human Resources Sustainment Center was the USARC action agent for HR Train 2016. The 310th's plans officer oversaw the development and planning of HR Train, which emphasized casualty operations, personnel accountability, and postal operations.

CASUALTY OPERATIONS. When casualty liaison teams integrate with the combat support hospital during the HR exercise, Soldiers can practice casualty operations. The liaison teams initiate and track all casualty reports for the units at the base camp. This gives the liaison teams the experience they need in order to become familiar with casualty reporting procedures and timelines.

PERSONNEL ACCOUNTABILITY. Personnel accountability is conducted by employing a theater gateway personnel accountability team to perform reception, staging, onward movement and integration activities for the exercise. Personnel accountability teams use the Tactical Personnel System and the Deployed Theater Accountability System to account for all personnel arriving and departing the area of operations.

POSTAL OPERATIONS. Postal operations entail establishing an Army post office on each base camp and a military mail terminal on cantonment. The mail terminal serves as the location for actual incoming mail. During the exercise, the base camp post offices become fully functioning post offices conducting incoming and outgoing mail operations.

HR Train was replaced in fiscal year 2017 by HR Warrior. HR Warrior focuses on all four of the HR core competencies, including coordinate personnel support.


The Trans Mariner exercise supports Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command operations at Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point, North Carolina. The exercise trains port operations units, other transportation units, and ammunition units from the Ordnance Corps on a rotational basis.

The exercise supports Army pre-positioned ammunition afloat, including vessel download, reception, staging, onward movement, and vessel upload operations. Training tasks include port operations, the movement of containers within the installation, movement control, and logistics support.


The Trans Warrior exercise focuses on Deployment Support Command units in Sustainable Readiness prepare year 1 through available. The exercise focuses on Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command-aligned units and processes.

The exercise develops and sustains Soldier's technical skills. It includes individual automation systems training and culminates in loading planned ship, rail, and air cargo configurations.

So, how does the Army Reserve train its sustainment forces? Using training exercises that embody the Army Total Force Policy, the Army Reserve challenges units to meet and maintain the standards set for real-world operations anytime and anywhere.
Lt. Col. Ricky J. Janis is the quartermaster and transportation standard requirements code manager for the G-3/7 Collective Training Division, USARC. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from West Virginia University. He is a graduate of the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course, Quartermaster Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and Command and General Staff Officers' Course.

The author would like to thank the team of the USARC G-3/7 Collective Training Division for their contributions to this article.
This article was published in the May-June 2017 issue of Army Sustainment magazine.