By Cmdr. Christopher Riordan, USNRJuly 20, 2017
ALAMEDA, California -- The 599th Transportation Brigade's Navy element participated in Exercise Big Logistics over the Shore-West July 14-17.
"Exercises like Big LOTS-West build deployment readiness across the total force," said Col. Michael Knapp, 599th Transportation Brigade commander. "They prepare our Navy reserve element for their wartime mission, which is critical to the success of the 599th and SDDC."
Navy Reserve Military Surface Distribution and Deployment Command - Pacific (NR SDDC Pacific) is a Navy unit operationally aligned to the 599th and administratively homeported at Navy Operational Support Center in Alameda, California.
599th Transportation Brigade's total force integration partner, 1394th Transportation Brigade, headquartered at Camp Pendleton, California, led the planning, integration, and execution of Big LOTS-West.
"The [599th] Navy team's participation in this exercise is an example of partnership between the 599th and 1394th Transportation Brigades," said Cmdr. Ned Swanson, NR SDDC Pacific commanding officer.
Big LOTS-West is an Army Reserve functional exercise that is part of the Army Reserve's training strategy (ARTS). The exercise focused on enhancing unit readiness by conducting both live and virtual training. More than 1,500 Soldiers and Sailors took part in the annual training at sites along the West Coast.
BIG LOTS-West itself is an example of a training partnership that builds a stronger and more resilient joint team by combining complementary Army and Navy logistics forces in a robust training setting.
"Partnerships such as these only help to solidify the need for joint exercises across the transportation system," said Navy Lt. Todd McAlister, NR SDDC Pacific. "These type of evolutions strengthen all our abilities to achieve and produce mission success."
NR SDDC Pacific integrated with the 359th Transportation Battalion (USAR), which traveled from Fort Eustis, Virginia. During the exercise, the NR SDDC Pacific team observed and participated in both live and simulated scenarios at the Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area in Dublin and Alameda Point, at the former Alameda Naval Air Station.
Training events included cargo loading and off-loading, ship familiarization, 359th Inland Cargo Transfer Company operations, establishment of a Navy Expeditionary Medical Facility, daily briefings, command and control exercises at multiple locations and across multiple echelons, and warrior training.
"Opportunities to train in a Joint Logistics environment affords us the ability to identify similarities while bridging differences," said Lt. Cmdr. Rodger Moore, NR SDDC Pacific training officer. "This training environment builds and reinforces the foundation for sustained joint operational success."