Tullahoma, Tennessee -- The 30th Combat Service Support Battalion, Tennessee National Guard, conducted a week-long mission readiness exercise at their home station National Guard armory, with the support of the 2-393rd Brigade Support Battalion, 120th Infantry Brigade, and the 5-306th Brigade Support Battalion, 188th Combined Arms Training Brigade, First Army, August 8-12, to prepare for an upcoming mission in Afghanistan.
"The end-state is to replicate what is going on in Afghanistan, in addition to meeting the commander's training guidance," said Capt. Trint Allison, battalion operations officer, S-3. He said they have been developing the training scenarios for this exercise for several months.
"The MRX is an exercise of the staff on how they would perform their job. The 30th is logistics, so this exercise is focused on distribution, tracking the movement of supplies across the area of operation, and seeing how well they can do that in order to manage combat operations" said Maj. Samuel Eskew, 5-306th's executive officer.
Logistics is an integral part of sustainment operations. 30th CSSB is responsible, in part, for getting the "beans and bullets" to the combat commanders and their formations. Sustainment is one of six warfighting functions.
"Logistics and sustainment go hand in hand, they work together. Logistics is the how, as in the systems in place to get the thing you need; and sustainment is the continuous support and supplying of the items once the logistics is established," said CW4 Janice Farquharson-Anderson, liaison officer 2-393 BSB. Each mobilizing unit is assigned an LNO.
"I have been working with these guys since December to ensure they are prepared for their deployment and to guide them through the process of deploying," she said.
During their deployment, the 30th will be one of the attached units for the 3rd Sustainment Brigade. To ensure that they would not be meeting for the first time in the area of operation, the unit participated in a command post exercise at Fort Stewart earlier this year.
"I reached out and started communicating with them when I found out that we were going to fall under the 3SB. They invited to come down and participate in the exercise as one of their down-trace units," he said. Callison understands that logistics is critical to the success of the mission. He used a Civil War example to explain how the supply lines were cut to cripple the enemy.
"Without logistics, combatant commanders can't extend their operational reach. As long as we can keep supplies at a ready state, they can continue to move forward, extend their reach and be successful," he said.
First Army supports combatant commanders by training, assisting, and advising reserve and national guard units across the United States, ensuring they have trained and ready forces.