By Crista Mary MackApril 2, 2019
Mobilizing to Mobilize? 3301st MSB leads the pack
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF RICHARDSON, Alaska - The 3301st Mobilization Support Battalion, or WolfPack, mobilized recently, meaning, they went on Active Duty orders, to support the mobilization of the U.S. Army Alaska National Guard 297th Military Police Co.'s deployment preparation as well as supporting the 196th Infantry Training Brigade as they prepare the deploying Soldiers for their upcoming mission.
But this isn't unusual, it's what they do.
"One of the many things we are doing here is activate the contingency mobilization platform, it's never been done before using Air Force services, transportation, using lodging owned by the Army but owned by the Air Force; we are managing, we have mission command, control, and function," said 3301st Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Minarico Santiago. "What that means by we have mission command of the services and functions, is we have to make sure everything is delivered on time andaccurately, with no delay."
The 3301st is based in Joint Base Elmendorf - Richardson, and is part of the 9th Mission Support Command, the most geographically dispersed U.S. Army Reserve Command. The mission of the over 3,400 Soldiers spread across the seven time zones of the 9th MSC is to be ready to rapidly mobilize, deploy and execute decisive action. And the 3301st is successfully accomplishing that mission.
"Before this operation, we did Reception, Staging, Onward movement and Integration (RSOI) into station, where we received and monitored, but in this case we are a contingency MFGI, or Mobilization Force Generation Integration Platform," Santiago said. "With an MFGI, the mission is you receive a Reserve component unit and make sure they receive logistical training support, so everything is taken care of."
"The 3301st ensures that everything is ready for training. The unit coordinate transportation, meals, ammo, and mail. 3301st also has the task to track and record training completion along with personnel accountability on a daily basis. We have also been supporting in other ways by providing personnel to run the ranges and serve as role players for the mobilizing unit's training events.," Sgt. 1st Class Nichole Eichrodt, Operations noncommissioned officer for the 3301st said.
According to Maj. Seneta Burns, Operations Officer for the 3301st, the battalion maintained logistical command and control over the 90-day mobilization to ensure all objectives were met within the window given for the 297th MP's training events and daily life support.
"By doing so, the accomplishments were nothing short of amazing for the impressive team of four that make up the unit's S4 Logistics Cell," Burns said. "When you think of an Army battalion, your initial thought is 300-800 Soldiers that makeup several companies and this is not the case for the 3301st MSB. This unit is made up of 16 personnel holding various specialties under administrative, logistics, intelligence, and infantry. There was never a thought of if we can get this done but I will admit when starting the initial planning meetings with the 673rd Logistics Readiness Squadron and the 196th 2nd Battalion, I was thinking how will I do this, especially with the majority Soldiers needed only being onsite monthly as this is a Reserve Unit. "
Some of the unit's accomplishments have been providing meals totaling over 8,100, including hot meals, Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and warm beverages, throughout the mobilization; well over 900 vehicles dispatches to include 14 NTVs (5,384 miles) and 130 various vehicle movements were completed for training (bus, ammo, and meals).
This was no small feat and the unit maintained a great working relationship with their installation counterparts - statistics provided by Captain Catherine Allen, Supply Management Officer for 3301st.
"When you are collaborating between so many different agencies, there will be some bumps along the way but that's what we learn from," Eichrodt said. "The mission has been a success. This is the first time we have done a mission like this. We are revising our Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to make everything go smoother for future operations. "
"If we mobilize again for a similar mission, we will know who to contact at the different agencies," Eichrodt said.
Eichrodt's Brother in law is one of the 297th MPs mobilizing.
"According to my brother-in-law, everything is going well on their end," she said. "I think when you do a home-station mobilization such as this with the National Guard, you have the opportunity to give the Soldiers more time to both prepare their families for the deployment as well as continue training with the unit. My sister has been able to come and visit her husband. If he was in Ft. Bliss for the pre-mobilization they wouldn't have had this opportunity."
"We all want to spend time with our families, why not give that transition time before being separated for nine months," she said.
The Wolfpack will soon complete their mobilization and return to their regular Army Reserve status, doing so with the accomplishment of sending fellow Alaska Army National Guard component Soldiers successfully ahead to their mission, knowing that, like the 3301st motto, it is "One Pack, One Fight."