SEA GIRT, N.J.- U.S. Army Soldiers from New Jersey's 350th Finance Detachment participated in Exercise Diamond Saber 2019, the U.S. Army's largest finance exercise, basing operations out of the National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt, N.J. June 18-30. For the first time, Soldiers are remotely taking part in Diamond Saber, which is held annually at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
Diamond Saber is designed to provide realistic technical training to regular Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard finance units.
"Diamond Saber is an exercise that was provided to all financial units in the United States that allows us to stay current on all of our mission essential needs, "said 1st Lt. Andrew Vallejo, commander of the 350th Finance Detachment. "It's kind of a capstone exercise that's offered every year, it allows us to put into practice all of the things that we drill on, and the things we learn about over the course of the year and put it into a deployment simulation exercise."
The finance troops took part in a financial management support team mission, transporting a case of money from Sea Girt to the Somerset Armory aboard a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter, simulating the type of transport they might do between forwarding operating bases at a deployed location.
"As finance Soldiers, we get overlooked a lot, being that its paper and pen, but as you can see, a lot of tactical stuff goes on," said Sgt. Maj. Dharam Manka. "This is the first ever remote training, in that we are working out of New Jersey and we are attached to a company for the exercise in Wisconsin."
As one set of Soldiers supported the finance helicopter mission, others worked simulations at the military pay, vendor services, and information technology work centers based at Sea Girt.
"Being here has helped in a variety of ways, "said Vallejo. "It's a great and unique opportunity for us to be kind of on the forefront of an exercise that hasn't been done before and being here at Sea Girt allows us to be in our home state where we have all of our resources and our Soldiers have familiarity with the area."
The exercise had a huge impact on Pvt. Kaitlyn Lemoine, who is brand new to the unit.
"I definitely feel like I've come out of this knowing a bit more about my job," said Lemoine. "AIT kind of gave me a basis of the basics with it, but this definitely went into detail with everything and kind of put me in a good spot for potential deployment. I feel like we've all come together and we've really helped each other out, and the instructors were a great help as well."