For the 339th Quartermaster Company, realism was the goal during a field training exercise which saw the entire Company deploy from Camp Humphreys to a training area just a few miles from the DMZ, near Paju, Republic of Korea, in late March.
339th Quartermaster Company’s mission is to provide bulk fuel distribution as well as water purification, storage and distribution to Eighth Army units during armistice and contingency operations.
“My job as a commander is to ensure that my Soldiers are prepared to not only conduct their individual warrior tasks and drills but also be able to work as a team and accomplish the unit’s mission essential tasks,” said 339th Quartermaster Co. Commander Capt. Keturah Lynch.
“Being this close to the DMZ also adds an extra sense of realism to the training, as we could actually be in this area and asked to do this for real someday, and we’ve got to be ready,” she added.
During the FTX, 339th Soldiers and leaders were evaluated on over a dozen collective tasks involving deployment of the unit and its equipment for fuel and water distribution and water purification operations.
“If we had to deploy anywhere, in any environment and the Army didn’t have contractors to bring fuel or water, these are the systems that would be used, and they’ve got to work,” said Staff Sgt. Brey Gary, the noncommisioned officer in charge of the unit’s water purification team.
“In fact, we are drinking the water we purify,” Gary added.
The exercise is the culmination of months of individual and collective training the unit conducted at home station on Camp Humphreys.
During the exercise, Soldiers participated in refresher training, especially on the more perishable warrior tasks that sustainment Soldiers don’t get to do every day. Each member of the team needs to know the skills necessary to be able to defend themselves and the unit so they can complete the mission.
How the unit defends itself and its equipment played a large role in the exercise.
Opposing Forces conducted attacks throughout the FTX to put that training to the test. Evaluators from higher headquarters were present to capture it all with the goal of improving the unit’s readiness.
“While not perfect, I think our team did a great job during this exercise. We learned who we are and identified our strengths and weaknesses so we can continue to improve and be ready to fight tonight,” added Lynch.
339th Quartermaster Company falls under 498th Combat Sustainment Support Bn. and U.S. Army Materiel Support Command Korea, a brigade-level unit headquartered on Camp Carroll, with all falling under 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, headquartered on Camp Henry in Daegu. 339th QM Co. is headquartered on Camp Humphreys to better support Eighth Army’s mission.