FORT KNOX, Ky. – The 84th Training Command Mobilization Force Generation Installation (MFGI) team, directed by deputy commander Brig. Gen. Edward Merrigan, prepares the 135th Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC) in a series of pre-deployment exercises to enable expedient and rapid troop processing for forward contingent sustainment operations.
The MFGI operates within a framework of command support elements collectively working together in a series of phases that include the Reception, Staging, Onward-movement, and Integration (RSOI) of personnel and Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP), individual and crew-served weapons qualifications, and a Culminating Training Exercise (CTE).
This process is designed to validate mission command and ensure the readiness of a unit prior to deployment.
The commander for the 135th ESC, Brig. Gen. Thomas Vickers, has served in numerous command positions with years of rapid deployment experiences in overseas operations. His vision for the 135th ESC incorporates sustainment planning and guidance capable of generating force logistical support for forward troop command elements.
“Being able to come here to Ft. Knox to mobilize has been the best scenario as an ESC.” Said Vickers. “We are mobilizing as the first ESC for the 1st Theater Sustainment Command. The opportunity to mobilize with them, the interaction between key personnel and their counterparts, additional training, and gaining insights into deeper mission objectives with our presence here has been essential for mission success.”
Some of the commands involved with the MFGI include the 4th Cavalry Multi-Functional Training Brigade and the 645th Regional Support Group (RSG).
During the SRP process, service members review medical and administrative data for accuracy and status updates. The 645th RSG, tasked with executing the RSOI, has played a key role in this process and has the capability of processing over 200 Soldiers per day.
Col. Russel Lofquist, the 645th RSG commander, has been preparing his troops through multiple battle assemblies and training exercises to enable other units for successful pre-deployment processing.
“We have been able to expediently assemble our units for rapid processing to support the 135th ESC mobilization.” Said Lofquist. “Our mission at the 645th RSG is to provide ‘unquestionable support’ for contingency and expeditionary base operations with responsibilities for managing and providing administrative, logistical, and security support for personnel and facilities throughout the RSOI phase.”
Once completed, Soldiers conducted Preliminary Marksmanship Instruction (PMI) for familiarization with a variety of mission essential weapon systems prior to range operations. The 4th Cav. MFTB conducted training to prepare the unit for weapons course execution resulting in 100% of those assigned to those weapons systems qualifying.
Finally, the CTE prepares and validates unit mission command elements to execute pre-deployment activities to continue the sustainment mission while sharpening their mobilization and operational readiness capabilities for fast, rapid deployment.
One of the action officers responsible for CTE planning operations, Maj. Desmond Braziel, assigned to the 4th Cav. MFTB, talks about the advantages of using technology to assess mission command functions.
“We use simulations such as the Joint Deployment Logistics Model (JDLM) to reflect real-time usage of commodities.” Said Braziel. “The progression of the CTE is to incorporate both the higher, 1st TSC, and lower sustainment brigade, into a multi-echelon exercise to realistically simulate working with the logistics enterprise in theater.”
The world-class live-virtual-constructive (LVC) collective training simulation focuses on modernizing the Army's LVC simulation capability by integrating other platforms like the Logistics Federation (LOGFED) that feeds sustainment information driven by the Warfighter Simulation (WARSIM).
The vision of the MFGI director, Brig. Gen. Merrigan, is focused on modernizing the process and the utilization of systems to include the advanced SRP tracking and quality control systems, the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST), the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). Egress Assistance Trainer (HEAT), and advanced command and control applications during the CTE that enables rapid battle tracking of logistics and troop movement and maneuver through mission command.
“The MFGI mission is to continuously gather information and modernize our processes that enable the combatant commanders for all contingencies in the battle space,” said Merrigan. “We continue to learn and adapt during these operations for a more robust curriculum and modality that better equip the modern fighting force with the skills necessary for success.”
The 84th TC MFGI incorporates modernized dynamic battle systems that enable combatant commands to not only conduct and execute their mission but give them a competitive edge in multi-domain forward operations.
The 84th TC continues to refine and modernize training domains technologies that enable the readiness of any organizations People, Soldiers, and Civilians for success.