Fort Knox, Ky. – In preparation for their upcoming deployment to the Middle East, subject matter experts and trainers from the 1st Theater Sustainment Command assisted the Soldiers from the Army Reserve’s 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command to successfully complete their 10-day culminating training exercise here.
Soldiers from the Orlando-based unit trained, all while monitoring the weather and eventual impact that Hurricane Ian had on their communities in Florida.
They participated in a month-long train-up, culminating with the comprehensive evaluation consisting of various simulations, scenario-based injects, and Soldier readiness tasks. All training was guided by First Army’s Observer – Coach/Trainers along with Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians from the 1st TSC, serving as the ESC’s higher headquarters.
While successful completion of a CTE is a deployment requirement for all units heading downrange, this was unique in that the 369th Sustainment Brigade, New York National Guard, was simultaneously participating in their CTE at Fort Hood, Texas. This provided the opportunity for Soldiers from each unit to concurrently work on injects together. Both units will deploy to the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.
By conducting every deployment task here at Fort Knox, and leveraging the Division East – First Army OC/Ts, specifically the 4th Cavalry Multi-Functional Training "Saber" Brigade trainers, it enabled the participating Soldiers and Civilians in the 1st TSC to move in and out of the training environment while conducting their real-world mission here operating as the Main Command Post for all Army sustainment operations in the USCENTCOM AOR.
Having the entire 143rd ESC team at Fort Knox also provided increased opportunities for many of their Soldiers and command team to observe and participate in real-world battle rhythm events at the 1st TSC’s Fowler Hall headquarters building. The ability to physically observe 1st TSC meetings and secure video teleconferences in real time, with the current units and commands in theater, the 143rd team gained a better familiarity of the MCPs processes and procedures, current problem sets, the operational environment, and key individuals they will regularly interact with soon.
Leaders of the 143rd recognized the cooperation and formation of teams during the exercise. They also noted opportunities for all Soldiers to be tested.
“The CTE not only allowed every Soldier to train and sharpen their skills, but it also gave them the opportunity to work together with their respective sections and build cohesive teams that are fit and ready,” Brig. Gen. Maria A. Juarez, commanding general, 143rd ESC, said.
Col. Manu L. Davis, support operations officer, 143rd ESC, said, “The 143rd ESC CTE created the environment for the Soldiers and leaders to build a more cohesive team; learn more thoroughly our mission; and establish/refine staff process to make this resilient and professional command even better, and more prepared to execute whatever mission lies ahead of us.”
Col. Cheley A. Gabriel of the 143rd ESC said that they completed the CTE with distinction, camaraderie, and teamwork. “It allowed those at every skill level to be tested.”
While the Soldiers from the 4th Cavalry Brigade, Division East – First Army, and their partners from the 84th Training Command led coordination and support for the CTE, the 1st TSC ensured the appropriate subject matter experts and strategic partners participated in the exercise.
The 1st TSC’s strategic partners, including the Defense Logistics Agency, 595th Transportation Brigade and their Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, and the U.S. Central Command Deployment Distribution Operations Center, also provided subject matter experts to support the training.
The 143rd ESC’s primary mission, once deployed, will be similar to that of their last deployment in 2019, to provide mission command, combat support, and combat service support in the areas of supply, maintenance, transportation, field services while coordinating the tactical operations of the rotational functional and sustainment brigades. They will serve as the forward operational command post for the 1st TSC and be critical to supporting three named operations in the USCENTCOM AOR, Spartan Shield, Inherent Resolve and Enduring Sentinel.