CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- The 1st Theater Sustainment Command organized a rehearsal of concept drill for a joint reception staging and onward movement operation on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, April 26, 2023. The distinguished presence of Lt. Gen. Patrick D. Frank, the commanding general of U.S. Army Central, elevated the event.
The ROC drill is an essential strategic exercise that allows leaders and their teams to effectively coordinate and prepare for upcoming operations. This drill involves a tabletop approach that utilizes visual aids to improve understanding and comprehension of the proposed plan. By conducting these practice runs, organizations can identify potential issues or challenges that may arise during actual operations and implement necessary adjustments to ensure success.
"It's not every day we have an ARCENT commander listen to sustainment operations," said Brig. Gen. Maria A. Juarez, 1st TSC deputy commanding general, further emphasizing the ROC drill's importance.
Maj. Gen. Michel M. Russell Sr., 1st TSC commanding general, shared his insights on how the sustainment operations process commences at home stations. He highlighted that units from various Army components from the Active Army, U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard, prepare and deploy their elements to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
However, Russell also pointed out that units often face challenges regarding a lack of expertise within their formation or the inability to identify Soldiers with the military occupational specialty required for the mission. Russell then asked the audience a thought-provoking question, "How can we bridge the gap in our capabilities?"
During the ROC drill, the 1st TSC's sustainment capabilities were thoroughly evaluated. Additionally, the staff members and subordinate command teams of the 1st TSC operating within the CENTCOM AOR provided comprehensive briefings on the roles and responsibilities of their respective units in all three phases of movement.
The ROC drill highlighted various sustainment capabilities, such as operational sustainment support from the 143d Expeditionary Sustainment Command, medical operations from the 3d Medical Brigade, finance operations from the 18th Financial Support Center, aviation logistics and maintenance support from the 1106th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group, and surface deployment and distribution capabilities from the 595th Transportation Brigade. These capabilities were presented with great attention to detail and proved to be instrumental in ensuring a safe and successful movement.
Partnerships for Execution
Throughout the ROC Drill, Frank and Russell emphasized partnerships as strategic enablers and meaningful external relationships. These partnerships were critical for the immediate activities that were required for the movement to be successful.
Frank stated that "having our partners on board to help us move equipment across the Trans Arabian Network would be to our advantage."
Given the scope and scale of the operation, command teams were encouraged to carefully assess the task organization to identify any considerations and requirements. The partners that were identified as assets for shaping and sustaining sustainment operations throughout the theater included the Air Mobility Command, Coalition Forces Land Component Command, and ARCENT. The partnerships from the entire joint logistics enterprise were essential for ensuring the success of the operation.
Enduring Sustainment Operations
Every sustainer knows that their work is never truly done. Day after day, military and civilian personnel enter the theater of operations, and the process of sustainment support begins long before they even leave their home station. Once on the ground in the CENTCOM AOR, every person is provided with the resources necessary to complete their assigned mission, from lodging and food to water, finance, administrative support, and transportation.
Russell reminded the 1st TSC team that "the conceptual theater framework presented is only a blueprint of what may come." The team must now execute and sustain operations to ensure success.
The contribution of the supporting staff and command teams to make the ROC drill possible was crucial and did not go unnoticed. Command Sgt. Maj. Albert E. Richardson, Jr., 1st TSC senior enlisted advisor, emphasized that "this was a collaborative effort across the board, blending art and science in leadership, troop leading procedures, course of action development, and the military decision-making process."
The 1st TSC will begin collaborating with external commands, allies and partner nations to determine the plans for the integration phase of the JROSI operation. This collaborative effort will aim to ensure a smooth and effective transition during this critical phase.