WIESBADEN, Germany - U.S. Army Europe and Africa European Theater Sustainment Tabletop Exercise was hosted by 21st Theater Sustainment Command in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 2-5, to focus on large-scale operations in a contested environment and soon synchronize efforts with joint and multinational partners.
“I think what’s going on here in Europe is consequential,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Ronald Ragin, commander, 21st Theater Sustainment Command.
“We are contested right now. We’re not doing large scale conflict, but we are moving large scale forces. The amount of forces we are moving in and out of the theater, plus all the equipment we are providing to Ukraine is probably informing the Army on how the Army needs to fight in that environment in the future; how the Pacific needs to fight in that environment in the future,” said Ragin.
Lt. Col. Gregory Fassett, chief of future operations, 21st TSC, began coordinating the event back in July, starting with a team conducting interim progress reports.
“We developed a working group approach in the categories he [Ragin] wanted to talk about and labeled them syndicates,” said Fassett.
The topics were discussed in three syndicate groups led by higher entities. Fassett and planners were unsure about the event turnout, which attracted more participants than expected.
More than 250 key leaders and stakeholders attended the sustainment tabletop exercise including European Command, Installation Management Command-Europe, U.S. Army Europe and Africa, U.S. Army V Corps, Security Assistance Group-Ukraine, 405th Army Field Support Brigade, Southern European Task Force Africa, Defense Logistics Agency, 598th Transportation Brigade, Area Support Group Balkans and Area Support Group Black Sea.
“That’s a great problem to have,” said Fassett. “People that are interested in attending, showed up in mass. So, we had the right energy.”
Stakeholders received a shared understanding of sustainment operations and activities within the theater, held discussions to identify gaps, and developed solutions to shape the sustainment posture, ensure prolonged endurance, and extend operational reach capabilities.
“We have some really talented leaders that are capable of solving problems,” said Ragin.
Col. Beth Behn, deputy commander, SAG-U, said the face-to-face discussions were necessary to resolve issues.
“A chance to work with all these people and strengthen those relationships is only going to set us up to be even more successful,” said Behn.
The tabletop exercise set the stage for a similar upcoming exercise to include joint services in November or December of this year.
The 21st Theater Sustainment Command is U.S. Army Europe and Africa's lead organization for all sustainment activities including logistics support, transportation, combat sustainment, human resources, finance, contracting and all other areas in the field of sustainment. The command also serves as the responsible headquarters for USAREUR-AF's military police, medical and sustainment brigades, providing combat engineers, military police and medical professionals during partnership training and other operations in support of not only USAREUR-AF, but also NATO, U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, and U.S. Central Command.