FORT KNOX, Ky. - The 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) held a staff exercise, which familiarized the unit's Soldiers on its mission processes on May 24-26 at Fort Knox's Army Reserve Command headquarters.

Affected by frequent turnover since the command's return from Iraq in August of 2009, the command held the STAFFEX to ensure new Soldiers get up to speed on the unit's mission, procedures and systems.

The 3d ESC's leadership saw the STAFFEX as a prime opportunity to indoctrinate their Soldiers on the command's mission and processes.

"The intent of the STAFFEX was to get everyone together and form a foundational baseline of our experiences, as we are one of the few, if not only, ESCs with very recent experiences in Iraq and in humanitarian assistance in Haiti," said Col. Marvin S. Whitaker, the 3d ESC's chief of staff and Black, Ala., native. "With that framework in mind and the personnel turnover we've had at our senior level, it was a time for us to get together and maximize the information sharing of procedures and processes we've used to execute command and control."

Whitaker said it was important to conduct the exercise now to take advantage of the senior leadership still with the command who've deployed to Iraq and Haiti.

Throughout the exercise, the command's staff sections articulated what they conducted operations in a deployed environment. This, Whitaker said, would serve as a foundation that would allow the unit to spring forward in its training strategy.

For example, the command's G3 section has had about a 50-70% turnover amongst field grade officers and senior noncommissioned officers since returning from Iraq in August of 2009. Later this year, the G3 section will prepare to lose even more, making the exercise even more important for the section.

"The staff exercise helped us to identify all those things that we have to ensure we transition to our new personnel coming," said Maj. Chad Nangle, a plans officer with the 3d ESC and Austin, Minn., native. "As the week went on, our new personnel were able to identify want they needed to learn."

Also, during the exercise, staff sections had to opportunity to develop mission essential task lists that will be used to plan, execute and assess future training.

Overall, Whitaker said he felt the exercise was a major success and went as planned for the 3d ESC.

"I'm very pleased with the results of the STAFFEX," said Whitaker. "We're looking to integrate the new folks with some of the olds folks we have here and exercise the procedures and tools discussed during the STAFFEX.

Story and photos by Sgt. Michael Behlin, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs.
For queries, contact 3d Sustainment Command Public Affairs at: (502) 624-8601.
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