By Staff Sgt. Lynne Lantin, 16th Sust. Bde. Public AffairsFebruary 23, 2011
BAMBERG, Germany - Senior leaders and Army civilians from across Germany and from as far as Italy converged Jan. 24-Feb. 4 at the 16th Sustainment Brigade Headquarters here to attend the Support Operations Phase II class.
The course, given by the Army Logistics University out of Fort Lee, Va., prepares officers, senior noncommissioned officers and civilians to organize support functions and manage sustainment operations in a multifunctional or functional organization during peacetime and operational deployments.
Maj. David Jaillite, director of the course, traveled to Bamberg from his home station at Fort Lee to instruct the course.
"We go worldwide," said Jaillite. "We go to Japan; we go all over the United States. We teach active duty, Reserve, National Guard; we take care of everybody."
Students who attended the course learned about key sustainment functions such as supply, maintenance, transportation, combat health support and field services as well as the associated logistics computer programs for each function in order to estimate requirements and develop support plans. At the conclusion of the course, students briefed a scenario-driven support operations plan encompassing all procedures learned during the class.
The support operations class is designed for your senior level NCOs and officers about logistics functions, said Jaillite. It is everything from ammunition to transportation to maintenance to contracting - all the major functions of a support brigade or a brigade support battalion downrange as well as the logistics functions and the people they would have to make contact with to make those logistics functions happen.
Warrant Officer Phillip Cervantes, the accountable officer for the 240th Quartermaster Supply Company and a native of Wichita, Kan., said he took a lot away from the class.
There is a lot of hard work, timing, thinking and planning that goes into making something happen, especially when deployed, said Cervantes.
"It's going to help me do my job better because it gave me an overall perspective of what (support operations) actually does because I've always just worked in the supply and services sections," Cervantes added. "Now I get a better picture of the whole concept - when you deploy and back in garrison."
Not only do military personnel benefit from the course, but Army civilians also take away valuable information enabling them to stay current in their field, said John Schulz, a logistics operations specialist with U.S. Army Europe's supply and logistics directorate planning cell in Heidelberg, Germany, and an Army Reserve Soldier.
"Even though we work at higher headquarters, it's critical that we know the logistics process below us," said Schulz about himself and a fellow Soldier who attended the class. "Every single contingency plan, every type of exercise that we plan at the (USAREUR logistics directorate) level, it's critical that we have a strong understanding and background of how things work at the brigade combat team and below, and this is a good course to have in your toolbox."
Schulz said networking was also of key importance during the course.
"It brings logisticians together from all over Europe so you not only have the classroom but the networking and a better understanding of what each person does," said Schulz.
With 31 students, one of the largest classes he's taught said Jaillite, sending each student to the school at Fort Lee would cost the Army thousands of dollars. The cost to send one instructor to Germany saves the Army almost $46,000.
"Typically there's one instructor teaching at Fort Lee and then we also go on the road like I am today," said Jaillite. "We're called Mobile Training Teams. Wherever we're requested if we have the time and the instructor availability, we send them to those locations."
"We had a very good instructor who made the class very student friendly," said Cervantes. "He brought real personal experiences to the class which made it more understandable. It made us pay more attention using his experiences in the class."