By Phil Regina, 305th Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentMay 17, 2011
CONCORD, Calif. - When civilian workers went on strike due to a labor dispute, Hawaii-based U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers of the 302nd Transportation Terminal Battalion, 9th Mission Support Command, took the lead at Exercise Golden Mariner, here, April 1-May 6.
Exercise Golden Mariner is an annual Army Reserve exercise in which Soldiers take part in the packing and unpacking of various supplies from shipping containers, as well as the loading of packed containers onto naval barges for shipment to various Army bases throughout the U.S.
"Unlike other exercises where Soldiers perform simulated tasks to demonstrate their job proficiency, during this exercise our Soldiers got the opportunity to take part in a real-world mission," said Lt. Col. Andrew Troske, commander of the 302nd TTB.
Troske explained that their mission came with its fair share of unexpected challenges.
"The civilian contractors who usually oversee all operations on base went on strike prior to us arriving," said Troske. "When we arrived, the shipments were six days behind. We essentially took control of shipping operations throughout the whole exercise. We completed the mission in record time. Our Soldiers set a new standard."
Given the unique and difficult circumstances that took place, many Reservists were asked to go above and beyond their rank to complete the mission.
"I'm only a private first class, but they really trusted me with a lot of responsibility," explained Pfc. Tiffany Caliboso, a human resource specialist with the 302nd TTB. "I've been put in charge of keeping track of the various containers we've packed throughout the exercise."
Accountability of the supplies was one of the more important aspects of the mission.
"Each of the containers must be accounted for at all times, if not, the entire exercise is shut down until we find it," added Caliboso. "That type of importance on accountability has truly taught me why it's important to maintain accurate and up-to-date records of everything going on. It's taught me why my job is important."
Caliboso, along with her fellow Soldiers from the 302nd TTB were recognized by Brig. Gen. Michele Compton, commanding general of the 9th MSC, for their efforts.
"The Army Reserve Soldiers did an absolutely superb job," said Compton. "With the ongoing labor dispute, they executed the mission without the traditional union work force that is routinely present. The creativity and efficiency of the Soldiers resulted in completion of the mission ahead of schedule, while maintaining a focus on safety. Truly amazing!"