By Pfc. Justin Mills, 3rd Sustainment Brigade Public AffairsAugust 11, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Soldiers assigned to the 87th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, Third Infantry Division, are slated to participate in U.S. Army North’s largest training exercise to date Aug. 17 - 28 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. In preparation for the upcoming Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) Response Force mission.
Approximately 120 Soldiers assigned to the battalion’s Headquarters, Headquarters Company and 226th Quartermaster Company will lead 700 Soldiers from across the U.S. Army in Task Force Logistics, which along with Task Force Aviation, Task Force Medical and Task Force Operation, makes up the 5,200-person Joint Task Force Civil Support.
“It’s a great honor to get a chance to serve the local community and help the people in the event of a disaster,” said Maj. Samuel D. Smith, the SPO forward operations officer for the 87th CSSB, 3rd Sustainment Bde., 3rd Infantry Div. “Usually we go overseas to assist people but not very often do we get a chance to help the people here in America.”
The exercise will be the first confirmation exercise for the Defense CBRN Response Force which replaces the 4,500-person CBRN Consequence Management Response Force. The 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 1/10th Transportation Company, 260th Quarter Master Battalion was a part of the CMRF in 2009. The DCRF includes Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Civilians from both active-duty and reserve units, and is designed to bring even more life-saving capability to a natural disaster on U.S. soil even faster.
“The units involved hail from all over the country and we will respond to a disaster that strikes anywhere in America,” Maj. Smith said.
The primary capabilities of the DCRF include urban search and rescue, patient decontamination, casualty ground/air evacuation and general logistical support. The mission itself begins Oct. 1 and will last for a year. During that time it will take precedence over all other missions, and the Soldiers involved will be on 24-hour recall.
“I feel great; it’s my job to keep these Soldiers motivated,” said Sgt. Samuel Amartey, a material management noncommissioned officer assigned to the 226th Quartermaster Company, 87th CSSB, 3rd Sustainment Bde., 3rd Infantry Div. “We are well aware of our duties and we are ready to go at anytime.”
Soldiers with the 87th CSSB will be the first ever to lead Task Force Logistics during the DCRF mission, and will provide necessities such as food, supplies fuel and hygienic facilities to the other service members participating in the mission as well as civilians who may be displaced by a natural disaster.
“We feel extremely honored,” Sgt. Amartey said. “We’re going to be pioneers and throughout history it’s the pioneers that set the bar and are remembered.
“We are ready to take up any mission and help anyone who is caught in a natural disaster,” Sgt. Amartey said. “This is why the other Soldiers and I joined the Army"to help people.”
Their confidence in their abilities and eagerness to accomplish the mission, no matter the obstacles or sacrifices necessary, is a theme that resonates throughout the 87th CSSB.
“They wanted the best of the best and that’s why they chose us,” said 1st Sgt. Michelle Maxwell, first sergeant for the 226th QM Co., 87th CSSB, 3rd Sustainment Bde., Third Infantry Division. “We’re willing to go that extra mile to make sure we’re taking care of Americans.”
First Sergeant Maxwell recently returned from a humanity mission in Pakistan, and although she hasn’t been home for long, she is more than ready to make the trip to Indiana and participate in the training.
“It feels good to assist in the health and welfare of another country, but to come home and do it feels even more special,” said 1st Sgt. Maxwell. “We’re proud to support and help those that support us.”