FORT KNOX, Ky. (November 15, 2011) -- The 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) conducted a command post exercise-sustainment from Nov. 2-14 at Fort Lee, Va.

The command conducted the exercise to train the headquarters' staff sections to plan, fight and sustain as a joint sustainment command in preparation for its upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

"The CPX-S was a chance for the command to assess our training to date and what training we need to focus on in the next few months as we prepare for deployment," said Col. Kristin K. French, commander of the 3d ESC."

Throughout the exercise, the 3d ESC executed a demanding and simulation driven "materiel/distribution management fight". This scenario served as a venue for the 3d ESC to conduct an internal assessment of the staff and subordinate units as it prepares for the upcoming mission rehearsal exercise, then ultimately the deployment to Afghanistan.

Key tasks conducted by the 3d ESC during the CPX-S included establishing a joint operations center, fusion cell for support operations and an administrative logistics operations center. With these operations in place, the 3d ESC was able to conduct various battle drills, shift change briefings, and battle update assessments.

"What we wanted to do with this exercise was to take the orders of our higher headquarters, conduct mission analysis and determine the impacts across the sustainment command in order to determine the optimal logistics footprint," said Maj. Scott Carpenter, the chief of operations (plans) for the 3d ESC.

The CPX-S was conducted in five phases in order to fully simulate what would take place during a deployment. These phases allowed for the 3d ESC to deploy an advance party, which set up all communications and connectivity before the unit arrived. The other phases allowed the 3d ESC to take the necessary steps needed to continue preparing for the upcoming deployment.

The CPX-S allowed Soldiers to get a realistic representation of the scenarios they would face when deployed.

"As the support operations air mobility noncommissioned officer, I manage all air mobility to include the movement of personnel, supplies and equipment throughout theater," said Staff Sgt. Jacinta Bonner. "This training was very productive and has given a personal gateway to how this deployment is going to work."

The next training exercise for the 3d ESC will be its Unified Endeavor Mission Readiness Exercise from January 16 -- February 3. During this exercise, the 3d ESC will work directly with the Joint Coalition Warfighting Center (JCW) and Operations Group-Sierra (OG-S), who will facilitate all integrated scenarios and storylines throughout the exercise and provide observations on staff simulation.

Overall, the 3d ESC's leadership was pleased with the events and results of the CPX-S. And as the unit continues to prepare for the deployment, the command will identify training needs and plan the training necessary to become fully ready and capable to deploy.

"I think the CPX-S was a fantastic event," said French. "We were able to bring in our strategic partners and personnel who had recently or are currently deployed in order to learn their tactics, techniques and procedures."

"Overall, it was a really positive experience and I think everyone learned a lot."