By Sgt. Elizabeth Cole, 305th Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentMarch 21, 2013
FORT SHAFTER FLATS, Hawaii (March 21, 2013) -- The U.S. Army Reserve's only Theater Support Group gathered its nearly 100 Soldiers from across the Pacific to conduct its first-ever consolidated annual training event, here and at Bellows Marine Corp Training Base, March 6-13.
The U.S. Army Reserve Theater Support Group-Pacific, which was activated in 2009 and provides base operations and installation support to the 9th Mission Support Command, has Soldiers serving in locations including Alaska, American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, and Saipan.
During their week-long training event, the Soldiers of the theater support group, or TSG, were put to the ultimate test as they worked together to tackle simulated, combat situations such as providing medical support and evacuation using three CH-53 Marine helicopters, clearing buildings and roads to evade enemy attack, counter-improvised explosive device, or IED, training and entry-point security.
"As a new unit, it was important that we had this type of training, not only so we could validate our mission, but also to ensure our Soldiers stay combat ready," said Col. Eddie Rosado, commander of the TSG.
Rosado also explained that while the training event was special in itself by being the unit's first consolidated exercise, it was also extraordinary because they were able to find ways to utilize support from other military branches.
"This actually became more of a joint mini exercise where we were able to not only support the other parts of the military community in helping them reach their training standards, but they were able to help us in achieving ours," added Rosado.
The TSG worked closely with 14 combat medics from the active Army who provided training for the medical support portion of the event, while earning some much-needed annual certificates. Additionally, the three Marine CH-53 helicopter flight teams aided in completing the medical evacuations and performing nine-line medical evacuation requests, and were able to add to their logged flight hours.
The collaboration on the training event extended far beyond the U.S. military branches. Two Thailand Army generals were invited to visit the site to learn about the ways the TSG conserved energy throughout the event through the use of solar panels to power a mobile kitchen.
For the planning officers of the event, creating the most realistic environment for the Soldiers was a necessity.
"We were extremely lucky to have access to the state-of-the-art facility that provided us with ample space to rehearse and an added realism with smells, role players, and an authentic village," said Rosado.
In addition to gaining invaluable training at a high-quality training site, the Soldiers formed a more cohesive team while creating a bond that will stay with them even as they travel back to their respective locations.
"As someone who came from active duty, it was really great for me to have the opportunity to mentor and train younger Soldiers and help encourage them to be better leaders," said Staff Sgt. Donald Lardner, paralegal noncommissioned officer in charge for the TSG.
"One of our main goals of this annual training was to work on team building, and we definitely achieved that," said Rosado. "For most of our Soldiers, it was their first time meeting one another. I was very impressed with how they all practiced selfless service, came together as a team and got the job done."
All in all, the unit was extremely happy with the success of the annual training event and feels it will guide them in years to come.
"We set the bar high on this first annual training, and I'm not sure how we're going to top this one," said Command Sgt. Maj. Joe M. Burnett, senior enlisted adviser for the TSG. "But, it's going to be an excellent foundation for the next commander and command sergeant major to emulate or enhance."