Story by Sgt. Hector Corea
89th Sustainment Brigade
BELTON, Mo. – More than 100 Soldiers from the 89th Sustainment Brigade have gathered in Belton, Missouri, to participate in a Command Post Exercise – Functional, July 24-31, 2014. The 89th SB is the first Army Reserve unit to conduct the multi-echelon training exercise termed CPX-F.
Sustainment units like the 89th SB provide logistical support to units across the wide spectrum of army operations. The CPX-F is a first-of-its-kind proof of principle test to ensure the 89th accomplishes its mission in a simulated wartime environment.
“As a sustainment unit, [the 89th SB] supports the warfighters or tank drivers,” said Capt. Randy McCoy, supply and services branch chief with the 89th SB. “The CPX-F will test us on our ability to carry out our logistics role.”
More than a hundred 89th SB Soldiers from various states and residences are scheduled to participate in the event, including the 304th Sustainment Brigade and the 75th Training Command.
“The 75th is here to oversee the execution of the exercise,” said Lt. Col. Bernie Stabinski, exercise project officer with the 75th Training Command. “We’re also helping coach and mentor 89th SB Soldiers.”
The eight-day exercise will be filled with a variety of Soldier training, physical training, and simulated logistics operations. These are all designed to simulate overseas conditions, giving Soldiers tactical experience in the field.
“My role is to do research to help my NCOs better brief the captains so they can better brief the commander,” said Spc. Bailey Carroll, an ammunition stock control and accounting specialist with the 89th SB Support Operations section. “It’s important we get this experience, so if we ever do go out into a real-world situation, we’ll already have a little background and understand what is expected of us and how to conduct ourselves.”
The CPX-F does more than hone Soldier skills however. It is also an opportunity to build a sense of camaraderie and unit cohesion between Soldiers of the 89th.
“Everybody’s doing an outstanding job,” said Sgt. 1st Class Steven Sanford, platoon sergeant of the SPO section. “Spirits are high, and everybody’s challenging each other to step up to the occasion.”
“If this was the real thing, we’d be gone for months to a year, so it’s important to get along with the people you’re going to be spending this much time with,” said Spc. Melissa Pearson, an intelligence analyst with the 89th SB. “I’ve only been [with the 89th SB] for five months, so this is my first time actually working with my section, and communication is really good.”
While the exercise is scheduled to end by August, future exercises will be modeled off of the 89th SB CPX–F. This is only the foundation of many future training events for sustainment units like the 89th SB.
“This [CPX-F] is pivotal because we need to prove the Army Reserve can train,” said McCoy. “And it will shape the way the Army Reserve trains in the future.”