By Sgt. Thomas Belton
| Exercise News Day | July 27, 2018
Army Reserve Soldiers from the 3rd Transportation Battalion (Expeditionary) simulate training scenarios for watercraft units in the field during Big Logistics-Over-the-Shore West July 17, 2018. Big LOTS West demonstrates the flexibility and capability Army Reserve watercraft units have in discharging troops, vehicles and materiel through austere ports, ship-to-ship and over beaches. (Photo by Sgt. Thomas Belton)
Army Reserve Soldiers from the 3rd Transportation Battalion (Expeditionary) simulate training scenarios for watercraft units in the field during Big Logistics-Over-the-Shore West July 17, 2018. Big LOTS West provides hands-on training and relevant training opportunities for boat units, terminal battalions, and deployment support command units. (Photo by Sgt. Thomas Belton)
Big LOTS West 18 enhances unit collective training proficiency in the planning and conduct of logistics-over-the-shore operations from the company to the brigade.
“This is the first time I’ve gotten to run an operation of this scale,” said 2nd Lt. Allan Copp, a battle captain from the 650th Transportation Company. “This has been a fantastic learning exercise for me.”
The U.S. Army has eight types of watercraft in its inventory, four of which will be used during Big LOTS West 18: Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 2000 Runnymede Class; Small Tug 900 Series Dorchester Heights Class; Large Tug 800 Greene Class and Barge Derrick 115 Ton Keystone State Class.
“The Army has more watercraft vessels than the Navy,” said Copp. “The Army’s watercraft capabilities are staggering, based on the sheer amount of tonnage we can move.”
Soldiers assigned with the 3rd TBX must be trained and ready to deploy on short notice providing seaport operations in support of the Army and our Joint partners anywhere in the world.
“We typically get assigned to help with disaster relief,” said Sgt.1st Class Timothy J. Logan, a vessel master from the 709th Transportation Company. “We sent a unit down to Haiti to help with pulling up sunken vessels, removing damaged equipment, and offloading relief supplies.”
War game exercises provide an excellent training environment to help simulate the real thing for when the Army Reserve is called upon to serve, and exercises like Big LOTS West keep Army Reserve watercraft units at the forefront of supply and logistics operations.