By Capt. Joselyn Sydnor
| 653rd Regional Support Group | July 15, 2019
U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Mathew S. Booth (left), Sgt. Nathan D. Wallentine, and Spc. Caiden B. Seely check feck fluids on their assigned LMTV for preventative maintenance checks and services at Stennis Motor pool. The Soldiers are members of the 872nd Support Maintenance Company that participated in the Mobilization Support Force Annual Training and Rehearsal of Concept Drill at the end of June (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Capt. Joselyn Sydnor). (Photo by Capt. Joselyn Sydnor)
U.S. Army Reserve 2nd Lt. Hannah M. Stremmel, commander of the 531st Movement Control Team, briefs her unit’s mission during a Rehearsal of Concept Drill rehearsal. The 531st MCT participated Mobilization Support Force Annual Training and Rehearsal of Concept Drill at the end of June (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Capt. Joselyn Sydnor). (Photo by Capt. Joselyn Sydnor)
U.S. Army Reserve Brig. Gen. David E. Elwell, Deputy Commanding General - Mobilization, Fort Bliss is giving closing comments and guidance during the Mobilization Support Force Rehearsal of Concept Drill. The MSF ROC Drill served as the conclusion to the MSF Annual Training held in June, which focused on sustainment support in the case of a no-notice contingency operation (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Capt. Joselyn Sydnor). (Photo by Capt. Joselyn Sydnor)
U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers of the 872nd Support Maintenance Company unload containers and equipment at Stennis Motor pool during their Mobilization Support Force Annual Training in June. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Capt. Joselyn Sydnor) (Photo by Capt. Joselyn Sydnor)
U.S. Army Reserve Chief Warrant Officer 2 Buckley E. Banham (left-middle) Sgt. Zachery X. Cavender (center-back) and Sgt. 1st Class Ricci Molina (right-front) inventory components inside the electronic repair shop trailer at Equipment Concentration Site 87. The Soldiers are members of the 872nd Support Maintenance Company that participated in the Mobilization Support Force Annual Training and Rehearsal of Concept drill at the end of June 2019 (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Capt. Joselyn Sydnor). (Photo by Capt. Joselyn Sydnor)
Units from across the U.S. Army Reserve who make up the Mobilization Support Force conducted their annual training at Fort Bliss, Texas, from June 17-30. These units were selected to augment Fort Bliss’s ability to sustain an increased number of warfighters who would be trained and validated during a Mobilization Force Generation Installation expansion.
The MSF is an answer to augment sustainment capability of the Ft Bliss MFGI during expansion until long term sustainment solutions are put in place.
Many shortfalls in sustainment capabilities across the mobilization enterprise platforms were identified during the first rapid mobilizations of Reserve Components to Iraq. It took time to procure contracts to sustain and support the increased number of personnel and equipment. Many of these contracts had limitations.
“In Army logistics we are able to flex,” said Col. Chandra Roberts, commander of Fort Bliss Mobilization Brigade, and the 653rd Regional Support Group. “Good Army logistics units make it happen. We know how to be agile and flexible and anticipate. We work long hours and we can shift priorities as needed.”
Of the nine MFGIs, only two are active, Fort Bliss and Fort Hood. Currently, these MFGIs have the capacity, land-mass and training grounds to hold an increased number of mobilizing and deploying personnel, but they do not have the capability to immediately sustain them while the unit conduct post-mobilization training.
“The MSF units mobilize to the MFGI, so in our case they come here to Fort Bliss, they set up shop and they plus-up our sustainment and our SRPC (Soldier Readiness Processing Center),” explained Maj. Dang Nguyen, planner for the FBMB MSF mission, “and all the other elements involved to be able to handle the increased throughput of the Focus Ready Units and Ready Force X units that will be deploying overseas.”
In the event of a rapid mobilization, the FBMB would continue to conduct the Reception, Staging, and Onward-movement portion of the mobilization and deployment process, with the addition of the MSF. The MSF augments the Ft. Bliss installation and directly supports 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West who validates units for deployment.
“In a no-notice contingency operation, unity of effort is paramount,” said Roberts.
The FBMB hosted a Rehearsal of Concept drill, chaired by Brig. Gen. David Elwell, Deputy Commanding General - Mobilization, Fort Bliss. The ROC drill fostered a shared understanding of capabilities, requirements, planning factors, decision points, and potential friction points during reception, staging, and onward movement of Focus Ready Units and Ready Force X units.
“A lot of the MFGI Expansion planning had been rather stove-piped,” said Roberts. “While the FBMB, Fifth Armored (Brigade), the MSF units and our enterprise partners may have assumptions or not delved deeply into how operations would be executed, but this had been done separately. Coordination, planning, and research, before and during the ROC drill focused all of us to work together to better define and support logistic requirements.”
Roberts explained that the ROC Drill started the discussions needed to synchronize efforts and gain fidelity of the requirements. It created a uniform platform from which all the organizations can use as a starting point and highlighted the importance of cooperative planning.
“It wasn’t at the detailed tactical level, just yet,” said Roberts. “But we opened up a lot of conversations enabling the teams to delve deeper.”
It is understood that the results, despite all efforts, will not be perfect.
“We’re going to have thousands of issues in this type of scenario, that’s okay,” said Brig. Gen. David Elwell, during his closing remarks at the ROC drill. “We can solve the issues, but let’s identify as many of those up front as we can and start working on those contingencies.”
Further planning events are on the horizon.
“If the balloon does go up and we have to execute, then we’ll be more prepared,” said Roberts. “But, we all have to work hard to have patience and have good discussions. Codify what we learned and keep capturing those lessons-learned and keep pounding.”