By Thomas Catchings
| U.S. Army | March 4, 2020
U.S. Army Reserve Surface Warriors from the 417th Expeditionary Terminal Operating Element and 1181st Deployment and Distribution Support Battalion conduct operations during a training scenario presented at their mission rehearsal exercise, Feb. 12. (Photo Credit: courtesy photo) (Photo by Courtesy photo)
U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's reserve unit, the Deployment Support Command, executed a systems-focused mission rehearsal exercise Feb. 10-12 at Fort Hood, Texas to prepare for upcoming mobilizations.
The exercise provided a realistic environment for the DSC's 417th Expeditionary Terminal Operating Element and a team from the 1181st Deployment and Distribution Support Battalion to demonstrate successful execution of their wartime missions prior to deployment to the European and African theaters to provide mission support to SDDC's 598th Transportation Brigade.
"The mission rehearsal exercise provides the unit commanders with a final, unvarnished assessment of their unit prior to deployment," said Col. Rich Massengale, reserve affairs chief of SDDC's G37 Exercise, Readiness and Training division.
The units were observed, evaluated and validated on their ability to conduct fort-to-port operations during vessel operations for import, export and ammunition missions. There were four strategic scenarios, focused on end-to-end deployment and distribution operations projecting combat power in and around the European Command and Africa Command areas of responsibility.
Subject matter experts from the G37 division led training on a suite of automated transportation systems that includes the Integrated Computerized Deployment Execution System (ICODES), Global Air Transportation Execution System (GATES), Business Support Container Management (BSCM) and the Transportation Coordinators Automated Information for Movement System (TC-AIMS II).
"Both units embraced the opportunity this exercise provided to increase their proficiency," said Joe Woll, an ICODES system trainer.
"Our systems and analysis subject matter experts provided critical training through realistic application of strategic deployment systems, facilitating these units' ability to deliver readiness and lethality at speed," added Massengale.
Both units were evaluated on their successful execution of the systems process to ensure proper tracking and accountability of cargo as it "moved" through the European ports of Bremerhaven and Nordenham, Germany, and Gdansk, Poland.
Trainers from the 598th Transportation Brigade and First Army's deployment validation team were also involved in the exercise, providing theater-specific guidance as well as training on the military decision making process.
Following completion of the exercise, both units received successful validations on their ability to execute the training requirements and are ready to mobilize and work alongside the 598th to deliver readiness and lethality at speed in the EUCOM and AFRICOM theaters.
"As a result of this training, SDDC's 598th Transportation Brigade will receive proficient Soldiers that will improve their ability to move the Warfighter at even greater speed," said Woll.
The 417th ETOE will support the 598th's 838th Transportation Battalion by conducting port operations that include terminal operations, reception, staging, loading and unloading of cargo at ports in Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Greece, Poland and Great Britain.
The 1181st DDST will support the 598th, providing deployment and distribution assistance to deploying and redeploying units and installations, while also planning and managing the receipt, staging, loading and offloading of Navy and commercial vessels.