CAMP PARKS, Calif. –
The 76th Operational Response Command, headquartered in Salt Lake City, recently engaged in Exercise Onaway Response at Camp Parks, California. This exercise put the headquarters’ procedures for Defense Support of Civilian Authorities (DSCA) Operations to the test.
Traveling to Camp Parks by military air was the original plan, but the unit had to pivot on logistics due to their flight being cancelled due to a higher priority mission occurring on the same date. The staff jumped to action, coordinating, and implementing a new travel plan that utilized bus and commercial air travel instead. A key briefing, the mission order brief, was conducted with the commanding general and tactical officer at Camp Parks, 455th Chemical Brigade staff at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif, the main body traveling through Nevada with the remainder of the tactical operation center personnel in Salt Lake City. Because of the unit’s quick reaction and collaboration, the travel change had minimal impact on operations. Once Soldiers arrived, they signed into the operation center and began the exercise without delay.
“After our transportation was cancelled, our staff demonstrated agility by developing three courses of action where flexibility was the most important consideration due to the weather conditions in Utah. We did not have time to rehearse the courses of action, but the staff brought it all together for a positive outcome. Their hard work paid off and set conditions for a successful exercise.” said Division Operations Officer, Col. Christ Chang.
455th Chemical Brigade traveled from Sloan, Nev. to Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. to participate in the exercise as well. While on ground, they conducted staff drills related to DSCA as well as other non-DSCA related tasks.
As part of the exercise, the command leadership conducted an area circulation, in which the California Army National Guard, their Army Aviation Support Facility and the Army Aviation Flight Activity provided aviation support. The area circulation provides a first-hand visual assessment of the impacted area to support the real time data provided on the ground. Towards the end of the exercise, Chief of the Army Reserve, Lt. Gen. Jody J. Daniels and Army Reserve Command Sergeant Major, Sgt. Maj. Andrew Lombardo visited the unit and received a staff briefing as part of the exercise. They also discussed the importance of the 76th mission and held sessions with officer and senior enlisted leaders in the unit.
“All plans look great on paper, execution is where we get in sets and reps necessary to build proficiency at our mission,” said 76th Operational Response Command Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Ernest Litynski. “To conduct a full Deployment Readiness Exercise – 3 (DRE-3) and move individual Soldiers, formations, and equipment across the United States takes practice. I’m proud that we became DRE-3 validated and brought this exercise together. We’ll keep doing this no-notice exercise annually.”
Overall, the exercise was a success. The headquarters planned and executed movement and had the tactical operations center ready to conduct and manage operations.