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NEWS | Feb. 17, 2016

Logging a day's work: Reserve logisticians integrate, excel at JRTC 16-04

By Sgt. Aaron Ellerman 204th Public Affairs Detachment

FORT POLK, La. - The clang of metal tines against pine planked pallets pierces through the exhaust and hum of bustling cargo trucks loading and unloading their goods. Content customers clad in camouflage order and receive supplies amidst the crisp cool air.
Thousands of Army Reserve Soldiers have been working around the clock alongside active, National Guard and multinational forces supporting 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Joint Readiness Training Center during rotation 16-04. The training is a culminating exercise designed to prepare units for upcoming deployments overseas.

Soldiers of the 103rd Quartermaster Company, an Army Reserve unit from Houston, Texas, have integrated several active component Soldiers into their three-week-long annual training exercise where they have been operating the supply support activity area for the overarching training mission.

“They’re doing their job and were doing ours to assist in accomplishing the mission together. I didn’t even know they were Reserve Soldiers when I met them because they operate the same,” said Spc. Yongjae Kim, an automated logistics specialist with the 574th Quartermaster Company and South Korea native.  

“I think it was a good idea that the active duty Soldiers were attached to us helping to accomplish the task of feeding Soldiers,” said. 1st Lt. Terence Hicks 103rd Quartermaster Company rations platoon leader and Abelene, Texas native.

The 103d has been working directly under the 17th CSSB as part of the logistical operating force for this mission.

“The 103d has been an integral in providing subsistence and other classes of supply for the mission,” said Lt. Col. John Gaivin, 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion commander.

The Army’s active and Reserve components are vital to fulfilling national military needs throughout its operations at home and abroad. Exercises like these are crucial because they allow the Army to continue building strong partnerships between its components through enhanced training opportunities, professional development and shared lessons learned.

“We have all the types of units that fall under us while deployed.  So, we come together to train and learn about how we operate collectively which works out well for everyone,” Gaivin said.

Logistics plays an important role in an ever-changing battlefield. The need to plan, prepare for, and provide an organized, trained, sustained, equipped and employed force to support combat commander requirements and anticipated objectives half a world away is a key capability of the Army Reserve.

“This was great training for the Soldiers, because it allows them the opportunity to do their jobs — whereas being a reserve Soldier they don’t get to do the full job as often so it really puts doctrine into actual practice here,” said Hicks.