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NEWS | July 24, 2017

650th RSG runs RSOI at Big LOTS West 2017

By Sgt. 1st Class Chanelcherie DeMello 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

Soldiers from the 650th Regional Support Group, 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), led by Maj. Leopold Karanikolas, 314th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Reception Staging Onward-Movement Integration station commander, ran the RSOI, here, 6 July through 16 July, during the Big Logistics-Over-The-Shore West 2017 exercise.

The RSOI is a very important function of a military exercise event. Part of the RSG’s deployed mission includes management of the RSOI, which incorporates contingency and expeditionary base operations support, with responsibilities for managing facilities, providing administrative and logistical support of Soldier services, and ensuring the security of personnel and facilities on a base camp.

Hundreds of Soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve, U.S. Army, Marines, and Navy, participate in Big LOTS West exercise, all of which should begin and end their training at the RSOI station.

“The RSG provides valuable expertise to theater commanders by receiving and integrating units into the theater of operations,” said Karanikolas. “In doing so, units can be ready to execute missions in support of theater commander’s objectives.”

For the third consecutive year, the U.S. Army Reserve Big LOTS West annual exercise provided multiple platforms of sustainable readiness training. Participating units were afforded the opportunity to practice detailed coordination of personnel, supplies, and equipment from ports to terminals, execute loading and unloading processes, while developing Soldiers’ technical and tactical skills.

The 650th RSG setup their RSOI station at Camp Talega, which is a Forward Operating Base within the larger Camp Pendleton complex. At this base camp, a tent city was erected where Soldiers temporarily stayed before being pushed out to other FOBs like Coronado, which is located at the Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, California.

Cpt. Jeffrey Olsen, 650th RSG, RSOI commander at FOB Coronado said that he and his team collectively worked together with the U.S. Navy to successfully integrate and provide basic life support for more than 250 Soldiers temporarily housed at FOB Coronado in Coronado, San Diego.

Before closing out their RSOI operation and transferring mission authority to the 648th RSG, the Soldiers of the 650th RSG engaged in more invaluable training by conducting one last integration of personnel and equipment of the 648th RSG who came from St. Louis to participate in the exercise.

“Training is important,” said 1st Sgt. Barry Cox, 650th RSG. “Our 21st century Soldiers must be strategically and operationally ready to deploy and defeat the enemy.”

“The U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers here were given a terrific opportunity to perform and enhance their occupational skills as well understand other service branch practices,” said Maj. Paul Han, administrative officer in charge, 650th RSG. “Working together allowed the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corp, to successfully accomplish a common mission.”

Big LOTS West 2017 will continue through the month of July where much more invaluable training opportunities will be made available for participating units.