FORT A.P. HILL, Va. –
Despite record breaking cold temperatures in Virginia and throughout the country, Army Reserve Soldiers continue to lean into their training with renewed vigor. In three days, January 5-7th, units of the 55th Sustainment Brigade, Fort Belvoir, Va., transported tactical equipment 75 miles, set up communications equipment, and successfully completed its communications exercise (COMEX).
While sustainment brigades are known for their ability to sustain the force, without training to test vital communications networks and radio equipment, via a COMEX, the job of securing the victory would be harder to accomplish.
As the Army’s largest and most geographically dispersed sustainment brigade, the 55th SB often relies on Soldiers from its down trace elements to keep communications flowing. For the January battle assembly, brigade Soldiers, Soldiers of the 55th Special Troops Battalion’s Headquarters and Headquarter Company, and Soldiers of the 410th Brigade Signal Company fulfilled that role.
“The 410th and HHC/55th SB overcame severe weather conditions and terrain constraints to establish a battalion command post and voice/digital communications with the HQ (headquarters),” said Lt. Col. Christian Hall, commander of the 55th STB.
The Soldiers moved their trucks and equipment from Fort Belvoir to two different training sites at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., in order to set up a command post. With elements spread out among three training sites, the Reserve Center back at Fort Belvoir and two locations at Fort A.P. Hill the brigade’s soldiers learned valuable lessons about their equipment, lessons that they will be able to carry forward.
While the establishment of command posts and networks are routine; the transport, setup, testing and recovery of all equipment and personnel in one weekend is only typical in the Army Reserve.
“COMEX was the first of three Field Training Exercises (FTX) to prepare the 55th SB for Warfighter 18.5 and meet Ready Force X (RFX) aimpoints,“ said Hall.
Through Ready Force X, the Army Reserve places a focus on individual readiness, the warrior ethos and for specifically identified units, an emphasis on building, sustaining, mobilizing and deploying in short time windows.
With the next training event always on the horizon 55th SB Soldiers are beginning to appreciate what it means to stand at the ready.