CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait –
Top generals from U.S. Army Reserve Command and the National Guard visited deployed troops across Kuwait Feb. 3-5, 2018, as part of Joint Monthly Access for Reserve Components, a program that facilitates top officers from the reserve components who wish to check on their troops who are forward deployed.
Top officers from the U.S. Army Reserve, as well as the Missouri, Iowa, Alabama, and Mississippi National Guard bureaus flew into Kuwait and were met by senior leaders of U.S. Army Central Command before fanning out across military installations to visit units deployed in the country.
Army Reserve Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Anderson, 377th Theater Sustainment Command command sergeant major, described what he and his commanding general hoped to achieve during the visit.
“So, the first thing is to come out here and make sure that the training that we’re doing to prepare them for their deployment and prepare them to actually do their mission, that we’re doing the right things prior to them getting here” said Anderson. “It’s also our opportunity to come out here and, on behalf of the American people, to thank them for what they’re doing. You know, we’re an all-volunteer force, they didn’t have to come out here, obviously. They didn’t have to be part of the Army Reserve, so we want to thank them for doing those kinds of things.”
While the top leaders were encouraging their troops, they also sought feedback on how leadership can improve the deployment process and better support their troops in harm’s way.
“First off, the Soldiers are doing an awesome job,” said Commanding General of the 79th Sustainment Support Command, Maj. Gen. Mark Palzer. “They’re already forward and, in many cases, even where they may not have been perfectly prepared, within a very short amount of time they were ready for anything …. There are some adjustments to make in some of the manning to make it better suit some of the requirements that have come out in our approach to ensuring that Iraq is prepared as well as Afghanistan and the entire theater.”
What was possibly most rewarding for the senior leaders was hearing praise for the Soldiers of their reserve-component units coming from commanders in Kuwait and the rest of the Central Command area of responsibility.
“Every place I’ve been, the higher headquarters have bragged about the job they’ve done, and I’ve gotten to be the proud momma,” said the Adjutant General of Alabama, Maj. Gen. Sheryl E. Gordon. The Alabama National Guard currently has troops providing signal, chemical, sustainment, and engineering support to Central Command units.