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NEWS | Oct. 1, 2018

Reserve unit lends helping hand to meet inventory requirement at West Point

By Kari Hawkins Army Materiel Command

Taking inventory of hundreds of buttons, yards of fabric and thousands of uniform items brought the Army Materiel Command enterprise a step closer to completing its end-of-fiscal-year inventory mission at the West Point, New York, Logistics Readiness Center thanks to the help of an Army Reserve unit from Houston. 

Soldiers from the 103rd Quartermaster Company, 373rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 211th Regional Support Group, 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
, provided wall-to-wall inventory support to the 406th Army Field Support Brigade Logistics Readiness Center at West Point. As the largest arms room and cadet uniform facility in the Army, the West Point LRC is responsible for thousands of items — 15,000 items in its arms room alone — and operates in a university environment to provide transportation, food service, weapons and equipment, and uniforms in support of more than 4,000 U.S. Military Academy cadets and up to 500 international cadets during the school year. 

The West Point LRC reports to the Army Sustainment Command, a major subordinate command to the Army Materiel Command. 

“The support provided by the 103rd is the type of support the AMC Reserve Component Office provides to the major subordinate commands,” said Maj Gen. Allen Harrell, assistant deputy commanding general for National Guard Affairs at Army Materiel Command Headquarters.

Harrell traveled to West Point Sept. 17-18 to review the inventory and supply support operations provided by 36 junior officers and enlisted Soldiers of the 103rd to the West Point LRC. He also conducted site visits of the Cadet Uniform Factory, West Point Arms Room and multiple warehouse locations. 

The Army’s quartermaster units are charged with receiving, issuing and storing supplies for Soldiers. Currently, the 103rd Quartermaster Company consists primarily of less experienced Soldiers who have not deployed and who need opportunities to obtain training in their mission responsibilities. In addition to their mission at the West Point LRC, the company spent a couple days at the Army National Guard New York Training Site at Camp Smith to conduct weapons qualification.

“This assignment provided them with experience in their mission tasks. At the same time, it provided them with a mission where they operated together as a unit and where they obtained experience working with their leadership. They were also able to accomplish some of the basic Soldier training that is required. It was a good experience for them, and will be beneficial in terms of building morale and team cohesiveness. The experience is good for retention and recruiting,” Harrell said. 

Harrell’s visit provided the West Point LRC the opportunity to familiarize him with its operations and responsibilities, and to solidify relationships that could lead to future Reserve component assignments in support of its mission. 

“A visit like this is important for the LRC so we have a voice in AMC headquarters, a leader at headquarters who sees the challenges and opportunities we have here,” said Paul Brown, director of the West Point LRC. “The assistance we receive from the Army Reserve and National Guard is beneficial to all of us because it allows us to augment our operations while providing good training for Soldiers.”

Brown said the West Point LRC is staffed to manage every day operations, but there’s not enough staff to maintain operations while also conducting the required 100 percent inventory at the end of every fiscal year. “

These Soldiers assisted us in doing the inventory. The support they provided us shortened the amount of time we had to actually close operations,” Brown said. “We appreciate the work they did for us and their service to the country.”

The West Point LRC is one of 70-plus LRCs that provide logistical support to installations throughout the Army. 

“It is a unique operation in terms of its size and capacity, and that it’s in a university environment,” Harrell said. “This was a great opportunity for the Reserve Component to exercise mission essential tasks while also completing their required annual training.”

The 103rd’s assignment is part of a program used by the Army Sustainment Command to unite active and reserve components in supply and support training exercises focused on enhancing Army force readiness. 

“In the next couple of years, we will be ramping up these exercises to support the Army Materiel Command’s major subordinate commands. There will be more of these types of missions for the Reserve Component,” Harrell said. “Reserve Soldiers do a great job. They are eager to perform their mission in support of Army readiness. They are highly motivated and want to take on real-world missions in support of the Army.”

Harrell spent several hours with the 103rd’s Soldiers while visiting at West Point. It was important, he said, to show them that leadership values the support they provided at to the West Point LRC. He presented the Soldiers with certificates of appreciation from the West Point LRC.

“I enjoy talking to young Soldiers and telling them how important they are to the mission,” Harrell said. “Less than 20 percent of young people qualify for military service and much less than that decide to wear the uniform and prepare themselves to defend our country overseas. What the 103rd accomplished at West Point was an important requirement for mission success in support of our Army and in support of our nation. It’s always good to see young, motivated Soldiers who are eager for the opportunity to add value and to perform the mission.”