211th Regional Support Group is staying ready

By Maj. Thomas Piernicky | 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) | Oct. 17, 2018

CORPUS CHRISI, Texas — U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with the 211th Regional Support Group and 812th Quartermaster Company spent the weekend conducting activities that ensure they are prepared to deploy in support future operations. Soldier and unit readiness are critical to keep today’s Army Reserve capable, combat ready and lethal. 

The weekend started off with the Soldiers from the 211th RSG taking the Army Physical Fitness Test on Saturday morning. This event tests the individual Soldier’s fitness with three timed events including push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run. After the fitness test, the Soldiers consolidated in the unit's motorpool to conduct maintenance on their military vehicles.

“We are conducting preventative maintenance on a M1097 HMMWV,” said Sgt. Richard Washburn, a veteran noncommissioned officer with 12 years of service. “We are getting them prepped for our annual training event next year and we are going to do a road test later today, so we have to make sure the vehicles are good to go.” 

Doing regular preventative maintenance checks and services, or PMCS, on these vehicles is essential for the safety of Soldiers as they conduct operations and training. 

“You want to ensure that everything is working so that when you take the equipment out on the road it is not going to break down and cause any injuries to yourself or the civilian population,” said Washburn. “You want to ensure the vehicle is ready for use for training events or missions down the road.” 

Newer Soldiers lack experience operating military equipment and must rely on seasoned non-commissioned officers like Washburn to train them. Cadet Sheri Dyana Ortiz looked through the maintenance manual while receiving guidance from Washburn. 

“I am learning PMCS,” said Ortiz. “I am basically just learning how to inspect a HMMWV and making sure it is equipped for our next AT.”

While vehicle readiness is essential for mission success, machines cannot run without people operating them. Soldiers must maintain themselves thorough physical fitness and regular medical checkups. On Sunday, the 211th RSG traveled to Kingsville, Texas, to attend a mass medical event where civilian medical providers gave the Soldiers health screenings. 

“We do these mass medical events generally twice a year,” said Col. Kelly McNeese, commander of the 211th RSG. “It’s to try and help as our folks are very wide-spread across a very disparate part of Texas. This helps get the unit together and make sure we are all medically ready at the same time.”

These mass medical events are coordinated through Logistics Health Incorporated which subcontracts medical providers from the region near the military unit. These providers are happy to serve military members whom sacrifice so much for our country. 

“I love servicing our military as it is a way to give back to those with great service to us,” said Patience Thomas, a Licensed Vocational Nurse, based out of Houston, Texas. “I believe that helps when the military goes out to different countries, it helps to protect them against things they don’t even know they are up against.” 

Service members are grateful for the ease at having a one-stop-shop to get all their medical needs taken care of. 

“These events are helpful,” said Pfc. Anthony Rodriguez, a logistics specialist with the 812th Quartermaster Company. “Usually, our time out in the civilian world we are busy, some of us have jobs, and this event gives us the ability to do those appointments we can’t do out there.”

While these medical events make Soldiers’ lives easier, they take significant time and effort to prepare. 

“For the MMEs, there is a lot of preparation. It starts 90 days out,” said 1st Sgt. Cristina Wilson with the 812th Quartermaster Company, based in Kingsville, Texas. “First we have to scrub the list to make sure we have the right personnel coming in, because we have Soldiers out in training. Then coordinating with LHI, that is a lot of emails and calls. The day of the event, I think that is the easiest part. It is just setting up the stations and tables and labeling it, which takes no more than an hour to get it going.”

The mass medical event on Sunday provided four main services including hearing tests, immunizations, dental checks with X-rays, and a periodic health assessment which checks a Soldier’s vision and mental well-being. Although the services provided can vary based on the needs of the unit, on average throughput can be between 10-18 personnel in an hour. 

“I think they are very important because not only do we need to be ready as far as equipment and personnel, but the individuals themselves have to be ready at all times,” said Wilson. “These mass medical events assure us that we are doing the right thing that we need.“ 

Army Reserve unit leaders like the advantage and ease these events provide to ensuring their unit is fit and ready to deploy. 

“Medical readiness is the cornerstone to individual Soldier readiness,” said Col. McNeese. “We can’t have formations without Soldiers that are deployable and capable of doing their mission,” 

The 211th Regional Support Group is part of the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). The 4th ESC has units throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. As part of America’s Army Reserve, the units are capable, combat-ready, lethal and equipped to provide military and logistical support in any corner of the globe.
For more information about the U.S. Army Reserve, visit http://www.usar.army.mil/.