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NEWS | May 29, 2019

The 77th Sustainment Brigade Begins Pre-Deployment Training Exercise

By Staff Sgt. David Clemenko 77th Sustainment Brigade

The 77th Sustainment Brigade, with its headquarters at Fort Dix, NJ, recently arrived at Fort Hood, Texas to begin pre-mobilization training. The brigade, which carries the lineage of the historic 77th Infantry Division, last mobilized in 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“The 77th Sustainment Brigade is once again called upon to deploy forward to the Middle East to provide logistics support for Operations Spartan Shield, Inherent Resolve and Freedom Sentinel,” said Col. Jake S. Kwon, Brigade Commander, 77th Sustainment Brigade.

“The unit trained for this over the last several years, culminating with a Warfighter Exercise to test the unit’s capabilities in a high tempo environment,” said Kwon. “The Liberty Warriors are embarking upon this next chapter well-trained, with high spirits and ready for any challenge that will come their way.”

The brigade will spend a few weeks going through the required medical checks, personnel and finance, uniform issue, legal and other necessary requirements that are part of in-processing at a mobilization site.

The pinnacle of the pre-mobilization process is the Mission Readiness Exercise (MRX) which is facilitated by First Army Division. The MRX is the final exercise and validation for the 77th Sustainment Brigade before they receive the green light for mobilization. Facilitating the exercise are Observer Controller Trainers (OC/T) from First Army who are there as advisors to the staff of the 77th to ensure they are ready for the real world mission that is ahead of them.

“First Army’s mission is to train and validate units to execute the National Defense Strategy,” said Lt. Col. Terrence A. Adams, OC/T Battalion Commander, 2nd Battalion, 360th Phantoms.

Adams commands a team of 66 OC/T’s that execute the mission of training reserve units in support of First Army West.

“There is no better job in the US Army Reserve than to be an OC/T,” said Adams. “In order to be an OC/T you have to be among the best Non-Commissioned Officers and Officers in the US Army Reserve. When the 77th leaves Fort Hood, they will be able to execute the National Defense Strategy, we will make sure of it.”

The Support Operations section of the 77th, also known simply as “The SPO”, has a crucial role in the success of the exercise and mission.

“Our job in the Central Command area of operations is to synchronize and mange logistics for our customers,” said Lt. Col. Adam T. Seibel, Support Operations Officer, 77th Sustainment Brigade.

Customers include maneuver elements, coalition forces and theater security cooperation missions in support of Spartan Shield, Inherent Resolve and Freedom Sentinel.

“Participating in this MRX provides the staff a training opportunity to rehearse and execute their technical specialties,” said Seibel. “The SPO is the largest section in the brigade with overall responsibility of all logistics management and advisory duties to the brigade commander.”

“The 77th Sustainment Brigade has the honor of maintaining a storied legacy,” said Kwon. “Recently, we celebrated the centennial of the formation of the 77th Infantry Division and traveled to France as a part of the Army’s commemoration of World War I. It was a humbling experience as we traveled through the hallowed grounds our predecessors fought through in the Argonne Forest. We were fortunate enough to sit in the very same “funk holes” and impact craters our brethren fought from, now known as “The Lost Battalion”. It’s a tremendous opportunity and honor for us to open the second century of our unit’s history with our upcoming deployment and write another storied chapter in its lineage.”