KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany –
Soldiers of the 7th Mission Support Command set-up a command post in an exercise designed to test their ability to perform mission essential tasks under tactical conditions at Daenner Kaserne May 30 to June 4, 2019.
After establishing the command post, setting field tables and connecting all the cables necessary to run a major staff command in a tactical environment, the Soldiers of the 7th MSC executed the exercise scenario.
The notional security sustainment mission simulated thousands of Soldiers in vehicles convoying through various routes and ports throughout Europe under constantly changing conditions. The 7th MSC staff honed their skills in the military decision-making process, staff operations and running estimates, which were presented in twice-daily briefings.
According to Col. Timothy S. Sumovich, Chief of Staff of the 7th MSC, the Annual Training event was intended to support both collective and individual training objectives.
“We chose this year’s Annual Training event to teach command post operations,” said Sumovich “And to support individual Soldier level skills through an obstacle course and land navigation events.”
He added that this exercise helped staff sections streamline their operations as well as test their ability to identify essential information to brief the commanding general. The information presented by the staff sections to the CG is critical to his ability to make informed decisions in a timely manner.
“We’re making sure that our Soldier’s individual readiness is accounted for, along with being able to execute our collective tasks,” said Sumovich.
These collective tasks are essential to the 7th MSC’s mission as the only forward stationed U.S. Army Reserve command in Europe.
7th Army Training Command’s Joint Multinational Simulation Center, Mission Command Program, located at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria in Grafenwoehr, also supported the exercise by sending evaluators to aide and evaluate staff operations during the exercise.
Bryan D. Kroontje, a retired Army command sergeant major and exercise evaluator, headed the MCP team that evaluated the exercise here at Daenner Kaserne.
Kroontje said that a Reserve staff like the 7th MSC has unique challenges in regard to preparation, timing, and establishing team relationships necessary for staff operations.
“In the active Army when we talk about planning for operations, we talk about six weeks out,” said Kroontje “And with a Reserve unit, when you talk about eight weeks out, you’re really only talking about a few working days.”
Despite the compact preparation timing that the Soldiers of the 7th MSC faced, Kroontje said the Soldiers displayed a positive outlook and developed a strong learning curve.
“It takes just a day or two to really get up to speed but they work really well together, they’re ready for whatever mission they’re given,” said Kroontje.