Ready Now! Shaping Tomorrow ...
SALINAS, Puerto Rico — Lt. Gen. Jody J. Daniels, chief of Army Reserve and commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command, visited the training operations of the 166th Regional Support Group, 1st Mission Support Command, at Camp Santiago Joint Maneuver Training site here, March 5.
The brigade incorporated the operations Rise of the Jedi-Best Warrior Competition and Oil Slick II-Defense Support of Civil Authorities Specialized Equipment Readiness.
“This is Army training, this is cool stuff, this is getting our equipment out, using it and becoming proficient in what we do, knowing our battle task and drills,” said the three-star general.
Daniels walked around the training site, had lunch with the Soldiers, and asked them questions about the training.
The 166th RSG leadership also had an opportunity to dialogue with the commanding general. Col. Brian J. Slaughter, 166th RSG brigade commander, said the intent was to maximize the overall readiness of the brigade.
“We decided to push the envelope and maximize our resources to benefit the diverse skill set of the soldiers in the command,” said Slaughter. “This event exercised imagination, challenged the staff, and contributed to a cohesive team environment that we plan to upon this and next training year.”
The 166th RSG Command Sgt. Maj. Shahpour J. Eskandary said the brigade is continually working to enhance training and test their capabilities as they relate to the Defense Support of Civil Authorities.
"There are several goals we achieved in these collective training engagements including increased equipment utilization, proficiency in tasks, cooperative and collaborative efforts, motivation and building cohesive teams," said Eskandary. "The level of engagement in these combined exercises was remarkable from battalions down to detachments, each had a stake and value added."
The staff members of the brigade worked for weeks coordinating with the different units, ensuring processes are following Army regulations and developing unique training opportunities.
“An enormous amount of planning and effort went into this event,” said Col. Slaughter. “That would not have been possible without the dedication and creativity of this amazing staff.”
Eskandary said the 166th RSG staff did not take the easy way out of any obstacle they encountered, instead they found ways to train and meet the commander's intent.
For Staff Sgt. Jose Roberto Vazquez, senior supply sergeant for the 166th RSG, the preparation process required a lot of meetings and communication among peers.
“Having a clear vision was paramount for us to develop this event,” said Vazquez. “We evaluated every aspect of the trainings to identify any equipment or support that we were missing in order to close any gaps.”
In the end all the hard work paid off, he concluded.
The U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico has thousands of citizen soldiers with highly technical, specialized, and professional skills in logistics, transportation, training, engineering, information technology, communication networking, among others.