FORT McCOY, Wis. –
The 877th Quartermaster Company, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is one of many U.S. Army Reserve units supporting the Combat Support Training Exercise 86-22-02 hosted by the 86th Training Division on Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
The goal for CSTX is to host a large-scale training exercise where units experience tactical-training exercises and scenarios where they undergo real-world missions to test their units mission competency.
Their mission started 1,400 miles away at their home base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There Soldiers packed the necessary gear, equipment and vehicles they would need in the weeks ahead. As a credit to the unit’s overall mission readiness, the distance would not slow the 877th down.
“Days driving in a convoy are very long and the key to success is a good driver rotation and well-planned stops to streamline the convoys driving over such a long distance”, said Staff Sgt. Joseph Cordova, petroleum supply specialist for the 877th Quartermaster Company.
“We had a couple minor mechanical issues along the way, but we were able to always get them rectified the same day”, said 1st Lt. Joseph Barnett, company commander, 877th Quartermaster Company. “Despite the challenges, we made all of our runs on time and remained on schedule.”
After the long haul to Fort McCoy, the 877th’s work was not over. The Soldiers jumped right into their training mission of setting up and running a Fuel System Supply Point (FSSP) that would be the heartbeat of the exercise, supplying daily fuel needs to more than 20 different units and thousands of Soldiers across the base.
“Proper coordination makes for smooth execution which leads to success in our mission”, said Barnett. “We did a lot of work on the front end of this exercise to make sure that when we showed up all of our lanes were clear and our guys were ready to execute."
During the exercise, the team is graded by Observer Coach/Trainers on how well they set up and manage their FSSP, manage fuel dispensary logs and react to simulated enemy attacks. “Our OC/T’s have been spectacular, they mostly took an observatory role and watched how we conducted our CTO’s (command training objectives)”, said Barnette. “We passed our objectives with flying colors."
“The team worked as a well-oiled machine”, said Cordova. “I myself am completely confident that each of these individuals got enough training and experience during this exercise that they could perform any responsibilities of the FSSP, or even supervise the fueling operations without me there.".
The Soldiers on the 877th attributed their success to having a trusting command team and a knowledgeable group of noncommissioned officers (NCO’s).
“It all comes down to having a good NCO core pass down their institutional knowledge and experience to the next generation of Soldiers,” said Barnett. “
Over the course of the two-week exercise, the Soldiers expect to process and deliver more than 30,000 gallons of fuel to units and Soldiers spread out across the base, keeping the life-blood of equipment flowing, and helping to ensure they, and the thousands of other Soldiers receive the hands-on experience they need to be prepared for any mission the future holds.