ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. –
Twenty-five units are participating in 25 exercises this summer as part of Operation Patriot Press 2023.
Joint Munitions Command — in conjunction with the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard — holds the annual exercise, which was established by the Army Materiel Command, to train members of Army active duty, Army Reserve and National Guard, as well as other services, on how to support the Army’s overall strategic-positioning objectives.
Soldiers will meet their annual training requirements and support real-world missions through OPP-23, while realigning 3,800 short tons (274 twenty-foot equivalent units) of munitions across the enterprise. They will also carry out missions at seven locations — Anniston Munitions Center in Alabama, Crane Army Ammunition Activity in Indiana, Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky, Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada, Letterkenny Munitions Center in Pennsylvania, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in Oklahoma, and Tooele Army Depot in Utah, which are all JMC installations.
Throughout OPP-23, Soldiers will support emerging requirements for outload and storage improvement and aligning over 24,000 short tons of munitions.
OPP-23 provides an opportunity for units to enhance logistical readiness and total force integration by working directly with active-duty counterparts and Civilian workforce under JMC.
JMC provides the conventional ammunition life-cycle functions of logistics sustainment, readiness and acquisition support for all U.S. military services, other government agencies, and allied nations as directed. JMC is the logistics integrator for life-cycle management of ammunition providing a global presence of technical support to frontline units.
Individual and collective Mission Essential Tasks are conducted during OPP-23. Units partner with ammunition storage locations around the nation for the AMC initiative, and Soldiers configure, issue, manage, receive, and ship stock.
“This mission is really an important readiness driver, not only for the JMC enterprise but for the services and the units that participate,” said Seth Dismore, who is the chief of logistics planning for JMC. “They have an opportunity to hone their skills and train, while executing real world ammunition logistics missions.”
Unit participation in OPP-23 is not mandatory, and specific missions are listed in an Army database, including the types of ammo to be moved as well as the drop off and pick up locations. Units can select missions that meet their respective training requirements. The system benefits Soldiers by providing them with valuable experience.
The Utah National Guard’s 118th Transportation Company, which is from Spanish Fork, Utah, participated in OPP-23 in mid-April. Roughly 60 Soldiers from its 1st and 2nd platoon were able to put their skills to use in missions, and it was the fourth straight year the 118th has trained at TEAD.
“I believe that OPP is an absolutely great experience for Soldiers. This year was a unique experience as there was a wide variety of loads as far as shapes, sizes, and weights requiring different methods of securing loads,” said Sgt. 1st Class Curtis Shumway, 2nd platoon sergeant. “This gives us real-world practice hauling over the roadway, and gives our drivers experience loading, strapping, and driving. This gives our drivers accountability and understanding that once they take possession of a load, they are responsible for the care of it.
“With this being our fourth year, we now have Soldiers that have gained the experience with these real-world missions and are able to pass down that knowledge to younger Soldiers,” Shumway added. “OPP gives Soldiers a greater knowledge and understanding of why we train throughout the year and gives them an opportunity to do the job they signed up for. They can gain a greater appreciation for how essential they are as a transportation company.”
Other units who are taking part in OPP-23 include:
- The 163rd Ordnance Company, Army Reserve (California)
- Detachment 1 Combat Logistics Battalion, U.S. Marines Reserve (California)
- The 144th and 1218th Transportation Company, Army National Guard (Florida)
- The 1244th Transportation Company, Army National Guard (Illinois)
- The 2112th and 2123rd Transportation Company, Army National Guard (Kentucky)
- The 128th Forward Support Company, and the 1229th Transportation Company, Army National Guard (Maryland)
- The 1460th and 1463 rd Transportation Company, Army National Guard (Michigan)
- The 1231st Transportation Company, Army National Guard (Missouri)
- The 295th Ordnance Company, Army Reserve (Nebraska)
- The 1115th Transportation Company, Army National Guard (New Mexico)
- The 18th Field Artillery Brigade, Army (North Carolina)
- The 1484th and 1485th Transportation Company, Army National Guard (Ohio)
- The 121st and 131st Transportation Company, Army National Guard (Pennsylvania)
- The 452nd Ordnance Company, Army Reserve (South Dakota)
- The 1032nd, 1710th and 1173rd Transportation Company, Army National Guard (Virginia)