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NEWS | Aug. 15, 2023

Pershing Strike Mobilization Exercise II a total Army effort

By Sgt. Marlana Cureton 188th Infantry Brigade

The 188th Infantry Brigade participated in a Mobilization Level Two Exercise as part of First Army’s Operation Pershing Strike, July 23-Aug. 2 on Fort Stewart. The exercise integrated the Army Mobilization Enterprise on designated Active, Inactive and Contingency Mobilization Force Generation Installations where reserve component forces mobilize for Federal Active-Duty Service.

The purpose of a MOBEX II is to validate MFGI operational and support plans, engage participating units in Soldier Readiness Processing, post-mobilization training plans, and validation of a Global Management Allocation Plan or rotational deploying unit.

The Mobilization Support Force integrates the MOBEX training into their Annual Training plans, which means communication between U.S. Army Forces Command, First Army, and the participating components is imperative to success.

Coordination of the events that included medical readiness, range qualifications, and updating legal documents and classes, took planning oversight and financial expertise to effectively execute.

“Thirteen different units came from 13 locations across the country and convened on Fort Stewart to understand their role in large scale mobilization operations,” said Maj. Aaron Palmer, the current operations officer in charge of the 188th Infantry Brigade, “the most difficult thing was understanding the financial piece and intricacies involved in getting everyone here.”

He said that despite the logistical difficulties, everyone worked hard to communicate through problems unemotionally and objectively, throughout each phase of the exercise which will pay off during future MOBEX training.

Soldiers going through the event were grateful for the training they received during the MOBEX.

First Lt. Darien Reyes assigned to the 4th platoon, 376th Postal Company, 304th Sustainment Brigade, believes that not only has the MOBEX been valuable for his platoon to be properly trained for their upcoming mission, but more importantly, it helped them to bond together as a more cohesive unit.

“I feel we will be more than prepared and qualified after this training and the postal certification that we received here and on Fort Liberty, North Carolina,” Reyes said.

Sgt. Ernan Martinez, also assigned to 4th platoon, 376th Postal Company, 304th Sus. Bde. agreed saying that this training was a further improvement on his last mobilization, and that his platoon recognizes the standards that have been set for them going forward on their mission.

“This mobilization, we have operations that are essential to the mission and the training is the basis of what we will be doing, so it’s been excellent,” Martinez said.

The 188th Inf. Bde. Observer, Coach/Trainers handled the day-to-day movement and training of the mobilizing Soldiers, and they did so according to standard and doctrine. Sgt. 1st Class Peter Streb, an OC/T assigned to 1-306th Infantry Battalion, 188th Inf. Bde., said that although the postal training they were conducting wasn’t something he was familiar with initially, he made sure to lead the training in a way that ensured the success of the Soldiers that he was instructing.

The job of the OC/T is to observe units during training, control and provide realistic situational training exercises, and create variables that prepare units for deployment and missions where they may meet uncooperative opponents. They then follow up with After Action Reports (AARs), to provide important feedback that will increase the performance of the unit benefitting from the training.

Staff Sgt. Xavier Galvan also assigned to 1-306th Infantry Battalion, 188th Inf. Bde., said that training outside of his MOS was a welcome challenge. He has trained 11C, 11B, Scouts, and now a postal platoon.

“OC/T gets you out of your comfort zone and broadens your knowledge, it makes you dig deep into doctrine and become a better leader,” Galvan said.

MOBEX Pershing Strike is a Total-Army effort that included active-duty Army, U.S. Army Reserve and the National Guard. Held annually, this First Army exercise supports large-scale combat operations through mobilization of reserve component Soldiers.

This year’s training is laying the brickwork for the road to 2027, where the goal is to mobilize a brigade level element.

Palmer spoke highly of the goals accomplished during Pershing Strike.

“We were able to effectively conduct large scale mobilization operations with the entire enterprise to include the MSF. We learned a lot and can get better, but we were able to validate that we are capable of mobilizing and deploying a small unit, which will pay off when doing this for real.”