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NEWS | June 5, 2024

Operation Patriot Press 2024 underway

By Matthew Wheaton Joint Munitions Command, Public and Congressional Affairs

The 2024 edition of Operation Patriot Press is underway, and 14 units are executing 15 exercises.

The Joint Munitions Command — in collaboration with the U.S. Army Reserve, National Guard and the active-duty Army component — annually conducts OPP. This exercise, established by the Army Materiel Command, is designed to promote readiness by providing real-world training for Army requirements and to achieve training towards mission essential task requirements for Army active duty, Army Reserve, National Guard and various other service branches.

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.

Throughout JMC OPP missions, units partner with ammunition storage locations around the nation and Soldiers configure, issue, manage, receive, ship and transport stocks.

Unit participation in OPP is not mandatory and specific mission instructions include 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 hands-on experience. Having Soldiers move stocks also promotes distribution efficiency and flexibility across the network.

Eighty-two Soldiers with the Pennsylvania National Guard's 131st Transportation Company, 228th Transportation Battalion, 213th Regional Support Group recently experienced OPP-24.

The 131st TC conducted an asset realignment mission and moved 64 twenty-foot equivalent units from the Crane Army Ammunition Activity in Indiana to the Letterkenny Munitions Center in Pennsylvania.

“The main challenges the unit faced were mechanical issues of equipment on the road. The unit was able to overcome these obstacles by the professionalism of the maintenance section. Due to their knowledge of the equipment, they were able to repair 90% of mechanical issues on the road,” said 1st Sgt. Andrew Lukach of the 131st TC. “The remainder of mechanical issues, the maintenance section was able to recover all equipment back to home station. Due to the work of the maintenance section, the unit was able to safely complete the mission delivering all [twenty-foot equivalent units].”

The 131st also faced some unanticipated challenges with the route it expected to take.

“The main unexpected obstacle the convoy faced on the road were road closures, due to construction, that forced the convoy to detour off their route,” said Sgt. First Class Brian Swomley. “This was overcome by the experience and intercommunication of the serial commanders of the convoy. They were able to safely detour the convoy on a route that was in compliance for hauling ammunition.”

The Soldiers from the 131st learned some lessons along the way.

“The unit learned to increase non-verbal communication such as warning lights between vehicles,” Swomley said. “This allows better warning for vehicles traveling in between military vehicles or warning if there is a traffic slowdown on the highways.”

Overall, the members of the 131st are glad they took part in OPP-24.

“Being able to participate in OPP has been an extreme morale booster for the unit. We executed missions that are in line with the Soldiers’ military occupational specialty, and the Soldiers feel they are directly contributing to the security of the state and nation,” said Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Heisey. “Being able to participate in more missions like OPP will greatly increase the retention of Soldiers in the unit.”

Other units who are taking part in OPP-24 include:

  • The 163rd Ordnance Company, Army Reserve (California)
  • The 1148th and 1230th Transportation Companys, Army National Guard (Georgia)
  • The 18th Field Artillery Brigade, Army (North Carolina)
  • The 1482nd, 1485th and 1486th Transportation Companys, Army National Guard (Ohio)
  • The 1742nd Transportation Company, Army National Guard (South Dakota)
  • The 118th Transportation Company, Army National Guard (Utah)
  • The 1710th Transportation Company, Army National Guard (Virginia)
  • The 63rd Ordnance Company, Army (Washington)
  • The 395th Ordnance Company, Army Reserve (Wisconsin)
  • The 415th Engineer Facility Detachment (Tennessee)