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NEWS | June 27, 2024

U.S. Army Reserve demonstrates cohesion across multiple exercises

By Senior Airman Matt Porter Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

U.S. Army Reserve Command units recently demonstrated their logistical proficiency in supporting warfighters across Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The exercises highlighted the intricate operations crucial for sustained mission readiness in today’s great power competition.

U.S. Army Support Activity Fort Dix’s training ranges hosted three large-scale readiness exercises: the Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise, the Warrior Exercise, and the Combat Support Training Exercise. The simultaneous execution of multiple exercises marked a first for USARC’s premier training installation, involving approximately 5,000 personnel to create realistic warfighting scenarios.

"We're here to simulate real-world conditions to prepare for future conflicts; readiness is paramount in today’s environment," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Kelly Yoder, 418th Quartermaster Battalion petroleum systems technician. "During QLLEX, fuel operations included trucking units transporting fuel from Defense Logistics Agency sources to Fuel System Supply Points. Petroleum supply specialists then conducted fuel downloads into storage bladders after rigorous inspections to ensure compliance with military standards."

In addition to fuel supply, QLLEX provided crucial resources such as purified water to support WAREX and CSTX.

"While our primary focus is fuel, supporting exercises like WAREX and CSTX with resources like water is crucial for mission success," Yoder emphasized. “While local water supplies are abundant in this area, we needed to prepare to operate in scenarios where that may not be the case and water needs to be trucked in and stored just like fuel.”

Throughout the two-week exercise, approximately 677,000 gallons of fuel were delivered, underscoring the scale of logistical operations managed at JB MDL. The exercise exemplified USARC’s commitment to operational readiness amid evolving international dynamics.

"As we adapt to current near-peer competition, exercises like QLLEX are critical in honing our logistical capabilities," Yoder noted. "Logistics wins wars, and we fight to win. As military exercises like QLLEX continue to evolve, the emphasis remains on refining logistical processes to meet today’s operational demands efficiently."

The strategic framework for fielding the Army of 2030, known as "Accelerate, Centralize, and Transform," underscores the importance of modernization and advancing a force capable of Multi-Domain Operations against near-peer adversaries. WAREX and CSTX prepare Soldiers to engage effectively in real-world scenarios as the tip of the spear into any theater.

"We aimed to include several important aspects in these exercises: rapid engagement, diverse enemy capabilities, and a departure from antiquated approaches," said Lt. Col. Samantha Bowman, 316th Sustainment Command chief of operations. "Many of the Soldiers currently deployed are experienced in counterinsurgency doctrine and environments, making this iteration a notable transition for them."

The U.S. Army total force relies on tightly knit teams that are extensively trained, disciplined and in peak physical condition to achieve victory. This strategic edge over near-peer adversaries is foundational for future successful engagements.

Bowman stressed the importance of maximizing every training opportunity available to Army Reserve soldiers, given their limited training time throughout the year.

"This scenario involved a full-scale mobilization against a near-peer adversary, and the training employed here could be these Soldiers’ last; underscoring the critical need to provide scenarios as close to the real thing as possible," Bowman said. "Soldiers are resilient and eager to train; the more challenging it is, the more they rise to meet that standard and then exceed it."