March 10, 2016 –
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – As the sun rose, it cast light on rows of military vehicles standing still, neatly aligned and ready to take Soldiers to their daily missions. The Soldiers of the 766th Transportation Battalion, based in South Bend, Ind., stood at the ready as well, nearly as stiff as the cold metal of the vehicles- it was after all a particularly brutal New Jersey winter. Nevertheless, the Soldiers of the Army Reserve’s 766th Transportation Battalion battled the extreme winter weather and field conditions to keep the mission rolling during Warrior Exercise 78-16-01 (WAREX).
The weeks were filled with T-Rations and MREs, wearing heavy combat protective equipment, and lots of snivel gear, and through it all the 766th excelled.
“It’s going much better than we anticipated. One of the challenges was the inclement weather we encountered when we first got out here. It brought into play an enemy situation that was not scripted, was natural and we responded in an appropriate manner,” said Lt. Col. Gregory J. Schlub, commander of the 766th Transportation Battalion, 643rd Regional Support Group.
WAREX involved more than 40 units from across the U.S. Army Reserve, U.S. Army National Guard and Canadian Armed Forces, with more than 2,800 Soldiers participating. The exercise is a large scale multi-component collective training event designed to prepare individual Soldiers and units for deployment.
“Meeting the challenges brought on by the weather out here, while keeping the OPTEMPO to the normal exercise level has brought a sense of accomplishment that our Soldiers will remember,” Schlub remarked. Command Sgt. Major David W. Richter, senior enlisted advisor for the 766th Transportation Battalion, shared Schlub’s assessment, “I think it’s going real well. We’ve had some bumps and bruises, but have adapted to the cold weather environment. It’s been a great training exercise that I feel has allowed us to put our training into practice.”
“We don’t have the unpredictability that we would have if it was strictly the training commands hitting us with injects or having us figure out how we were going to clear the area, remove the snow, etc…This training is important because it's a building exercise. This is a training exercise leading in our development to readiness for the next level, CSTX, that is a culminating exercise before we go into our ready year,” Richter shared.
Ultimately, this year’s Warrior Exercise 78-16-01 offered the training to prepare the 766th Transportation Battalion for missions coming down the road, and 766th Soldiers showed they are ready for the trip.