Monday, June 6, 2016 –
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The 85th Support Command staff hosted a Fiscal Year 17 mobilization conference for training support and logistical support Army Reserve battalions, June 4, 2016.
The battalions are assigned to the 85th Support Command but operationally controlled by First Army.
“It’s the first of its kind meant to replicate the Army joint assessment conference parried down to the training support battalion and logistical support battalion scope, “ explained Lt. Col. Jeff Carter, 85th Support Command Deputy, G-3/operations.
The conference presented a forum for command teams to examine the mobilization process and share their individual perspectives to get key issues answered.
“We are going through the military decision-making process,” explained Maj. Kelsey Barley, battalion S-3/operations, 3-335th Training Support Battalion, Fort Sheridan, Illinois. “The 85th is here to make sure the TSBNs are properly resourced to execute their missions during FY 17.”
Two questions that Barley sought answers for was defining pay and entitlements for Continental United States mobilized soldiers and how the mobilization would impact the unit’s battle assembly schedule for remaining staff members at Fort Sheridan for fiscal year 17.
Stephen Baker, First Army headquarters, shared that based on mobilizations from the past, units are put in a training cycle. When they demobilize they start the five-year cycle or sustainable readiness model all over again.
“This is to help those battalions that were mobilized get prepared for their mobilization,” said Baker. “There are readiness gates they have to achieve.”
Carter added that the units are screened via overall readiness posture, commander tenure and placed on a five-year rotation schedule.
“First Army is trying to build a depth of knowledge within its force so that more soldiers know how to run a mobilization platform,” explained Carter.
“This is important if they have to activate more mobilization bases in the future,” he said.
That is where the 85th Support Command ties in.
“The 85th is the provider,” explained Maj. Jeff Nordin, 5th Armored Brigade executive officer, Fort Bliss, Texas.
“We always have a mobilized training support battalion in support of our post mobilization units that might be deploying to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq, the Horn of Africa or Jordan.”
Deploying soldiers are provided with a wide variety of training during their mobilization.
“We run combat life-saver training, driver’s training, rollover training and a mission rehearsal exercise at the end, that’s the capstone. An eight-day field exercise,” Nordin said.
Fort Bliss and Fort Hood, Texas are literally the last stops for deploying units before they go overseas.
“Their final validation authority is the 5th Armored Brigade, at Fort Bliss, Texas (along with the 120th Infantry Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas),” explained Nordin.
Representatives participating in the conference included the 5th Armored Brigade; 120th Infantry Brigade; 157th Infantry Brigade; 189th Infantry Brigade, 177th Armored Brigade; 181st Infantry Brigade, 188th Infantry Brigade and 4th Cavalry Brigade.