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NEWS | June 16, 2016

398th CSSB pioneers new logistics training at WAREX 91-16-02

By Spc. Blake Essex 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command

FORT HUNTER-LIGGETT, Cali.-The Army Reserve Soldiers of the 398th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, headquartered in Rockville, Md., teamed up with the 91st Training Division and the 75th Training Division to provide logistics training support for WAREX 91-16-02 at Fort Hunter-Liggett, Cali. from Apr 30 to May 14, 2016.  

WAREX 91-16-02 was different for the 398th CSSB because their role was to educate the exercise trainers on how logistics play a role on the battlefield to add realism to the training environment, as well as take part in the exercise.

Lt. Col. Troy A. Postin, the battalion commander of the 398th CSSB, said, “Our leadership wanted to ensure that there was professional logistical representation in the exercise, and we wanted to ensure that there were logisticians here that would focus on training logistical operations in a real world environment.”

Operating outside the box was exactly what the Soldiers of the 398th CSSB set out to do.  The training goal was to begin an evolution in the quality of the trainers and the realism of the training.  “During the exercise, many trainers reached out to ask questions and learn more to provide a better training experience for the units that train here,” continued Postin.

Army Reserve Capt. Nadine A. Shaw, from HHC, 55th Sustainment Brigade, headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., but attached to the 398th CSSB for WAREX 91-16-02 as battle captain, said, “The mission was focused on preparing us to be better staff based on situation.”

Stepping outside a unit’s normal comfort zone and taking on a larger role can be intimidating but the Soldiers of 398th CSSB rose to the challenge, taking on a higher role that they typically don’t assume.

“Our unit was definitely dealing with a different type of mission out here,” said Army Reserve 1st Sgt. Michael M. Figueroa Jr., from HHC, 398th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. “Many of us were used to dealing with company level operations, when we hit the ground out here, we were faced with a brigade level mission,” said Figueroa.

“Dealing with the different aspects and key factors of making the larger scale brigade operation workable, such as the MCS, the medical portion of operations, aviation asset management, etc. was more than what I was used,” continued Figueroa, “and helped many of our Soldiers grow as leaders and managers by leaps and bounds during the WAREX.”

“For me the greatest takeaways were learning how to sustain MDMP planning for the commander at a challenging level that was new to me,” said Shaw.

A realistic training environment like WAREX 91-16-02 may be challenging, but when the chance comes Soldiers rise to the occasion, going above and beyond to accomplish the mission.  

“Even though the exercise was composed of scenarios, they forced us to think outside of the box,” continued Shaw, “getting away from the weekend BTA and into this type of daily exercise environment allowed us to focus and really learn the process.”