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NEWS | June 21, 2016

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers Train to Maintain Overall Mission Readiness

By Sgt. Krista Rayford 367th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif.– Combat is never convenient and the U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from 1017th Quartermaster Company, Camp Pendleton, California, found that out when their fuel point was attacked during Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) 91-16-02 at Fort Hunter Liggett, California, June 17, 2016.
As the largest U.S. Army Reserve training exercise, CSTX 91-16-02 provides Soldiers with unique opportunities to sharpen their technical and tactical skills in combat-like conditions. It takes place over the course of three weeks.
The 1017th’s primary mission during CSTX is to set up a fully operational fuel system supply point (FSSP) at Tactical Assembly Area (TAA) Schoonover, while continuously training on their basic Soldier skills. Defending the FSSP is just part of their CSTX mission and reacting to enemy contact is the responsibility of every Soldier, so they knew there was potential for a scenario like this to happen when they arrived at TAA Schoonover nearly two weeks ago.
“We ran battle drills often to ensure our Soldiers were ready to react should our FSSP come under fire,” said Sgt. Kevin Troung, FSSP  Schoonover noncommissioned officer-in-charge, 1017th Quartermaster Company, Camp Pendleton, California. “I was confident that the team would be ready.”
It is the primary fuel point for thousands of U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers attending CSTX 91-16-02, which includes five different tactical training areas. FSSP Schoonover is a vital resource that has provided over 90,000 gallons of fuel to date in support of the exercise and services an average of 100 vehicles per day. Soldiers have to be prepared to defend the fuel point because if it shuts down, it could impact the capabilities of almost every unit in the exercise.
“We know that without fuel, this mission cannot be supported,” said Troung. “This makes us work harder and harder to be prepared.”
Missions at CSTX 91-16-02 are attended by Observer Coach Trainers (OCTs) who are U.S. Army Reserve and active duty officers and noncommissioned officers with comprehensive knowledge of career-specific skills and procedures, as well as tactical skills and operations that every Soldier performs, regardless of their job. Their role at the exercise is to test the readiness of units and provide mentorship, education and feedback based on what they observe.
To assess the 1017th’s preparedness, the OCTs triggered a surprise attack by a group of role players acting as a hostile force. The 1017th Soldiers immediately responded by recognizing the threat and returning fire, which ultimately resulted in repelling the attack. The OCTs also injected a problem into the scenario to see how the Soldiers would react.
“We killed off Sgt. Troung, just to see what would happen,” said Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone Farley, OCT noncommissioned officer-in-charge, 4th Calvary Regiment, Fort Knox, Kentucky.
If a key leader in the unit becomes a casualty during combat, junior Soldiers may need to take command in order to complete the mission effectively, said Farley. This exercise helps bring scenarios like that to life.
“This training was very beneficial and my troops reacted appropriately,” said Troung. “I think the best part about CSTX is that each of them seem eager to take on more responsibility as they know they are critical to mission success.”