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NEWS | June 29, 2016

Training to Sustain the Warfighter

By Capt. Christina Wright 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

CAMP ROBERTS, Calif.,  - Logistics keeps Soldiers in the fight, and whether a  deployment to a combat zone or training exercise like the Combat Support Training Exercise 91-16-02, the 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) stands ready to bring world class support to the force.

“This is a command and staff training exercise allowing our U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers and subordinate commands to work together,” said Capt. Shelly Carey. “We learn how to operate together so we can provide sustainment to supported units throughout the battle space.”
Carey, a native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the officer in charge of the multi-class section for the Support Operations section.

“SPO provides external support to the maneuver elements on the battle space. We work with the sustainment brigades and combat sustainment support battalions who coordinate with the brigade support battalions from the brigade combat teams,” said Carey. “That is how the commodities flow.

This was the annual training event for the 311th ESC this year. It takes place over the course of three weeks and is a critical training experience, since there is a limited amount of time during U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers’ typical monthly battle assemblies.

“The unit learns a lot during exercises this. It is one of the only times we can train on our core mission essential task list,” said Carey. “The SPO section is the tip of the spear within the sustainment command at every level. The heavy lifting goes on in our section.”

For Soldiers who work in the SPO section, the exercise presents an opportunity to learn new skills, such as operating the Command Post of the Future. Sgt. Jennifer Osborn, a radar repair technician and Iowa native, said attending the training was a valuable experience.

“It was an important thing to learn how to fully use all of our systems that pull data into CPOF so we can prepare briefs,” said Osborn. “Some Soldiers were not able to attend the week-long training, but I was able to show them what I had learned.”

In order to ensure that supplies lines can remain open and transportation assets are kept out of harm’s way, the SPO relies on other staff sections for an accurate picture of the battlefield. The G2 section is responsible for analyzing intelligence and putting together products that help commanders make informed decisions.
“The trend analysis we perform is important to our subordinate commands,” said Spc. Anthony Ramirez, intelligence analyst. “It helps to determine which routes are safer and what the best time of day is to travel for the convoys.”

For Ramirez, a native of Chino, California this is his first experience with a large training exercise after completing advanced individual training. This was an opportunity to build upon what he was taught.

“School teaches us the basics of intelligence analysis. They don’t specifically cover sustainment units or working at this echelon of command,” said Ramirez.

“The biggest thing I learned is work as team and help everyone out,” said Osborn. “Empower everyone to do the best job they can.”