News: New units roll into Camp Atterbury in preparation for Vibrant Response
Story by Sgt. Terence Ewings
CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. — Soldiers assigned to the 609th Movement Control Team received, unloaded and staged tactical vehicles and containerized units, July 25, in preparation for the Vibrant Response 13, a major training exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North.
Throughout the next month of training, approximately 9,000 service members and civilians will participate in the exercise, which is designed to conduct lifesaving and life-sustaining missions, provide logistics support to a theater of operations and perform technical chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear consequence management tasks and civil support plans.
“This is an important training exercise that will further train and ensure that our troops can respond to (homeland) disasters and incidents,” said Capt. Brad Stark, the officer in charge of railhead and line-haul yard operations.
As part of the Joint Task Force – Civil Support headquarters element, the 609th MCT and supporting units working in the railhead and line-haul yard are responsible for receiving unit vehicles and containers shipped from military bases around the country, maintaining accountability of all the equipment and ensuring the items are redistributed back to their designated home duty stations after exercise is completed.
“We’re responsible for having these vehicles staged and ready to go in a timely manner so that the other units can perform their designated functions within JTF-CS,” said Stark, a native of Kimberly, Ala. “If a real-world incident were to occur, we would be doing the same thing, assisting these units as they deploy in-country to help the people.”
As vehicles and containers were received from the commercial transportation services, soldiers like Cpl. Somphone Sihavong, a transportation management coordinator from China Grove, N.C., assisted in filing the attached shipping paperwork, delivering the load to the line haul yard and unloading the equipment.
“It’s always great to have an opportunity to train and become more proficient in what you do,” said Sihavong.
Recently returning from his third deployment from Afghanistan, Sihavong believes this exercise will further increase his knowledge in managing tactical vehicles and allow him the opportunity to train his fellow junior enlisted soldiers on how to excel as transport management specialist.
“I’ve been doing this job while deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan so I have a wealth of experience to share with my battle buddies,” said Sihavong. “I like training and learning the different aspects of my job and being able to show off what I know during training events like this; it’s why I joined the Army.”
JTF-CS headed out of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., is the command and control element for the Defense Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Response Force.