News: California soldiers support Canadian mission
Story by Spc. Hector Rene Membreno-Canales
GARRISON WAINWRIGHT, Alberta – California Army Reserve soldiers from several units are participating in the Canadian Army’s largest exercise of the year, Exercise Maple Resolve 2014 (EX MR14) here May 5-June 1.
Lt. Col. Tomika M. Seaberry, Support Operations Officer, 304th Sustainment Brigade, March Air Reserve Base, California, is the liaison officer for three U.S. Army Reserve units during EX MR14. She explains that EX MR14 is a unique opportunity for reservists to exercise not only their skillsets but also their equipment in a foreign country.
When asked what units are gaining from this training, Seaberry responded: “(EX MR14) is a joint effort. Look at the array of forces in the training exercise. There are many U.S. forces—Marines, Active (Army), National Guard, Reserve, Air Guard, as well as Canadian forces (Army, Navy, Air force) and U.K. elements. Participants get a joint exercise with other branches as well as with other militaries.”
Seaberry said the 968th Quartermaster Company, 250th Transportation Company (TC) and the 211th Transportation Company (TC) are providing logistical support for the exercise.
“We’ve driven over 50,000 accident free miles,” Seaberry said proudly. “We’re providing water, rations, and Conex movement.” It is important for the U.S. to maintain diplomatic ties with our neighbors to the north, she continued. “Exposure to our neighbors gives us an opportunity to learn their customs and courtesies.”
Master Sgt. Jeffrey Hudson, motor transport operator and senior truck master of the 250th Transportation Company said, “We do turn-and-burn missions as part of 24 hour operations.”
Hudson emphasized how important it is for U.S. forces to train jointly with Canadian forces: “Despite the war ending, it’s important to train with our allies because we can’t anticipate what may happen next. This way we’re on the same sheet of music.”
“There is a lesson learned from Operation Desert Storm,” said Hudson. When multi-national forces serve together they should understand each other’s operating procedures, he continued. “(U.S. forces) didn’t know how to work (with allied forces). These joint exercises mediate that learning curve.”
Cross training is perhaps one of the most effective ways to learn new techniques and tactics from other host nations. Hudson said it’s important to train not only as a nation but also as a continent, because as neighbors, we share the same borders.
In the contemporary battlefield, working together is becoming second nature, but it’s not to be taken for granted. “We cannot win any conflict or battle alone. We need the help and support of our allies,” concluded Hudson.