News: Quartermaster battalion focuses on positive outcomes
Story by Spc. Justin Snyder
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – As Soldiers begin to tear down tents, clean up their sites and undo the hundreds of feet of hose used during operations, the command of the 633rd Quartermaster Battalion will already be preparing for the 2015 Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise (QLLEX).
For the past two weeks, the 633rd QM Bn. has operationally controlled the 2014 QLLEX exercise at Fort Bragg, N.C.
QLLEX serves as the only multi-component, multi-service, multi-echelon and multi-functional training exercise. Reserve units from the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corp train in petroleum oil and lubricant exercises while producing thousands of gallons of purified water to be spread throughout the area of operations for use.
“It’s been great for the Soldiers to learn how to operate as a joint effort and get that level of familiarity,” said Lt. Col. Sherrell Murray, commander of the 633rd QM Bn. out of Sharonville, Ohio. “It’s preparing us for the real battlefield operations. We can only improve going forward.”
When they began contacting units and making travel plans last year for the exercise, the 633rd command focused on developing standard operating procedures and ensuring the service members participating in the 2014 QLLEX had the best resources available to complete their mission successfully.
Over a period of two weeks, service members set up bag farms, sleeping tents, a laundry area and food service trailers throughout the Fayetteville wilderness. Water was pulled from nearby Lake Mcarthur to be treated and purified and ran via large sections of hose to allow for a healthy functioning home site.
Murray believes service members’ ability to retain information and execute under hot weather conditions allowed for operations to run smoothly.
“The whole purification process was great and they really supported us by being proficient in their tasks handed to them,” said Murray, a native of Woodbridge, North Carolina. “It was very exciting and fun to see a plan come together. There were no accidents and everything went very well.”
Soldiers were also able to take care of standard military tasks such as online education and medical readiness while out in the field. A Navy asset provided dental assistance and a learning center was set up with help from an Army Reserve Signal Company.
Over 100 Soldiers were able to complete Soldier development courses and other mandatory training that would normally be completed on battle assembly weekends.
For Murray, she believes that 2014 QLLEX was important in preparing her staff for future operations.
“This really opened my eyes and allowed me the chance to mentor Soldiers in a command setting,” said Murray. “Every opportunity is a teachable moment and this gave me the opportunity to not only teach, but lead.”
She says the Soldiers were able to get more proficient in their jobs and believes QLLEX is crucial in preparing them for future military endeavors.
“QLLEX is very vital to the Army and to the other branches that were able to participate,” said Murray. “In addition to being able to train in their (jobs), it also allows the leadership the opportunity to really know their Soldiers and to strengthen their tactical operations center.”