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    Iowa Soldiers supporting the support

    MP Soldier supports support mission

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Tawny Schmit | Spc. Carrie Savage, a military police Soldier attached to the 1034th Combat...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Tawny Schmit 

    135th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    The 1034th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB), 734th Regional Support Group (RSG), Iowa Army National Guard, is in the middle of the Mojave Desert, fighting off enemies and supporting Soldiers in simulated combat. The unit is going through a rotation at the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California, where the unit's focus is improving their force and preparing for future joint battlefields.

    Among the ranks of the 1034th CSSB are a few Soldiers who are not members of the battalion headquarters, but are there “supporting the support,” according to 1034th CSSB Commander Lt. Col. Christine Brooks.

    The need for extra Soldiers is determined by a deployment manning document, Brooks said, which lists the skill sets the unit is lacking and how many Soldiers with those skills are needed to support the mission.

    “The reason we have some Soldiers attached to us is because we have some gaps,” said Capt. Brian Lynch, the 1034th CSSB Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) commander. “We have some key MOSs that have a loss and need to be filled for this exercise. We were trying to fill those spots so that when we came out here, we wouldn’t have any shortfalls and could accomplish the mission.”

    Even with all the assets in the CSSB, not every Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is represented.

    “We don't have any Military Police (MP) organic to us in the headquarters,” Brooks said, “so if we have a need for an MP Soldier, then we would reach out to an MP company and ask for volunteers.”

    One of those volunteers is Spc. Carrie Savage, an MP Soldier with the Iowa National Guard's 186th MP Company. Her primary mission while at NTC with the 1034th is to be the non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the unit's Quick Reaction Force (QRF), an emergency response team which will help provide security for the base.

    Savage is also responsible for manning entry control points and securing the base's perimeter.

    “If people try to come through without stopping, or if there's an attack, I go there and help out," Savage said.

    Savage, along with the 287th MP Company, 97th MP Battalion, Fort Riley, Kansas, which falls under the 1034th during the NTC rotation, will also help provide security for convoy escorts.

    “You have to have those MOSs that help support, because [headquarters] doesn't have MPs, cavalry, infantry– the people that do the 'boots on the ground' work - to destroy the enemy,” Savage said.

    Like Savage, Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Godwin, a transportation management coordinator from the 734th RSG Headquarters, is attached to the 1034th to help tackle another big task: transportation coordination.

    “[The CSSB] is similar to a theater act,” said Godwin. “They're not the people you're going to see on stage, but they'll be the important people behind the stage with all the special effects, making sure every prop is set in its place.”

    Godwin is responsible for tracking convoys, movements and closure reports for the battalion. He will be working to make sure the unit can get Soldiers and supplies from point A to point B with few interruptions or obstacles.

    Godwin said the 1034th was right to bring in other subject matter experts to cover all their bases, and stressed the importance of being adaptable in situations such as those presented at NTC.

    “You need a willingness to be flexible in an ever-changing environment, especially in a tactical situation,” Godwin said. “One action can make a ripple effect that can change everything.”

    Godwin said going to NTC with the 1034th is a great opportunity to see who moves the pieces on the chessboard as opposed to being the chess piece being moved.

    “What's unique about the CSSB is that they have a lot of moving parts,” Godwin said. “It's neat to see everybody working at different aspects of [the mission] that in the end, come back and each piece forms a bigger puzzle.”

    Whether it’s best described as a theater, a chess board or a puzzle, Savage feels she's getting invaluable experience as she works with a variety of specialized MOSs in the 1034th.

    “It's been a completely different experience,” she said. “We're starting from ground zero and building up. I think it's incredible.”

    For Savage, Godwin and the other Soldiers attached to the 1034th, NTC has been a great opportunity to test the knowledge they've gained at their units. As they continue supporting the support, their work behind the scenes helps to ensure mission success.



    Date Taken: 05.05.2017
    Date Posted: 05.05.2017 17:20
    Story ID: 232782
    Location: FORT IRWIN, CA, US 

    Web Views: 192
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