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    From alpha to zulu

    Sustaining The Line

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Donna Davis | Spc. Thomas Maxfield, an information technology specialist, troubleshoots computer...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Donna Davis 

    3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command

    “…From alpha to zulu, we supply it all, On point for the Nation- when our Nation calls...”

    Every morning before sunrise, Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command begin their day singing these words, as they recite the 3rd ESC Song.

    In the early hours on August 30, these words rang true when ‘Sustainers’ from the 3rd ESC were called to support U.S. Army North in providing Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) to the state of Texas in response to Hurricane Harvey.

    With less than 24 hours to respond, more than 30 Soldiers assigned to the 3rd ESC’s headquarters deployed to Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, with a majority working in a tactical operations center.

    “We have been training with Army North now for quite some time now,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Bernard P. Smalls Sr., the senior enlisted advisor of the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command. “…by being here with our partners we are able to work with them effectively due to a lot of the exercises.”

    The DSCA training that the Soldiers had conducted earlier in the year was put into action.

    For junior Soldiers in the unit, these training exercises helped prepare them, as well as helped them, understand the unit’s role.

    “I participated in Warfighters and I know it helped me a lot more,” said Pfc. Lauryn S. Holcomb, an intelligence analyst assigned to the 3rd ESC. “It helped me understand logistics and sustainment operations, focusing more on sustainment as well, versus where I was in AIT and I was taught to work towards like overseas-type views, instead of working in our own country.”

    Understanding the role of the unit was important because of the capabilities the unit brings to the forces on the ground.

    The tactical operations center synchronized the multiple efforts needed to sustain forces conducting recovery operations in Texas.

    “We are all things sustainment,” said Smalls. “We are the king of sustainment, by coming in here we are able to bring things to the table that no other organization can bring other than a sustainer themselves.”

    The 3rd ESC’s Soldiers were able to coordinate the life-sustaining supplies needed, to include food and water, as well as showers and laundry facilities.

    “Of course you know that no vehicle will run without fuel, of course no Soldier can function without food, and also we provide their life support,” said Smalls.

    Another role the 3rd ESC Soldiers conducted was site assessments for possible logistics operations areas. The Sustainment Assessment Team’s (SAT) role is to find a suitable location to set up base support installation operations and to provide reception, staging, onward, and integration to Soldiers arriving to the joint operation area.

    “As they [SAT] do that, what happens is that it helps the flow of forces to come in more easily and they don’t have to be bottlenecked in one location, so they serve a great purpose,” said Smalls. “Once they get on ground, they are able to go out and find different facilities for us. They are able to build that relationship with the actual community.”

    Not everyone in the 3rd ESC serves on a SAT but still found their role just as important. For Holcomb, the part she played was just as critical.

    “3rd ESC was really critical, I know we went out and we helped out a lot down there, we helped supply,” said Holcomb. “I don’t even know all the mission assignments we had but there was a lot and they were a pretty critical role...”

    For the most senior enlisted advisor assigned to the 3rd ESC, Holcomb’s words were very similar to his views on the 3rd ESC’s role in Texas.

    “…by being here we were are able to assist and help our fellow Americans get back on their feet and help in anyway that’s possible because they need us here and what better place to be than here with our fellow Americans.”



    Date Taken: 09.15.2017
    Date Posted: 09.19.2017 07:05
    Story ID: 248806
    Location: FORT BRAGG, NC, US 

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