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    369th Sustainment Brigade conducts AT in the field at Camp Smith and in computers at Fort Drum

    369th Sustainment Brigade Soldiers conduct field training

    Photo By Cpl. Nnaemeka Onyeagwa | New York Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 369th Sustainment Brigade, ruck...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Nnaemeka Onyeagwa 

    New York National Guard

    Fort Drum, N.Y. – Soldiers with the New York Army National Guard’s 369th Sustainment Brigade conducted annual training at two locations: Fort Drum and Camp Smith, N.Y., Aug. 9-18, 2018.

    The 369th had ninety-one Soldiers taking part in the 42nd Infantry Division’s Liberty Hunter exercise at Fort Drum, while simultaneously having eighty-four Soldiers participate in summer training at Camp Smith, N.Y.

    Liberty Hunter focused on enhancing deployment readiness using computer combat simulations to drive Soldier actions in a command post exercise. Soldiers planned missions and conducted staff functions just as they would in an actual battle.

    “Our goal here is to support the 42nd Infantry Division,” explained Col. Stephen M. Bousquet, commander of the 369th Sustainment Brigade. “This mission will also assist our staff, especially our new staff, in executing functions and preparing for our all-important Command and Control CBRN Response Elements (C2CRE) mission, which we will be undertaking from June in next fiscal year.”

    The C2CRE is part of a structure of approximately 18,000 Department of Defense (DoD) members, assigned to 84 different and unique units, under a three-level command structure.

    The C2CRE’s mission makes up the DoD’s preparedness goal to respond within 24 to 48 hours to any domestic chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear warfare (including terrorism) event.

    As part of that mission, all two hundred and sixty Soldiers of the 369th Headquarters and Headquarters Company will be on standby if the need arises.

    The command post exercise was conducted at the Fort Drum’s Mission Training Complex.

    The complex provides individual operator training on Army Mission Command Systems, and support for collective simulation and gaming based training exercises.

    Soldiers who took part in the exercise had to go through additional security checks to ensure they had the proper security clearance.

    “I had to wait almost 16 hours for my security clearance on the first day,” said Spc. Kevin Devalle, an ammunitions specialist with the 369th.

    “The 369th is unique in the sense that almost every unit – either Active Duty or the Reserves – will take the next year after a deployment to reset,” said Capt. Seun Ogunkoya, the Brigade’s branch chief for operational contracting.

    “Instead of being in a reset, we are in a command post exercise (CPX) exercise; the 369th is one of the few units to ever do that,’ he said.

    The 369th had a successful 9-month deployment to Kuwait in 2016. The unit assumed command of sustainment operations in six Middle Eastern countries under the United States Central Command.

    Maj. Gen. Paul C. Hurley, commanding general of Combined Arms Support Command, noted that the brigade's work in Kuwait was the most difficult sustainment mission in the Army.

    “There has been a lot of continuity from our deployment and a lot more experience,” said Maj. Navin Kalicharan, an operations officer with the 369th. “There are a lot more people in the brigade who understand their roles and they are able to teach and mentor the newcomers in their jobs.”

    Some of the other participants in the Liberty Hunter exercise included the:
    - 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, New York Army National Guard.
    - 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade, New York Army National Guard.
    - 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Massachusetts Army National Guard.
    - 142nd Field Artillery Brigade, Arkansas National Guard.
    - 274th Air Support Operations Squadron, New York Air National Guard.
    - New York National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters based in Latham, N.Y.
    - New York Army National Guard Soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division, Ft. Drum.

    Other 369th Soldiers conducted summer training at Camp Smith Training Site.

    Land navigation, a confidence course, and a 4-mile ruck march with at least 40 pounds of gear, were some of the training activities Soldiers completed at Camp Smith.

    The training ended with a 24-hour field training exercise that included an airlift by a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation Regiment.

    “The excise has been educational,” said Spc. Judith Ann Ignacio, a unit supply specialist and a resident of Queens.

    “Getting to use the Command Post of the Future (CPOF) in the field was interesting because I had never used it outside of the classroom, she said.

    The CPOF is a software system that allows commanders to understand the battlefield; collaborate with superiors, peers and subordinates using live data; and communicate their intent.

    This was a particularly more complicated and longer summer training, explained Devalle. Some Soldiers came in several days earlier for preparation, while others stayed longer for cleanup and tear down of equipment, he said.

    “It is hard being away from my family, especially missing my sister’s birthday this summer, said Ignacio.” The best part here is getting to reconnect and work with my close friends who we deployed together.”

    The 369th Soldiers secured a training area in the mountains at Camp Smith which served as their base and defended that location from role-playing combatants comprised of Soldiers from their unit.

    “By doing that we have done during this summer training and the Liberty Hunter Exercise we achieved two things: maintaining proficiency and spreading the knowledge to new Soldiers,” Ogunkoya said. “This is a brigade that is definitely looking forward to future challenges.”



    Date Taken: 08.23.2018
    Date Posted: 08.23.2018 15:41
    Story ID: 290037
    Location: FORT DRUM , NY, US 

    Web Views: 325
    Downloads: 0