CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – In the early morning of Jan. 28, Third Army soldiers prepared to take a small group of vehicles including expandable vans, humvees, and wrecker on a short drive to Kuwait Naval Base as part of a training exercise.
This exercise was designed to test the capabilities of new expando vans and ensure they were ready to move for an upcoming field training exercise, stated Capt. Raymond Dharsono, executive officer for Third Army Headquarters and Headquarters Company (Provisional) and Anaheim, Calif., native.
The convoy roll-out success was dependent on the HHC (P) drivers, tank commanders and regular maintenance of vehicles that would roll-out of the USARCENT’s motor pool gate.
From a logistical standpoint, Dharsono acknowledged exercises like this took weeks to plan.
“Planning started about three weeks ago,” stated Dharsono. “We were supposed to roll out earlier, but they decided to postpone it because we were finishing up another exercise. Once they were set, we were able to roll out.”
The roll-out also coincided with scheduled command maintenance.
“It is worth it in the end because we found our limitations,” Maj. Tywana Robinson. HHC (P) commander and native of Greenville, Miss., interjected.
There was one mishap on the road with one of the vehicles leaking coolant. The maintenance team checked out the problem, made sure it was okay, and the convoy moved forward to return safely to Camp Arifjan.
“We want to have those problems [with vehicles] now, that way we know what to do,” Robinson said. “We can practice all of our standing operating procedures for how we respond.”
After the last vehicle returned to the motor pool, the leadership at HHC (P) breathed a sigh of relief.
“There was an anticipation with actually doing something tactical which ARCENT has not done in a long, long time,” Robinson said.
“To do something like this, a tactical vehicle roll-out, and everyone participating is something that speaks a lot to not just me, but the soldiers in HHC (P) and my XO. This is a great milestone in ARCENT’s history and in this organization specifically.”
Dharsono also echoed Robinson’s excitement about the feat their soldiers accomplished.
"There is nothing that ARCENT cannot do,” Dharsono stated. “It was good to see that the vehicles rolled out. It was great to see we actually moved vehicles.”
The success of any exercise, big or small, lay heavily with the people who were tasked to make it a reality.
“Hats off to the soldiers because they did all of this,” added Robinson. “They did all of the coordination. I was just the one who was out there, my name was out there; but it was the soldiers and my hat goes off to all of the soldiers and the NCOs that participated today.”
Through continued training to test the capabilities of forces and vehicles to be able to respond in moment’s notice, Third Army leaders ensure its service members, civilian contractors and employees are well-trained. The constant assessment of skills and capabilities of equipment allows everyone in Third Army to feel secure about their mission and their ability to continue to stay ready tonight to sustain the fight and protect the future.