News: 316th ESC Annual Training Prepares Soldiers for Deployment
Story by Sgt. Peter Berardi
FORT DIX, New Jersey - Starting their deployment training, approximately 250 soldiers of the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) began a 19-day annual training exercise with an eight-hour bus ride through the scenic Pennsylvania countryside arriving at Fort Dix, N.J., on March 12.
The unseasonably warm March weather made for a great outdoors training environment. This was great for the soldiers of the 316th ESC, since a large amount of the training events took place outside for extended periods of time.
The soldiers went through computer system training on the Command Post of the Future, Battle Command Sustainment Support System and Standardized Integrated Command Post System and refreshed their soldier skills with the Combat Lifesaver course, weapons training and drivers training among others.
CPOF is a tool that provides near real-time knowledge sharing that enhances team effectiveness and decision-making. This allows commanders to quickly review shared data simultaneously with subordinate units, which improves overall battlefield awareness.
CPOF is going to be the primary information system we will use in theater, said Sgt. Maj. Paul Leckinger, a member of the 316th ESC G3 section. Leckinger added, “We got excellent CPOF training while we were here that is relevant and extremely useful.”
BCS3 provides logistics information critical to operations and enhances the ability to manage sustainment operations throughout deployments. The system also provides in-transit visibility to show critical supply and transportation asset information from the point of shipment to the final destination.
Tracking resources to establish automated alerts when critical resources are below required levels is also accomplished by the BCS3. Maj. Lisa Brown, a member of the 316th ESC SPO section and native of Atlanta, Ga., thinks it’s one of the better pieces of equipment the Army has. “People will be amazed at how well it works,” said Brown.
The initial stage of SICUPS training taught the soldiers how to set up medium and large Trailer Mounted Support System tents to form a Tactical Operations Center. After the setup phase, soldiers were taught how to integrate CPOF and BCS3 systems, among others, into the SICUPS setup. “It was a great experience,” said Staff Sgt. James Liggon, a member of the 316th ESC SPO section. Liggon added, “With the buildup of the tents, putting in the computers and how it all came together was very interesting.”
The culmination of AT was a staff integration training scenario that combined all of the systems taught throughout the first portion of AT including CPOF, BCS3 and SICUPS. During this exercise, soldiers have a chance to see how fast paced and stressful things can get once all of the separate systems and elements are combined for real world missions. All units struggle with basic staffing processes and procedures at first because people don’t know each other, said Leckinger. He added, “Doing this combined training has been priceless. We got to work as a staff, create product as a staff and move and share information through the systems. This will be a great foundation for us to move forward from and we will be prepared when we get to theater.”
Soldiers also had the opportunity to participate in realistic style CLS training, weapons training and drivers training among others.
All of these additional training experiences will help prepare the soldiers of the 316th ESC for the unexpected during their deployment to Kuwait. When asked about the additional trainings that were offered Staff Sgt. Anthony Clay, a member of the 316th ESC SPO section, said, “I liked it a lot, it was good training and they kept us busy.” Clay added that CLS was his favorite training, “It wasn’t your usual classroom setting, we actually got out there and did lots of hands on stuff.”
Following this AT the soldiers of 316th ESC will move on to Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., for three weeks to conduct soldier skills training. The soldiers will then move to Fort Hood, Texas, for two months to conduct their final pre-mobilization training and requirements before finally proceeding to Kuwait for their deployment.