News: 288th QM Company reacts to training at CSTX–91
Story by Spc. Charlotte Fitzgerald
FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. – Located on military bases worldwide, entry control points play a vital role in ensuring the safety of our soldiers and the people both inside and outside of that point.
ECP operations are just one of the many training lanes the soldiers with the 288th Quartermaster Company, based out of Victoria, Texas, are going through at Combat Support Training Exercise – 91 this month. The soldiers reacted to three different scenarios when they went manned the ECP lane at Base Camp Milpitas, located within Fort Hunter Liggett. The training included finding a vehicle-born improvised explosive device, reacting to direct and indirect fire and interacting with role-playing Afghan citizens.
“Even if we go [overseas] to purify water, we will have to go from point A to point B. We need to be able to defend our own assets as we move through there,” said Capt. Duane Fousie, a San Antonio, Texas, native and commander of the 288th. “In addition to that, when you get over there, you wind up doing some additional [Forward Operating Base] support and this is exactly the type of mission you wind up with;guard the east end of the gate, guard both gates;we actually guarded the entire Kuwaiti Naval Base when I was there.”
One of the first scenarios the soldiers encountered during their training included hostile locals coming up to the gate. The soldiers then had to disperse the crowd in the best manner possible.
“We learned how to sustain the area,” said Spc. Arturo Ramirez, a water treatment specialist with the 288th QM Company and Corpus Christi, Texas, native. “We had to regulate who came in and who went out and identify if they were hostile or friendly.”
During the second scenario, the soldiers faced simulated mortar rounds along with local civilians trying to enter the base for work. One of the role-players pretended to receive an injury from the incoming mortar and the 288th had to react with combat life saving and casualty evacuation procedures. The third portion of the training, the soldiers had to search a vehicle and upon doing so, they found a simulated vehicle-borne improvised explosive device and reacted to more incoming rounds.
“We are water support; we are water treatment specialists,” said Spc. Aaron Gonzalez, a Benbolt, Texas, native and water treatment specialist with the 288th. “This training is a good heads up for us because when we get [overseas] we don’t know what to expect.”
Focusing training on the latest enemy techniques, tactics and procedures is crucial.
“This is the second time I have done this training and I learn something new all the time,” Ramirez said. “This is a really good experience for everyone. Everyone should have this training.”
Fousie commented that his soldiers do not receive entry control point training during their weekend battle assemblies in Texas. He added the type of training offered at CSTX-91 is what his unit needs to focus on when preparing for future deployments.
CSTX-91 is a sustainment-focused training exercise developed for units in Train/Ready year-3 of the 5-year Army Forces Generation model.
With many of the units participating in CSTX-91 becoming available for deployment next year, the remote training environment Fort Hunter Liggett provides offers rugged terrain, realistic training opportunities and living conditions soldiers may face while deployed.