News: 167th TSC tracks, manages Army relief assets
Story by Airman 1st Class Ryan Throneberry
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -The 167th Theater Sustainment Command is working to track, care for and sustain all incoming federal, state and local hurricane-relief assets currently here.
The unit, based from Fort McClellan, Ala., comprises both active-duty and traditional Army Guard and Reserve Soldiers from states throughout the country. The unit members' backgrounds may differ, but they share a common goal: assisting the Department of Defense forces in any way possible while Hurricane Sandy relief efforts continue.
"One of the most rewarding aspects of this mission is the fact that we are really helping the people of this community," said Army Col. Lee Ellis, 167th TSC support operation officer. "That's definitely a big driving factor for why many of our people chose to be a part of this unit."
The 167th TSC is focused on traditional guardsmen, Title 32, transitioning into an active-duty status, Title 10, as seamlessly as possible while also maintaining accountability. This process is initiated by the president in such instances as a natural disaster like Sandy.
The 167th TSC uses an accountability procedure which breaks down into four joint pieces: reception, staging, onward movement and integration, or JRSOI. Reception includes taking initial accountability of the unit members, providing food and shelter. Staging involves making sure the unit has a proper space to set up operations. Onward movement ensures the unit can leave the installation and do its job once it's been successfully prepared. The final stage, integration, allows the individual unit to integrate with a larger service agency if needed.
Ellis said his soldiers are no strangers to hurricane relief operations, due to the unit's location on the Gulf of Mexico.
"I have been on several hurricane-relief missions throughout my time with this unit," said Master Sgt. Scotty Parker, 167th TSC operations non-commissioned officer. "I really enjoy helping people and this job certainly gives me that opportunity. It's still tough to leave your family at home on a moment's notice, but to help someone in their time of need makes it all worth it."
Ellis said the joint base has been willing to help during the unit's time here.
"The joint base has given us a tremendous amount of support," said Parker. "Whatever we've needed, they've been 'Johnny on the spot' to help get it done. I'd like to thank everyone here for their support."
Parker echoed his remarks.
"The joint base was accommodating in many ways, by providing power, communications and networking; they really did a hero's job in making everything happen," said Ellis.
The 167th TSC not only deals with disaster-relief efforts but is often called on to help with other major events around the country.
"The 167th TSC provides logistical support to significant events occurring within the U.S. Northern Command area of operations," said Army Maj. John Tongret, 167th public affairs officer. "Typical events we support are national catastrophes, presidential inaugurations, the Olympics, and State of the Union addresses."
This versatile unit is their when it is needed wherever that may be.
"These situations are volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous," said Ellis. "I am very proud of what our Soldiers have been able to accomplish under those conditions.