77th Sustainment Brigade


Hometown: Fort Dix, NJ, US

77th Sustainment Brigade
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‘Liberty Warriors’ prepare for Warfighter Exercise


Story by Sgt. David Clemenko

‘Liberty Warriors’ prepare for Warfighter Exercise CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - After a 17-hour journey from Fort Dix, N.J., the buses take one final turn and enter the gate at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. The Soldiers from the 77th Sustainment Brigade, ‘Liberty Warriors,’ get off the bus and are ready for the Warfighter exercise that will take place from May 31 to June 14.

Warfighter is a two-week strategic exercise and involves soldiers across the country. The exercise is designed to test units and their Soldiers through battle simulations that run 24/7 for the duration of the exercise. The exercise tests a unit’s training readiness, command capabilities and technology. Simulated troops, supplies, ammunition, food, medical, etc. are positioned and must move through the battlefield just like in an actual combat situation.

“The role of the Warfighter Exercise is to validate a unit’s training readiness,” said Col. Gregory Parker, brigade commander, 77th Sustainment Brigade. “The Soldiers in the 77th are being tested to see how prepared they are to sustain and distribute logistics to the maneuver warfighting units during a simulated battle.”

For the 77th, it’s all about sustainment. “Sustainment Brigades provide logistical support to a division in a tactical combat environment,” said Master Sgt. Harrington Henry, noncommissioned officer in charge of movement and maneuver for the 77th Sustainment Brigade. “We have been working on this since August and the soldiers are anxious but poised to execute their mission.”

While soldiers have their assigned MOS in the brigade, some will be serving in different jobs during the Warfighter exercise.

“I’m the headquarters and headquarters company commander but for the Warfighter I’ve been assigned an additional duty as the fires support officer,” said Capt. Michael Smallwood, 77th Headquarters and Headquarters commander. “All the soldiers will have to step out of their comfort zone for this exercise. The cooks are working behind computers and medical personnel are working battle simulations.”

While the soldiers have been preparing for months, they have already been tested with 17 and 18 hour days. “The hours have been long but I’m enjoying the experience and learning a lot about my job,” said Pfc. Tayler Wood, information technology Specialist, 77th Sustainment Brigade. “This is the first time I’ve been able to take what I learned in my MOS school and apply it in a real exercise.”

The hours are long, the battlefield is ready, the troops are poised and the Liberty Warriors will once again answer the call of duty as they have done since World War I, ‘Liberty Warriors, Never Forget.’

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