13th SC(E) Builds Relationship with Sister City Temple Leaders Visit Fort Hood

Story and Photo by Pfc. Naveed Ali Shah
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

The squad was patrolling the countryside when all of a sudden they found themselves in a combined arms ambush. They took cover and returned fire, the once quiet air suddenly full of explosions and gunfire.

This was not a US Army Infantry squad in Iraq; rather it was the simulation that the students of the Leadership Temple class experienced at Fort Hood’s Engagement Skills Trainer during their visit with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) November 18.

The 13th SC(E) and its sister city, the city of Temple, have been fostering a stronger relationship through key leader engagements, the adopt-a-school program, and the Fort Hood Adopt-a-Unit program, among other things.

The Temple Chamber of Commerce sponsored a luncheon November 14 for the Soldiers of the 13th SC(E) during which Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, commanding general, 13th SC(E), gave the keynote address. Wentz spoke of the importance of community relations and the mutual appreciation between the military and civilian population.

“From adopting our units and Soldiers during deployments, to watching over our families in our absence, to making our Soldiers feel welcomed and appreciated for their service to our country through events like this luncheon—I have to say I have never seen a more outstanding example of community support in my 28 years of service,” Wentz said.

The Leadership Temple students visited Fort Hood to learn about the military with a hands-on, practical approach.

“The military is a major part of our community,” said Regina Baird, curriculum chair for Leadership Temple and Director of Public Relations for the Temple Independent School District. “We want our business leaders to understand that relationship and give them tools to work with [the military] through networking.”

During the Leadership Temple class visit the students, all leaders in their community and members of the Temple Chamber of Commerce, visited the 13th SC(E) headquarters to learn the command structure and gain insight into how the Army  logistics operation is controlled.

“We’re like DHL,” Col. Knowles Atchison, deputy commander, 13th SC(E), broke it down in terms the civilian business people could understand. “We take deliveries and ship supplies all over the world from central hubs.”

Following the briefing at the 13th ESC headquarters, the students visited the Medical Simulation Training Center where 1st Medical Brigade Soldiers demonstrated reaction to contact, evacuating a casualty, and treating casualties in combat conditions.

For lunch, the student’s enjoyed a fine Army dining experience at the Freeman dining facility. The 13th SC(E) and 15th Sustainment Brigade command teams were on hand to field questions from the Leadership Temple students.

“You’re exposed to so many more areas, and you deal with emotional and physical strains that those of us who aren’t in the military might not ever encounter,” said Melissa Tyroch, a lawyer and Leadership Temple student.

The students then visited the 15th SB headquarters for a meeting with their command team and learn a lesson or two from a veteran field commander.

“You’re affected by your environment and by your decisions,” said Col. Larry Phelps, commander, 15th SB. “What you are today doesn’t have to be what you are tomorrow.”

To close out the visit, the students visited the EST where they trained on weapons as a US Army squad preparing for deployment.

Overall the visit was a success, with both the students and their Soldier counterparts learning from each other.

Tyroch said, “If it wasn’t for Fort Hood, those of us who live and work in this community would have a very different life.”


Leadership Temple students
Leadership Temple students conduct simulated combat on the EST during their visit to Fort Hood’s 13th SC(E) November 18.

Spc Felicia Narcisi and Chuck Lucko
Spc. Felicia Narcisi, mechanic, 15th SB, 13th SC(E), teaches Chuck Lucko, a Leadership Temple student, how to handle an M16A2 at the EST during the group’s visit to Fort Hood November 18.